Research Fellow, The Hoover Institution & author of the blog: The Pragmatic Conservative
Early polls might generate buzz, but reporters, voters, and politicians should view these polls skeptically. They are unlikely to predict the June primary results very well for three cascading reasons.
Few people are paying attention to the election at this point in the cycle.
In the last five Field and PPIC polls that have asked a head-to-head June primary question, on average 27% of the electorate is undecided (shifting very little between December and the spring).
In PPIC’s January survey, only 28% of likely voters (and just 28% and 21% of likely Republican and Independent voters, respectively) were following election news very or fairly closely. A statically similar segment of Republicans and Independents were “not at all closely” following the election. This suggests that roughly half of voters who expressed an opinion in the head-to-head match-ups are following the election “not too closely.” If voters are not really paying attention to the election, do not expect the polls to be an honest portrayal of future outcomes.