Polling Shows Mr. Undecided Leads GOP Race As many as 26 percent of likely Republican voters in key states have not decided which candidate will get their vote in 2008. That conclusion comes from ccAdvertising, which conducts polls for a range of candidates and members of Congress. "Undecided is winning," Gabriel Joseph III, president of ccAdvertising, tells me. "The largest group of voters are people who just haven’t made up their minds yet." According to ccAdvertising’s latest poll, Rudy Giuliani challenges Mr. Undecided. Giuliani leads with support from 25.5 percent of those who say they will vote in Republican caucuses or primaries in California, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, and South Carolina. Th next three candidates are essentially tied — Fred Thompson with 15.4 percent, Mitt Romney with 14.2 percent, and John McCain with 13.2 percent. Final results will be released Wednesday. Most pollsters do not emphasize how many people are undecided. Given that recent presidential elections have been won by a margin of 5 percent of the tally or less, the number of undecided votes spotlights how ephemeral polls are. Confirming that, pollster Joseph notes that polls are nothing more than a quick snapshot of voter sentiment. In fact, he says that polls right now mostly measure name recognition. "What you’re seeing at this point is a popularity contest," Joseph says. "The polls are measuring name-awareness. I believe that people are telling our surveys who they’re going to vote for by what they hear. Whether it’s good or bad right now, all they do is hear the names. Fred Thompson’s name has been bandied about a lot. People have heard Fred Thompson, Fred Thompson, Fred Thompson. So they’re more likely to say they’ll vote for him." Romney campaign operatives have been banking on Joseph’s take. They point out that in the states where they have focused their efforts — Iowa and New Hampshire — Romney is winning. But only 64 percent of Americans have heard of him. On the other hand, John McCain’s name recognition is 87 percent, according to a Gallup Poll, and the fact that McCain has been going down in the polls suggests that more than name recognition is at stake. Just before he declared his candidacy, Thompson’s name recognition was a surprisingly low 56 percent. Early presidential front-runners litter the political landscape — Elizabeth Dole, Howard Dean, and Edward M. Kennedy, to name a few. But it’s not in the interests of either political reporters or pollsters to emphasize their uncertainty in calling the horse race. On top of these considerations, polling has been facing growing voter concerns about privacy. "Pollsters right now are struggling to get people to respond to their surveys," Joseph says. "Because fewer and fewer people are responding to their surveys, two things are happening: They’re going back to a pre-existing survey base — people that have answered before, will answer again. Number two, because when they get somebody willing to talk to them, they want to gather a lot of other data at the same time, the surveys are getting longer." When surveys become longer, fewer people complete them, and the results are not counted. So, Joseph says, polls are becoming less reliable as more responses are discarded. Joseph’s company asks a limited number of questions over the telephone using a computerized voice-recognition system for calling people. "We have the databases and the speed to just keep going until we get the number of respondents that our company and our clients need," Joseph says. "What we are doing is measuring what people’s attitudes are today," he says. "And right now, Mr. Undecided is the winner." full story here; http://www.newsmax.com/kessler/GOP_undecideds_lead/2007/09/17/33220.html?s=al&promo_code=3A14-1 This is great news for Ron Paul. First it means that there are 26% of voters out there who may be swayed by his message of freedom. Also it means that as long as the voters are torn between the other candidates it leaves room for a strong (strong enough?) showing for RP. Lets hope that the so called "top tier" candidates stay in the race and diffuse the vote. If the vote remains divided among the others then RP has a real chance to pull a "Perot" type split and come in under the radar. For the first time in this I am starting to think that it may actually be possible. I was wearing a "Ron Paul - Hope For America" T-shirt the other day and everywhere I went I got thumbs up, high fives, and "all Rights'" from people I encountered. I didn't have one person make any derogatory statements. And the diversity of the people who were encouraging was eyeopening. From the body pierced 20 something at Starbucks to a 60ish farmer in cover-alls at the Dr.'s office. And many in between. RP is the only candidate I have ever seen who has so united such different people. But it isn't him, it is his message. Freedom transends all boundaries. Hope spans all generations.