Every Tuesday, Rasmussen Reports releases a GOP Primary poll. Ususally, I just read the chart at the top of the page, and that is exactly what I did on Tuesday. Today, however, I went back to check some past poll results – and actually read the article. I think I am going to be doing more reading in the future, because it looks like Rasmussen likes to drop major polling-related announcements into the middle of the articles. This time, they announced that they will no longer include Newt Gingrich in the polling. Here is how they put it:
“Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s (R) support is down to 7%. Gingrich has indicated that the odds are strongly against him entering the campaign. As a result, from this point forward, Rasmussen Reports is not including Gingrich in polling on the Republican Presidential nomination.”
Gingrich ends his run on the poll with 7% support – not too bad, and not exactly a small amount. This also means that there is an extra 7% floating around in the poll. Now, the polls at this point are still extremely fluid, major changes happen regularly. However, if, for some unknown reason, the only change was this 7%, that could completely reshape the race. It could put McCain on top of Romney, or vise-versa, it could put Thompson ahead of Giuliani, or Giuliani back with a solid lead.
As big as the 7% is, I don’t think it is anything compared to the boost one of the candidates will get once Gingrich makes an endorsement. While only a limited number of people actually want Gingrich to be President, I think that there are a large number of undecideds (and even some people already supporting a candidate) who could be swayed by a Gingrich backing. I think this is more true for people like Romney and Giuliani – both of whom have trouble among Evangelical Conservative Southerners