My goodness, aren't some of you sensitive; or maybe it's my fault for using the term "poll loading". If so, I apologize. I didn't mean that Ron
Paul supporters were necessarily doing anything untoward. I was simply making the point, that while the enthusiasm of Representative Paul's
supporters is to be admired, that sometimes their zealotry may step over the line, and turn off other voters.
That's for another thread though; my argument for this one still remains the same.
The fact is, that while Ron Paul does indeed have a large, highly energized base, the percentage of over all voters that that represents, is still
small. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding, and supported by
at Electionpolls.com, that in most national and state polls,
(again, grand conspiracies aside) Ron Paul hovers around one to three percent, with his highest showing being about 7 percent in Nevada.
As I said before, straw polls are more of a pep rally than an actual poll. They are usually set up by the core constituents of a political party to
raise money for the party's upcoming campaign and to allow its constituents to express their support for a candidate. They are NOT true polls to
determine who the local chapter of a party will support. The primary elections do that, and the local chapters support whomever
is elected as
their party's representative for the general election. Straw polls are usually
set up with the understanding that no one candidate's
supporters are going to make a really large get out the vote effort for the straw poll, and that most of the voters who will vote in that poll will be
the tried and true party core. Thus, Ron Paul supporters, many of whom have taken no real part in the party's efforts before, turning out en masse
for a straw poll such as this, kind of subverts the intent if not the actual purpose of the poll.
Now, can one make the argument that the straw poll in question should have been allowed to go on, with the understanding that the results would be
completely meaningless as to the true level of support amongst the party's constituents in that area? Absolutely. Could this situation been handled
better? Definitely. However, one should still be able to see the side of the event's organizers. And, I must say that without more information on the
specifics of this event, most of the arguments here, on both sides(mine included), are merely conjecture.
While I respect Ron Paul, I vehemently disagree with some of his ideas for America and thus do not support him as the Republican nominee. That being
said, if he were to get the Republican nomination I would support him vigorously in the general election over ANY Democratic nominee.
I hope I made it clearer above that I didn't mean "poll loading" to mean that Ron Paul supporters where underhandedly loading
the polls with votes for their candidate. I am aware of the "poll loading" incident which you are referring to, and I believe that that was a
completely irresponsible and reprehensible reaction to the get out the vote efforts of the Ron Paul supporters at that straw poll. I further believe
that the straw poll system itself needs to be changed or simply gotten rid off all together.
Again, I apologize if you took offense to my use of the term "poll loading". However, there is obviously ample evidence that Ron
Paul supporters do disproportionately show up to and/or participate in any and every poll available, and it is this that I meant by "poll loading".
As I stated above, the scientific, state and national polls, clearly show that the percentage of voters who support Ron Paul is still small. Thus
while the number of those supporters may in fact be large, in all relativity they are still a small percentage. Thus your contention that Ron Paul is
"actully(sic) the candidate with the most support?" is clearly wrong. As to your contention that this straw poll was loaded in favor of Fred
Thompson; while that may be the case, there surely isn't enough information provided by the video to imply that.
I disagree that this straw poll was presented as a true representation of the "public's" sentiments of the candidates. Those who are
familiar with straw polls know that they are almost always attended primarily by the party's core constituents; the people who work for the party
year in and year out; the folks who work for their party's nominees in every election cycle. This year is different, since for the first time, there
is a candidate who's supporters turn out at every chance to support him. And as I alluded to earlier, a lot of the people who have supported the
Republican party for years, are miffed that suddenly their usual semi-private conferences, straw polls and activities are being swamped by a
relatively small number of first time activists who support a relatively unpopular candidate. What this says about the political process in the United
States, and the usual lack of interest in that process I'll leave for another thread, but it should suffice to say that there was nothing
"disingenuous" about the straw poll to begin with. Just because most people are clueless about the political process, doesn't mean that those who
involved with it are being sneaky or underhanded.
Again, just my $.02
[edit on 6-12-2007 by Cypher]
[edit on 6-12-2007 by Cypher]