Early Polling

Everybody remembers to preface their analysis of current primary polling with something about how the numbers this far out don't mean very much. The cliché status of that insight, however, tends to make us forget how true it is. Check this stuff out from Pollster.com:


That's the primary last time. To make a long story short, national horserace polling data right up to the day of the Iowa Caucus had no informational value whatsoever about the outcome of the nomination race. That's not to say that the precise same post-Iowa bandwagon pattern is likely to repeat this year. It does, however, indicate that massive shifts of sentiment are possible (which is understandable, since the race contains a bunch of people I have basically warm feelings toward and I'm clearly not the only person who feels that way) right up until the last moment.