Roger L. Simon

2016: What We Are Learning from the Drudge Presidential Poll

Yes, it is waaaay early and, yes, it is an online poll, subject to all sorts of fudging, but the presidential poll being run by Matt Drudge at his website may have more to tell us about the state of the Republican presidential nomination race then many are going to want to admit.

First, Scott Walker, drawing an incredible 47% in a field of 13 candidates, no one within 33 points of him, is turning into a true front runner, with all that entails, good and bad. Second, the likes of Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and (amazingly) Chris Christie are all doing dreadfully, polling around a piddling one percent of the vote. Palin, Rubio and (again surprisingly — or maybe not) Jeb Bush are not doing a whole heckuva lot. Bush is the best of the lot at a pathetic five percent — and he surely doesn’t suffer from lack of name recognition.

All these candidates better hope their potential backers don’t read Drudge (unlikely) or will listen to explanations dismissing the poll. Speaking of which, before going further, I’d like to address the poll itself.  As many will remember, such polls have been skewed in the past by such things as mass voting by backers of Ron Paul (his son here comes in third currently at under thirteen percent, just behind Ted Cruz), but I have a hunch that isn’t the case here and that this is a better sample of the current Republican electorate than one might think. Drudge is Drudge, after all. We all read him. And as of 3:38PM, almost three hundred thousand people have voted, a statistically meaningful number. If I were one of those low-drawing candidates, I’d be thinking about keeping my day job — but that’s just me.

As for Mr. Walker, the man of the hour, I’d start prepping foreign policy now. As everyone knows, 2016 is shaping up as a foreign policy election. He’d better know as much about Iran as labor unions in Wisconsin. You can better the media will be laying for him on the subject. In fact, they already have, as ABC’s Martha Raddatz attempted during her sparring with him yesterday:

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