How to handle hypotheticals?

How to handle hypothetical candidates’s %s? For example, if a player were to decide to save the Republican party from itself (or so the thought might go) by deploying Mitt Romney for a Jan. 1st, 2016 start, there’s little polling data to say what he should start at.

My intuition is to have him start at 0%, and the same for similar hypotheticals.

Feedback welcome.

9 thoughts on “How to handle hypotheticals?

  1. I would probably put Romney somewhat at his last poll%, since we have relatively recent (a few months ago) poll %s. I’d probably drop them maybe by half to be safe. He’d definitely have more than 0%. I’d place the other candidates that could try to “save” the party at 1%. All of this might not matter unless the conventions get “fixed” to not only allow for delegates to fall to major candidates at the convention, but to also allow for dark horses (which would be good for historical elections as well). Perhaps, allow for some sort of randomization that could lead to the nomination of a candidate that has “Good” relations or at least not “bad” relations with the two leading candidates in the convention, or something like that.

  2. I would vary it based on how well known the person is. For example a Mitt Romney or an Al Gore would have some support just due to name recognition to begin with. So, like an Alan Grayson would be at 0% but a Mitt Romney or Al Gore (I would set at) a 10% would be fairly reasonable.

  3. Organizations like PPP poll hypotheticals all the time. Last time I read about someone polling Mitt, he had dominating numbers.

  4. I agree with Jonathan, well-known candidates, like Romney, Ryan, Warren and Kerry, should have a good support. Between 10 or 15% regarding to their popularity seem to me as the best option. Last polls including Romney showed he still has a strong base among Republicans. I think also he should lead he field in his homestates : Michigan, Massachusetts, Utah and New Hampshire (where he is still very popular).

  5. Yeah, Warren would probably be the compromise choice in the very unlikely event that neither Sanders nor Clinton can win the nomination at the convention. She’s progressive, more left than Clinton, but not as left as Sanders. Obviously, Biden, Kerry, and maybe Gore would get votes in a deadlocked convention, even though they didn’t run.

    For Republicans, Romney and Ryan would probably lead in convention votes of those that didn’t run. Maybe one of the drop out, like Walker or Graham could emerge from the darkness.

  6. @Tyler,

    Last PPP poll with a Romney hypothetical I’m aware of is from February. Almost a year out of date.

  7. @Anthony/Tyler – I like the idea of using hypotheticals at least as a benchmark.

    I don’t think Romney or another well known hypothetical should start at zero — like someone else said Romney, Gore, Mario Cuomo (88′) would all have jumped in with a decent percentage had they done so.

    For lesser known candidates, we should look toward a realistic parallel and make an ultimately subjective decision from there.

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