Straw poll shows Cruz emerging as candidate with majority support

Posted by Sarah John on February 01, 2016

To get a better sense of who is leading the ever-exciting Republican presidential race, Saul Anuzis, former State Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, created a ranked choice voting (RCV) poll on our partner app, Civinomics.  Each voter was asked to rank, in order of preference, as many or as few of the 12 candidates still in the race for the Republican nomination as they liked. Only one vote per IP address was allowed, to ensure the straw poll reflects a diverse pool of the opinions of those who read Anuzis’ blog. Anuzis has reported on the poll results in his Weekly Musing.  

As of Friday, January 29, 178 people had cast RCV ballots in Anuzis’ straw poll. While not a scientific poll, straw poll voters’ ranked ballots reveal much about the race and show how backers of different candidates view the field. Ted Cruz leads in first choices and wins the race in the final instant runoff over Donald Trump. In the first round, Cruz has 71 votes (40%), compared to Trump’s 38 (21%) and Marco Rubio’s 22 (12%).

Republican Presidential Nomination Straw Poll, First Round

 

Votes

Percentage

Jim Gilmore

0

0%

Mike Huckabee

1

1%

Chris Christie

4

2%

Rand Paul

11

6%

Rick Santorum

2

1%

Donald Trump

38

21%

Carly Fiorina

9

5%

Ben Carson

5

3%

Jeb Bush

4

2%

John Kasich

11

6%

Ted Cruz

71

40%

Marco Rubio

22

12%

Total

178

100%

 

No candidate has a majority, so, as in all RCV elections, we take into account the second choices of voters whose first choice candidate cannot win. In the first instance, this means the second choice of the single Mike Huckabee voter (whose second choice was Cruz). Then, because we still have no majority winner, the second choices of Rick Santorum’s two voters are taken into account, and so on, until we have a winner. In the end, after 10 rounds, Ted Cruz emerges victorious with 69% of the vote against Donald Trump’s 31%.

 

 

Round

Candidate

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Gilmore

0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Huckabee

1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Christie

2%

2%

3%

3%

3%

 

 

 

 

 

Rand Paul

6%

6%

7%

7%

7%

7%

8%

 

 

 

Rick Santorum

1%

1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump

21%

21%

21%

21%

22%

22%

22%

22%

25%

31%

Carly Fiorina

5%

5%

5%

5%

6%

6%

 

 

 

 

Ben Carson

3%

3%

3%

3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeb Bush

2%

2%

2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Kasich

6%

6%

6%

7%

7%

9%

9%

12%

 

 

Ted Cruz

40%

40%

40%

40%

42%

43%

45%

49%

52%

69%

Marco Rubio

12%

12%

12%

13%

13%

14%

16%

17%

23%

0%

Exhausted Ballots

 

 

 

 

2

3

6

9

14

30

Continuing Ballots

178

178

178

178

176

175

172

169

164

148

 

We can do more than merely determine a winner from voters’ ranked ballots. We can identify different factions within a party, candidates with broad appeal, and discuss the likely implications if a candidate was to bow out of the race.

Three out of four (75%) voters in this straw poll ranked two or more candidates; 58% ranked three or more. Trump voters were the most likely to “plump” – to rank only one candidate – with 39% choosing not to rank a second candidate. Meanwhile, more than nine in ten Rubio voters ranked a candidate second, as did three in four Cruz voters.

In addition to receiving the most first choices, Cruz earned a lot of voters’ second choices. A quarter (24%) of Trump voters ranked Cruz second, with only 8% ranking Rubio second. Trump received relatively few second choice rankings from Cruz voters: only 13% of Cruz voters ranked Trump second. Still, one in five (20%) Cruz voters ranked Rubio second, and 27% of Rubio voters ranked Cruz second. While we can see a divide between Rubio and Trump supporters, Cruz is a unifying factor: he is the most popular second choice candidate for supporters of both Rubio and Trump.

In this straw poll, Cruz had a broad base of support. He was ranked first, second, or third on 56% of all voters’ ballots, ahead of Rubio (34%) and Trump (33%). By contrast, Jim Gilmore was the first, second, or third choice of only 1% of voters, and former front runner Jeb Bush was ranked in the top three by only 12%.

 

 

Percentage of ballots on which candidate ranked first, second or third

Bush

 

12%

Carson

 

26%

Christie

 

10%

Cruz

 

56%

Fiorina

 

17%

Gilmore

 

1%

Huckabee

 

4%

Kasich

 

19%

Paul

 

16%

Rubio

 

34%

Santorum

 

4%

Trump

 

33%

 

But what if Cruz bowed out of the race? Who would be the new frontrunner? Using ranked ballots we can model the outcome if Cruz dropped out. In the first round, Trump would be out in front, with 29% of the vote (compared to Rubio’s 23%). However, Trump is fewer voters’ second and third choices than Rubio. As candidates who cannot win are eliminated, Rubio gradually catches up with Trump and emerges the winner with 54% to Trump’s 46%.

Of course the real votes will start being cast soon – but users can set up their own RCV contest by going to RCVApp.com today.

 

Photo Courtesy: Gage Skidmore


 
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