Saxman: New Hampshire Polling Winners – DeSantis, Buttigieg, AOC. It’s Never Early in Politics.

Virginia FREE Fridays at 3pm. This week, WPA Intel’s Amanda Iovino will give her monthly polling update – topics include the state of the country, the economy, and a look ahead to 2024. CLICK HERE TO JOIN FRIDAY’S ZOOM at 3pm.


Quick reminder on some #1 Rules of Politics. This is the Time Edition of #1 Rules:

  1. Politics is about the future.
  2. Timing is everything.
  3. You don’t get time put back on the clock. (this ain’t the ‘72 Olympics)

Polls about the 2024 presidential cycle are already starting to pop up. Some will explain away bad polling outcomes for their preferred candidate with – “It’s early.”

It’s never early in politics. Campaigns are won in the beginning as that is when some of the most important decisions are made – who to hire, what’s the direction, and what’s the message going to be. They all matter a lot.

First steps and all that….

As one recently hired presidential campaign manager laughingly told me yesterday about polls, “Good polls are good, bad polls are bullshit.” #ClientSpin

Example – the Granite State Poll, a States of Opinion Project, conducted by University of New Hampshire Survey Center. July 2022 and January 2023 for Democrats and Republicans. Here are the Dems:

In July of last year, this was a good poll for California Governor Gavin Newsom when he was at 10%, now but now that he’s at 1% it’s a bullshit poll. Team Biden would just think that it’s a bullshit poll period, while Team Buttigieg would call the Granite State Poll a fantastic poll. Best in the business!

Team Biden’s reaction though? Can’t lose early states so …. change the calendar. #PowerOfPresidentialIncumbency

The DNC changed its primary calendar – South Carolina goes first now, then New Hampshire, Nevada, Georgia, and Michigan. This will help Joe Biden fend off challenges from candidates like his own Cabinet member Pete Buttigieg, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders all of whom draw more progressive white voters. #IowaCaucusBuhBye

Here is the net favorability of Democratic candidates among New Hampshire Likely Democratic Primary Voters:

Yup – you read that right. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has the highest NET favorables of potential Democratic candidates in New Hampshire. #DryJanuaryBuhBye

Same UNH polling outfit posted their GOP results as well:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is leading Likely Republican Primary Voters in New Hampshire. That poll for Team DeSantis is a GREAT POLL. Bigly. YUGE.

Especially considering DeSantis hasn’t been there yet, but he did make a visit to Kansas City last weekend for the Jacksonville Jaguars/KC Chiefs game. Was he seen in a corporate box with the donor class? Nope, he was on the field with this family shaking hands with fans. Thousand word pictures went viral on social media. #EarlyAndInexpensive

For Team Trump? The Granite Poll is bullshit and has been since last summer.

It’s early, right? Well….

Take the case of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. Some Virginia political observers have been pointing out that Youngkin isn’t polling at all in recent polls. True, but the UNH poll is actually a pretty good poll for him. His net favorability is positive at +2 (not great), but that’s because his name ID is very low in the Granite State with 23% Don’t Know Enough to Say.

Early? Nope. Decisions are being made. Important ones at that.

Name ID is overcome by retail campaigning and relatively inexpensive, highly targeted ads. Youngkin is an excellent retail politician and would do quite well in town hall formats that New Hampshire voters like.

Of course, that’s IF he does decide to run for POTUS.

The best poll for Joe Biden right now?

Q4 GDP growth posted at 2.9%:

That should give pause to any potential nomination challenger of Biden’s.

Which … gives him more time. Every day he doesn’t draw a challenger is just another day closer to the nomination which means he can campaign for more general election voters.

Speaking of early – RTD columnist Jeff Schapiro wrote this week on potential Democratic candidates eyeing gubernatorial campaigns for 2025. Among those “making the rounds:” Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney who were seen attending a fundraiser for state Senator Jennifer McClellan who is running for Congress.

McClellan could also run for governor in 2025 having finished third in the Democratic primary in 2021. Given her likely higher statewide name ID among Democratic likely voters, I would put McClellan in the early lead for the ‘25 race.

But it’s early … right?


On holding hand videos for the Zoom:

Lady Gaga’s Hold My Hand from the Top Gun Maverick soundtrack:

Same song title from Hootie and the Blowfish. Reminder, Darius Rucker is NOT Hootie.

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