Dem 51
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GOP 49
image description Tracking Poll: January 2023

The first round of voting in our new tracking poll is complete, and there was a surprise or two. Before we reveal the results, recall that we make no claims this is scientific, per se. That is, we made no effort to ensure that the responses match the demographics of the expected electorate. What we are seeing here is the collective assessments of many thousands of people who are, on the whole, above-average in terms of education and political literacy. Oh, and we had more votes in this poll than we've had in any other so far.

To start, here's how the readership sees the GOP field at the moment. The score is calculated based on three points for a first-place vote, two points for a second, one point for a third:

Candidate Score Avg. Place
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) 9988 1.49
Former president Donald Trump 9372 1.39
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) 4082 0.61
Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo 3480 0.52
Former vice president Mike Pence 3470 0.52
Fox entertainer Tucker Carlson 3272 0.49
Former Maryland governor Larry Hogan 1960 0.29
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) 1736 0.26
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) 688 0.11
Former representative Liz Cheney 636 0.09

OK, not too many surprises there. Per the setup of the poll, Cruz and Cheney will be relegated, and will be replaced by the top two write-in vote-getters: Nikki Haley and Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH). And we have to apologize to all those who suggested Abraham Lincoln; he is not eligible to the presidency by virtue of being dead.

And now, the Democratic results. This is where the surprises show up:

Candidate Score Avg. Place
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) 8658 1.29
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg 7620 1.13
President Joe Biden 6906 1.03
Vice President Kamala Harris 6154 0.91
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) 5722 0.85
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) 1274 0.19
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) 1026 0.15
Gov. Wes Moore (D-MD) 478 0.07
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) 326 0.05
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 320 0.05

That's right; the sitting president finished in third place. We think and hope we were clear that we were asking about what readers think will happen, as opposed to what they want to happen.

Anyhow, the senior-citizen progressive senators get relegated here, to be replaced by Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) and Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA). And again, we must apologize, this time to those who would like to see Franklin D. Roosevelt added. He's ineligible for the same reason Lincoln is.

And now, the results for our wildcard question of the month, about which outlets readers like for their political news. Recall that each respondent was able to pick up to three; the percentage here reflects the fraction of all the votes cast. Put another way, if every reader made three choices, and one of those three was The New York Times, the Times would finish with 33%.

Outlet Percentage of Votes Cast
The New York Times 17.77%
The Washington Post 14.98%
Other 14.85%
CNN 13.46%
MSNBC 10.91%
Politico 9.71%
Political Wire 9.11%
NBC News/Meet the Press 2.83%
TalkingPointsMemo 1.76%
ABC News/This Week With George Stephanopoulos 1.54%
The Wall Street Journal 1.30%
CBS News/Face the Nation 1.00%
Fox 0.78%

The 10 most common write-in votes were: NPR, PBS, The Hill, DailyKos, The Guardian, The Economist, The BBC, The Bulwark, Reddit and Twitter, in that order. Among the rarer choices were "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!," U.S. Election Atlas, The Onion, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Techdirt, Squawk Box, Punchbowl News, Pod Save America, Nation.Cymru, Joe.My.God, Helsingin Sanomat, George Conway's Twitter feed, Digby's Hullabaloo, Breitbart (1 vote), Balloon Juice, and 1440's daily digest. We got numerous comments that are more editorial in nature, such as this one: "None of these are my favorite... I read them because I have to but keep a wary eye to all of them. Always looking at why an article is written the way it is." We presume that the person who wrote in "Liberal Democrat News" was editorializing, as well.

The wildcard question of the month for February is: What is the greatest movie about politics ever made? The new ballot is here. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates