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Ames two straws short of a real poll

Ames two straws short of a real poll

I don’t pretend to understand the internal politics behind the Iowa Ames straw poll, but I do understand the public perception.

Ames, like almost every “straw poll,” is about expectations and spin, trying to give momentum to candidates who need it, or crush candidate before they can gain momentum. A bad showing for Pawlenty will have the pundits announcing his political death, while a good showing will help him tremendously.

What is a “good” and what is a “bad” showing will be where the spin comes in.

The decision to leave Rick Perry and Sarah Palin out of the Ames straw poll renders the poll even less meaningful. Perry seems on a clear trajectory to enter the race, and Palin is less clear but still needs to be considered when weighing relative candidate strength.

Leaving Perry and Palin out turns the Ames poll into a no-win situation for those in the poll. Regardless of which candidate exceeds expectations, such a victory will be tempered by the absence of the two heavyweight contenders.

It’s hard now to see any candidate getting a big bounce, but certainly it is possible to do damage to Pawlenty and Bachmann if either of them does poorly.

Remind me again, why do we have “straw polls”?


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Remind me again, why do we have “straw polls”?

To gauge the popularity of straw men?

    WardR in reply to Browndog. | July 24, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    The answer to “why” is simple: it’s a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party. Full stop. Beyond that, one can imagine whatever he wants.

Before you get warm and cozy with Perry, I might point out that he likes big government and likes putting government in our lives. He is the one that signed a bill forcing girls to get that vaccine for papillomavirus. He was also Gore’s organizer in Texas for his failed presidental bid. Add all this to his own description as a social conservative and you have another Obama, just another agenda.

    retire05 in reply to david7134. | July 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    May I make a suggestion, David? Before you make statements that confirm you don’t know what you are talking about, you just don’t make statements that confirm you don’t know what you are talking about instead?

    Gardisil, the vaccine you are talking about, was put on the federal list of recommended vaccines. Well, golly gee, whoda thunk that a governor might want to add that to the list of state recommended vaccines since the federal goverment did? Also, parents had the right to op-out of the vaccine (unlike parents in California who have no right to op-out of gay history being taught to their children), a point you conveniently failed to mention.

    Yes, Perry was Gore’s Texas campaign manager. Back in 1988 when Gore was pro-life, supported the Iran/Contra and was basically considered the “conservative” in the Dem primary up against the rest of the pack. Perry even back then was more conservative than the East Coast Republicans we see today. See, you know nothing about Texas politics. Texas Democrats, until the last decade, were more conservative than the East Coast Republicans. Perry did the only thing a Texas conservative could do, he changed parties in 1989. But in 1988, you would be hard pressed to find any Republican in my central Texas county. No one even bothered running for office on the GOP ticket because they knew they would lose. Now my county is solidly red.

    So please, if you are going to talk about Perry, making the absurd comparison to Obama, at least have the intelligence to learn about the man first.

      beloved2 in reply to retire05. | July 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks for pointing out truths about Governor Perry. He has not announced to run and the lamestream media is already fabricating & prevaricating his record. Leftists are obviously scared silly of him.
      Since Sarah Palin endorsed Governor Perry in the last governor election, do you think maybe that is why she also has not announced? In 2009 her letter to the Republican Party of Texas stated he was a real conservative so is she waiting for Perry’s announcement?
      What do you think of Governor Perry on and the lawsuit of the Freedom from Religion folks against him? How come nobody said anything when Maine’s Governor LePage announced a state day of prayer and fasting following Governor Perry’s example. Governor Perry’s success in Texas is really spooking the left because they know he can win.

        retire05 in reply to beloved2. | July 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

        Funny how all these self proclaimed conservatives come out of the woodwork at the very mention of Rick Perry’s name. Of course, they all spout the same mantra, but not one of them every say anything they think he did good, like reducing property taxes for seniors, or lobbying for, and getting passed, legislation that eliminated property taxes for veterans with 100% disabilities, and reduced property taxes for veterans with 50, 70 and 90% disabilities. Or how he push for legislation that required women to have a sonigram 24 hours prior to an abortion, or how he fought the Austin Democrats who wanted to impose a state income tax or instructed the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, to sue the EPA on 10th Amendment rights under the Clean Air Act.

        You will never read that by these “conservatives” who know nothing about Rick Perry except what they read on left wing websites.

      david7134 in reply to retire05. | July 24, 2011 at 6:15 pm

      My goodnes retire, you just about summed up my repulsion for the run of the mill Republican as much as the socialist Democrats. You could not have done a better job than if I had written 5 pages. Note that you start out with a personal attack. This is pure liberal strategy. Anytime someone takes that tack, I consider them to be either a theocrat or socialist. You obviously are a theocrat. That puts you in the same category as the people who like to see others burn at the stake or any of the other horrible things that happen when religion begins to dominate the political discourse.

      Then we note the distortion. The governer did not “recommend” the vaccination. He required the vaccination. There is a little difference, expecially for a substance that was only just released. Of course, it didn’t matter that the drug company was a best bud.

      Then we have the man supporting Gore over the abortion issue. Living down South, I am disgusted at the people who will vote for any scum, just because the “say” they are anti-abortion. It doesn’t matter that Gore was painfully an idiot. I clearly remember the race and the fact that we had to determine who was the worst of two very bad people. At least Bush seemed reasonable, but Gore with his climate crap was obviously nuts and time has proven that fact.

      As to the Democrats being equal in conservative issues to Republicans down here, I am sorry but that is not true. Democrats over the last 80 years have a terrible record, even down here and are definitely tax and spend.

      I know a number of conservatives in Texas and they are not in favor of Perry. They consider him a RINO. Of course, he will “say” he is against aboriton, but who really cares, the horse is out of the barn and it ain’t going back in. But theocrats like you will interfere with our lives trying to get it and other things like you desire.

        retire05 in reply to david7134. | July 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm

        Again, David, I must have hit a nerve. I simply advised you to not run your mouth about things you are painfully uninformed on and for that you decry personal attacks while personally attacking me. Got it.

        As to your claims of Perry being “best buds” with the drug company that produces Gardisil, I see that you are more than willing to swallow any clap-trap put out by the left. And if you knew your butt from a biscut, you would have known that Al Gore was a “Southern” Democrat in 1988 who opposed federal funding for abortions, a stand that Perry still holds today. And you would have known that Al Gore was considered the most “conservative” of all the Democrat candidates running that year. And you would have known that in 1988, Al Gore was not the whacko eco-nut he is today. You would have known that it was not until 2001, when Gore hooked up with Maurice Strong and George Soros that he turned into the climate change radical we now see.

        But like a cheap gun, you go off half cocked and misfired.

        And please, if you live in some other southern state, don’t compare your Democrats to the Democrats of Texas in 1988 because you are taking out of your hat, but I would be interested in knowing exactly what “southern” state you live in. Perhaps we can compare how well you are doing for the last 10 years to Texas.

        Now, I find it laughable that people like you always come back with the retort “I know a number of conservative Texans” when you don’t live here and propably the only Texan you know is the one you see on TV. I happen to live in Texas, have for the better part of four decades and I can tell you that conservatives are happy with Perry. If you think you understand the politics of my state, then bring on your thesis, but until then, you continue to run your mouth showing how ill informed you are. That is your choice.

          Among other Bush-like crimes, Perry signed and heartily defended the Texas Dream Act in 2001. Perry will not be a factor now that Jebbie is stepping on his candidacy. He has no chance of gaining traction with the Tea Party despite all of the reports of his being a “Tea Party favorite”. He is not.

          retire05 in reply to retire05. | July 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

          Pasadena Phil, I read the link you provided. Perhaps you are unaware that there is NO “Texas Tea Party.” There are Tea Parties in many locations in Texas, Houston, San Antonio, Katy, Woodlands, ect, but no one “Texas Tea Party.”

          Unfortunately, the NH Tea Party provides a list of negatives against Rick Perry that was authored by Alex Jones, a Texas talk show host and 9-11 truther who tells people that the Biderbergers are going to impose a “one-world” rule over the United States. None of those negatives are backed up with links except for one, Texas Monthly, one of the most far left publications in Texas (right up there with the Austin American-Stateman, the New York Times of Texas.)

          I have emailed the NH Tea Party advising them that they have been punked. The letter is straight from Alex Jones, who until after 9-11, was an unknown talk show host even in Texas. When he jumped on the truther bandwagon and started protesting how Bush had actually bombed the World Trade Center, he gained what he was looking for, attention.

          Seems you are willing to believe whatever some whacko puts out there. Perhaps that is how we wound up with Obama.

          david7134 in reply to retire05. | July 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm

          This is great, just let you do the talking and you keep burying your obvious candidate. It is plain that the only political issue that you care for is abortion. You also don’t seem to understand that Perry loves to pass laws that restrict women or tell them what to do. I can assure you that will not fly on the national stage.

          As to connections with Texas, all my in laws live there and I used to be a resident of Dallas. I understand that various aspects of the politics. I also do business with the state.

          Then we have Gore and the effort to make him into a conservative. I am having difficulty writing this as my eye balls are rolled back in my head. Gore said he invented the internet in the mid 90’s and he and Clinton got on stage and defined a millionaire as someone making $50,000 per year as this was the interest on a million (imagine that now it is about $2000 per year).

          Now why do I hate religion in politics and equate it to burning at the stake. Maybe it is because in the 1880’s the big prostestant movement resulted in the socialist environment that we currently have and the fact that we can’t do a thing without government supervision.

          Finally, your efforts seem much more that those of a single, unattached blogger. I am thinking you are doing a little social engineering. Now who would be setting up that situation at this early date….try the Christian Coalition. I am afraid they are alive and well and likely behind this effort to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

          retire05 in reply to retire05. | July 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm

          I see david, because you have in-laws in Texas, once lived in Dallas (the fact that you are a “former” resident of Texas probably contributed to the state becoming better) and do business here now makes you an expert on Texas politics? Absurd. That is like me saying that since I have relatives in Dublin, once lived there and do business with Ireland (Guiness) I am now an expert on Irish politics. You are sure willing to stretch the truth, aren’t you?

          And why would you say that the only political issue I seem to care about is abortion, since abortion is not the subject of this thread? Grasping as straws like a drowning man? Then you contribute to your tangent with “Gore invented the internet in the mid-90’s and how you hate any religious influence in goverment because of some 1880’s effect. I am beginning to think your PCP should perscribe Aracept for you.

          FYI, I belong to two organizations, and the Christian Coalition is not one of them. But what if I did? Would you like to remove First Amendment rights to all who subscribe to some religious belief because you don’t?

          I may, or may not, vote for Rick Perry in the primaries should he choose to get in the race. But what I won’t do is allow those like you to present false information on ANY Republican candidate that you don’t seem to fancy.

          I am still waiting for you to tell us all what wonderful “soouthern” state you live in. Let’s compare notes on jobs, debt, and other things important to Americans, shall we?

        Weirddave in reply to david7134. | July 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm

        Sorry David, but you completely undermine any cogent points you might have with that “theocrat” and wanting “to see others burn at the stake” garbage. Absurd personal attacks like that demonstrate that you’re making serious points. OOOHHH! Perry is a scary Christian who wants to make the US a Theocracy! Hogwash.

    PurpleDragon in reply to david7134. | July 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    How about everybody in this sub-thread take 10 and cool off and reserve our knives for our real enemies, the commies and socialists passing themselves off as Democrats.

I’m not a Perry fan either but since Romney is not doing well in Iowa, rendering that straw poll useless helps him going into NH. And then there is bigger-than-big Jebbie with his Rovian progressive dirty money (anonymous donors).

The Stupid Party is apparently determined to lose in 2012. Of course, they will blame us conservatives, especially us Tea Party conservatives.

I’m not a fan of Straw Polls in general (just look at how Ron Paul has managed to rig numerous such polls year after year), but it seems to me the organizers of this event took an unusual situation and made a reasonable compromise.

They included the names of two announced presidential candidates that did not buy space at their event. To take account of the situation with Perry and Palin, both very popular but neither has announced they are running nor have either bought space at the event, they are adding a write-in line on their ballots (which they’ve never done before).

Reason to have straw polls in Iowa

1) You can charge $35 for each vote.
2) You can have an auction for real estate around the grounds of the Iowa Straw Poll and reap tens of thousands of dollars from each successful candidate bidder.
3) You can make the rules so that any candidate that doesn’t participate in item two cannot enter the straw poll.
3) You can make Iowa primary candidates and candidate wanna-bes commit early meet the auction deadline thus perpetuating the whole scheme for another election cycle much to the benefit of the MSM and the organizers of the straw poll.

The whole poll thing is a joke. You have Herman Cain solicitating money from supporters to literally pay so-called supporters transportation, food & admission-wow a paid for vote means a lot-reminds me of when they used to pass out bottles of moonshine for votes. And please Cain ppl don’t try to deny I have the email from him proving this. Bachmann is doing the same. Romney, Gingrich & Huntsman were included although they all said they were NOT competing in Ames poll.

As for some of the ignorant comments about my Governor that I have read on here shows how scared other RINO candidates & the liberals all are of Governor Perry. The comments about Al Gore being a southern conservative Democrat are very accurate. And please do NOT try to spin that George Herbert Walker Bush was a Conservative-he was NOT, Al Gore in 88 was MUCH more conservative. I guess some forgot that Ronald Reagan, Richard Shelby, Bob Riley, etc were all Democrats. In 89 & 90 there was an exodus of conservative Democrats from the Democrat party, please do your research. In fact right now I am in Alabama-(grandkids) & I live in a county that is highly conservative, however on a local level like Sheriff you want to vote you still vote Democrat-there was no Republican on the ballot. Further this is the 1st time since Reconstruction in AL that there has been a Republican majority-now do you fools want to call AL a blue state?

What also is not being mentioned about Texas & Governor Perry is that Texas has also never had a Republican majority, what Gov Perry has accomplished until this last year has been with a Democrat majority-so I would say he has done a pretty good job. As for your attack on the so-called Texas Dream Act-1st it was passed house & senate 100%, the majority of Texans supported it, the courts had already ruled that immigration status could not dictate education access. It is very limited in scope & it put restrictions on like having to graduate from a Texas high school, being a resident for 3 yrs of Texas & most impt having to apply for citizenship-this moves from welfare into contributing member of society.

StephenMonteith | July 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Straw polls, particularly this one, are more about the organization running the poll than the candidates themselves.

That being said, I applaud them for leaving Perry and Palin off the ballot. As much as straw polls are a circus, they want to be taken seriously, and that means dealing with serious candidates. Gov. Perry may be a serious contender for the nomination IF he enters the race; but until he does, he is not a candidate. The same is even more true for Gov. Palin. They’re celebrity candidates at this point, and who knows if they’ll even enter? Nothing makes me shake my head harder than when I see a news report try to conjure a new adjective for “close” when describing Perry’s impending announcement about his intentions.

The Ames poll is the most famous of all straw polls, and they already took a hit this year when the number one candidate, Mitt Romney, decided to not be an active participant. Including ANY undeclared candidate, no matter how popular, would simply be another blow to its credibility. And saying they won’t allow you to be on the ballot unless you declare is a message to candidates that they’d better get serious themselves if they expect Iowa to take them seriously. Sure, MAYBE it will distort the results in favor of Pawlenty or Bachmann and give people reason to talk about “what the numbers really mean” after the poll is taken; but honestly, did they really need a reason in the first place?