The next series of updates are for candidates with only three polls (or less) conducted in hypothetical 2012 general election match ups against President Obama. As such, the trend analyses for Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul and Jeb Bush are more susceptible to wild fluctuations given the relatively scant level of data available compared to the four candidates (Gingrich, Huckabee, Palin and Romney) covered thus far. These are clearly cases where other variables -- presidential approval and state of the economy -- may be helpful in balancing out polls like the Politico internet poll. In the midst of many other polls, that survey merely appears as an outlier. It is still an outlier for a candidate with just a few polls against Obama, but in such a case, it serves as a distinct statistical anchor. In such cases, the straight average "feels" more trustworthy for the three candidates with more than one survey conducted against Obama.
|2012 Presidential Trial Heat Polling (Obama v. Pawlenty)|
|Poll||Date||Margin of Error||Sample||Obama||Pawlenty||Undecided|
|Politico [Internet]||July 9-14, 2010||+/- 3.1%||1011 likely voters||39||21||40|
|Public Policy Polling||Dec. 4-7, 2009||+/- 2.8%||1253 likely voters||48||35||17|
|Public Policy Polling||Oct. 16-19, 2009||+/- 3.5%||766 likely voters||50||30||20|