Annals of Irrelevant Polls

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 7 2011 8:09 AM

Annals of Irrelevant Polls

This is a mighty strange edition of the WSJ/NBC News poll, at least on the presidential question.

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The second breakdown of the poll reveals how odd it is. With Huckabee and Trump removed, Romney surges to 40 percent, revealing that this is all about name recognition. What attracts voters to Trump? We don't know -- the high likelihood is that people like him from TV. What effect would Ron or Rand Paul have on the race? Do libertarians like Gary Johnson? Interesting questions we don't have any answers to.

National polls are almost useless, so I will use this occasion to inaugurate a new feature and compare all national polls to the same polls from four years ago. How did the late April 2007 WSJ/NBC poll gauge the 2008 race?

Rudy Giuliani - 33
John McCain - 22
Fred Thompson - 17
Mitt Romney - 12
Mike Huckabee - 2
Sam Brownback - 1
Duncan Hunter - 1

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.