So, yeah. Five people tied for first as of this month. They are: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. And the kicker to that? Combined, they account for only 50 percent of the Republican vote. This is not a horse race. This is a kid's soccer game in which 19 people rush to the ball and the goalie just hangs out at the goal line. (In this case, the goalie is Pataki.) Or, better: It's a Field Day relay race among second graders.
Why? Because whoever announces his campaign seizes the leadership baton. It's the newly announced candidates who saw increased support in the polling over the past month. When we compared Quinnipiac's March survey to the one it released in April, we saw surges from Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul -- all of whom had announced their candidacies during that time. This time, the change from April to May saw an increase for Huckabee and Carson, both of whom announced in the intermediary period. Rubio, Cruz and Paul all are doing worse now than in April. Waves come, waves recede.
There was a third candidate who announced in that intermediary period: Carly Fiorina. Her staff has enthusiastically sent out media blurbs detailing the enthusiastic reception she has seen on the trail in Iowa. Probably! She's compelling. But she has not dented the national polls. In the graph above, she's at the proverbial goal line, the cluster of dots at lower left. (It's her team's own goal, not the other team's. It's a lousy metaphor.) Rick Santorum won Iowa in 2012 with 4 percent in the national polls! So, who knows.
More alarmingly for Fiorina, though, is that she's not seeing much traction from what she clearly thinks should be a base of support: women. Women surged toward a new candidate since April, but it was Huckabee.
Huckabee, meanwhile, is starting to solidify his base of evangelical voters, too. Lots of people wanted a bite at this apple, but Huck is seeing good support. Rick Perry, who also wanted to get a boost from evangelical voters, went from 5 percent to 1 percent. Cruz didn't move at all.
Cruz is doing better with Tea Party voters. He improved over the month, despite the arrival of the new candidates.
(At this point we might as well throw cold water on the whole thing and note that the 2.4 point margin of error means that these dots may be located a decent distance away on their horizontal or vertical axes, but what fun is that? It can be more fun to watch the kids run the race and trip over one another than to measure their split times to the tenth of a second.)
Then there are moderate voters, who have long been rumored to be on Team Bush. In April, 20 percent of them backed Bush. Now, 10 percent do. They abandoned Chris Christie, too, moving to Walker and Huckabee and Paul and . . . wait for it . . . Donald Trump. Quinnipiac didn't include Trump in its April poll, but he's there now.
The standard caveat applies to all of this: This is one photograph from one camera of one angle of the beginning of a race. This will keep changing. Just sit back and observe the goings-on. Have a drink. The finish line is a long way off, but this sure is fun to watch.