While it may have gone unnoticed by all but our most devoted readers, we made a small change earlier today to the charts that display results for Republican presidential candidates nationally and in each of the early primary states: We dropped the trend line for Newt Gingrich and added a trend line for Ron Paul.
Newt Gingrich has finally made it clear he will not be a candidate, and so the many pollsters that had included his name on trial heats will now stop. Meanwhile, Ron Paul's support in New Hampshire now increased to 3.8% on our trend estimate, within a whisper of Mike Huckabee (at 4.2%).
This change is part of our ongoing effort to keep the graphics both informative and readable within a few operational constraints. The constraints (for now) are that our charts can handle a maximum of six trend lines and that our system plots the same lines for all states and the nation.
Please keep in mind that, as we wrote back in July, we include on our "top contenders" chart those candidates with enough support to provide legible trend lines above the low single-digits. It is not a statement about which candidate resides in which "tier." We also continue to provide a set of "small multiple" charts for each state that plot the trend for all candidates in small separate graphs.
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