Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

Is "Great Ground Game" the New Unskewed Polling?


Let me cut to the chase. No, it's not. It's definitely not. As I mentioned late last year, 'ground game' - organizational structure on the ground in a certain area to turn out voters on election day - is very important. But it's only important in terms of relatively small margins. Maybe you're polling at 40% and your amazing ground game got you to 43%. Maybe Trump is at 35% and Cruz is at 29% and Cruz's amazing ground operation gets it to a tie. Caucuses are sort of an exception. Since it involves going and sitting around in a school gymnasium or similar place for several hours one night. But, if you're getting killed in the polls, your ground game is definitely not going to help you in a primary.

But when I heard that the poster boy for the "great ground game" was Chris Christie, I started to realize that maybe this is the "unskewed polls" of the 2016 cycle, only this time it's not to sustain the fantasy that Romney is definitely absolutely going to win. It's an intra-Republican mode of denial to make you believe that Donald Trump is not only not winning the primary race as of now but dominating the race like no non-incumbent has in modern history.

About The Author


Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.