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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Outsider Insiders

If you are a regular reader of what used to be called Pollster.com (now operated by HuffingtonPost), you may have noticed a new survey device they’ve unveiled in a partnership with Patch that seeks to assess the opinions of Republican political elites in the three most influential early caucus and primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina). It’s an interesting variation on the “insiders” polls utilized in the past that typically focus on Beltway elites.
The latest edition of this so-called GOP Power Outsiders Poll reports that about two-thirds of these folk (whose names are actually listed at the end of the article) are satisfied with the GOP presidential field as is. Since it’s not clear whether the survey was taken before or after Paul Ryan took his name out of contention, the current level of satisfaction may actually be a bit higher.
This is interesting because it offers a useful alternative to the usual division of opinion between “Beltway elites” and, well, real people across the country. The reality is that in this relatively early stage of the so-called “invisible primary” elite opinion in early states really is important in a distinctive way. As we get closer to the actual voting events, broader-based surveys of likely participants in caucuses or primaries will begin to matter most.

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