Riding the Polling Roller Coaster

Nate Cohn: “The wave of candidate announcements that began late last month has set off a new phase of volatile polling, when voters will rally behind news-making candidates and move on as soon as the next arrives. But for now — and for a while — it might be wise to tune out the polls altogether. That’s because these bounces tend to be short-lived.”

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“Some might say that Mr. Rubio and Mr. Cruz’s support is enough to put them alongside Mr. Bush or Mr. Walker, the two candidates who have led the polls and have often been described as front-runners for the nomination. But Mr. Bush and Mr. Walker are front-runners in spite of their standing in the polls, not because of it. They’re front-runners because the other candidates do not appear to have enough support from party elites to sustain a national campaign.”

“But now, it’s better to focus on the fundamentals — whether the candidates appear to hold the support from party elites necessary to win the nomination, whether they are broadly appealing throughout the party, and whether they seem capable of building support in the early states.”

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