THE BLOG
04/24/2007 11:28 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gallup on "Where the Election Stands"

I got busy yesterday and neglected to link to it, but the Gallup organization posted
a remarkable
summary
of essentially everything their many surveys have had to say in
recent months about the upcoming 2008 elections. The report has nothing new for
those of you who share my daily obsession with such things, but for those
looking for a quick overall take it is free and well worth the click.

One important warning from Gallup that is also worthy of repetition:

Poll results at this phase -- nine
months before the first primaries and caucuses -- do not necessarily bear a
strong relationship to the reality that unfolds in the election year itself.
This has historically been true for the Democratic nomination in particular.
Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Jimmy Carter, and George McGovern were all
virtual unknowns who rose from obscurity to take their party's nomination.
Republicans have, on the other hand, been more likely to settle on a nominee
early, and stick with him.

We could also throw in John Kerry, who while not a "virtual unknown" still registered at just 9%, 15 points behind "frontrunner" Howard Dean, on Gallup poll conducted in January 2004, just weeks before victories in both the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary propelled Kerry to the nomination.  

On a different note, one serious suggestion for the powers-that-be at Gallup: This report would have much greater value if the
many, many references to in-depth Gallup reports
included hyperlinks, especially since Gallup
seems to be opening up access to its recent analyses to non-subscribers. Just a
thought.