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Lincoln Chafee’s Polling Was … Consistent, At Least

Lincoln Chafee, a former governor and senator from Rhode Island, decided to end his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president today. Chafee’s campaign was quixotic and, well, funny from the start, but he seems like a decent-enough guy, so I wanted to give Chafee his polling due (and a fond farewell).

Here’s Chafee’s three-poll rolling average1 in live-interview national surveys this year:


If nothing else, Chafee was consistent. He never got higher than 1 percent in any live-interview national survey. That’s something any mild-mannered metric-system lover can point to with pride.

Yet, zoom in a little and you’ll find that Chafee’s numbers did go on their own “wild” ride. Here’s the same chart as above, but with the y-axis scale zoomed in on 0 percent to 1 percent.


Chafee could never quite get past the 0.7 percent barrier in the average. He even fell short of the pace set by Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb. Still, he can be proud that he averaged greater than 0 percent a majority of the time (56 percent).

Read more: It’s Not 2007 Anymore, Lincoln Chafee


  1. Sometimes four or five polls were included if more than one poll was taken on the same day.

Harry Enten was a senior political writer and analyst for FiveThirtyEight.