Handicapping the Race for the Republican Presidential Nomination

author
Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

I’m flabbergasted that many pundits and journalists seem to think that the race for the Republican nomination is over and we are set for Donald Trump as the nominee. The campaign hasn’t even started yet.

The polls for sure show Donald Trump leading the pack. In the average of the surveys, Trump is at 53%, but polls are close to meaningless at this point in time. In June 2007, Hillary Clinton was seen as the runaway favorite for the Democratic nomination. The junior senator from Illinois called Barack Obama was trailing badly. In fact, Obama overtook Clinton in the nationwide surveys for the first time on February 13, 2008—more than a month after his upset win in the Iowa caucuses.

Polls in US politics have been notoriously unreliable for several election cycles. Surveys for primaries and caucuses are very difficult to carry out as participation is low. Public opinion can move considerably during a short period of time. And don’t forget that Trump is known commodity. He may be leading the field, but another way to look at these surveys is that half of the primary voters are not voting for him.

Last week, Ron de Santis and Tim Scott declared their candidacies. Other will jump into the race. There will be months of debates and campaigning. I’m not saying that Trump can not become the nominee, but the race for the Republican nomination is just about to start.