May 08, 2007
Straw Poll Follow-up
Stefan first reported the straw poll taken at the annual state GOP auction & dinner. David Postman chimed in, and the P-I's Strange Bedfellows blog followed suit.
The significant news is that Fred Thompson won. Postman wondered "how many people voted." I wondered how the poll was conducted. Ask and you shall receive.
The WSRP tells me about 1/3 of the attendees participated. A ballot was included with each program for the evening, a reminder was given during the evening's program to fill it out, and interested persons could turn them in while exiting the event at the end of the evening.
So, call it a little tepid water on the outcome. Roughly 190 of the approximately 570 attendees at a $100-a-plate dinner took part in the straw poll. Take the results for what they're worth.
The more interesting fact in the bigger picture is the enthusiasm of the event. The same WSRP e-mail update providing the original information on the straw poll also reported attendance at the event was double that of last year's event. I'm also told the money raised at the event not only doubled last year year's take, it set a record for all such annual WSRP dinner and auction events.
That energy matches what I've heard about Lincoln Day Dinners around the state, including my own experience at Snohomish County's.
The theme commonly heard in many circles these days days is some variation of "conservatives are disheartened." On the ground, that doesn't look to be the case.
Posted by Eric Earling at May 08, 2007
06:34 PM | Email This
1. Let's hope the Dem's keep running against Bush. They don't yet know that he's not running so keep it on the QT.
Hang on there, Eric. Some fairly bright blogger once wrote, "Polls surveying "adults" or "registered voters" have limited value in assessing trends among the much smaller universe of likely primary voters and caucus attendees in the early states that will dominate that lead-up to the February 5th Super-Duper Tuesday that may decide things."
In fact, rumor has it that it may even have been on this blog, and the blogger may have been a Snohominonian.
Your point that those surveyed were not a good sample of those whose votes we are trying to predict was a good one. But on this post... if this isn't a good sample of folks who are going to show up at precinct caucuses, what is? Be consistent, Eric.
TB, I think you both have a point. While the attendees of a WSRP Lincoln Day dinner are all likely to vote in the primarty, the vast majority of GOP primary voters would not even consider going to a $100 a plate WSRP dinner, and as Eric pointed out, only about 190 of the 570 guests actually voted in the straw poll. Still, Thompson also won the Snohomish Co. caucus straw poll. (My candidate was left off the ballot, by the way, and still got second in my district caucus.)
But it is still much too early to say what's gonna happen. The GOP primary voters don't know the real Fred yet. Just his conservative image he's got going. The voters are at a real disadvantage with him not entering the debate. He really hasn't told us where he stands on the issues, other than the platitudes that the other candidates can't get away with.
TB - Are you trying to tell me that a minority of attendees at relatively medium-priced fundraiser held in King County is a good sample of potential caucus attendees in this state?
Moreover, your point seems to assume we actually have a caucus or primary that actually matters before the nomination is in all reality decided. At this point we don't, so it's all largely moot anyway.
If we took straw polls at county conventions across the state then that might be a good gauge for caucus attendees. I've been to such events and similar gatherings of the grassroots. They're a different crowd than those that show up at annual galas like where this straw poll occurred, as Michelle indicates at #3.
Am i the only smart aleck?..
"Hey David Postman, notice how we don't double vote, or undervote, or chad vote ,etc "
As VP for programs of the South Sound Ronald Reagan Republican (SSRRR) Club (ronaldreaganclub.net) here in the state of Washington, I facilitated a "straw" Presidential poll at the Luke Esser guest speaker club event on the 26th of April. There were 111 members and guests who attended, and 87 participated in the poll, cast by paper ballot. Official tabulated results by the very gracious and professional KTTH, http://www.ktth.com/, staff were as follows:
Fred Thompson 34 votes (39%),
Milt Romney 13 votes (15%),
Newt Gingrich 10 votes (11%),
Rudy Giuliani 10 votes (11%),
John McCain 10 votes (11%),
Tom Tancredo, 2 votes (2%),
Duncan Hunter, 2 votes (2%),
Mike Huckabee, 1 vote (1%),
Ron Paul, 1 vote (1%),
Tommy Thompson, 1 vote (1%),
Sam Brownback, 0 votes, (0%),
Jim Gilmore, 0 votes, (0%),
Chuck Hagel, 0 votes, (0%),
Other/Not Sure, 3 votes (4%),
We will continue to conduct monthly straw presidential Republican nomination polls and will post and track the results on the club web site. At our next club meeting on the 17th of May (guest is Michael Medved), we will again do the same poll. It will be interesting to track these polls on a monthly basis as the race for the Republican nomination continues. We have sold 222 of the 280 tickets available ($14 each), but if you would like to attend, contact me at DickMuri@aol.com
7. The members and guests we have at our monthly SSRRR club meetings are very grass roots. Many College Republicans attend as sponsored guests, local PCOs, and just plain good folk. The $14 (soon to be $16) meal price is affordable. Fred Thompson has that Reagan aurora with his persuasive statements and a polite self confidence. And of course great stage presence. My preferred ticket for 2008 would be Thompson and Thompson. Tommy Thompson is very well respected and popular in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Three states that could go GOP with the right candidates.
I should have articulated a bit more.
* Granted, it was not the full sample of all attendees at the dinner, which would be more instructive. It was a self-selected sample of those who weren't distracted talking and eating and bidding, and / or who, for whatever reason, were more compelled to put a checkmark in a box and turn in their vote. Does this *materially* affect the vote percentages? I doubt it, but OK, it's something to note.
* Granted, the $100 entry fee could easily be considered to skew the results. But in which direction would we expect the skew? The "Big Three," Romney, Giuliani & McCain only took 36% of the vote between them, while someone who hasn't even declared yet took 50%. Given that the Big Three are:
1) a former social liberal whom some suspect of not having truly converted;
2) an avowed social liberal; and
3) a senator who has teamed up with Dems too many times to produce too many headline-grabbing bills which conservatives despise,
... and that the man who took half the vote is someone who is *perceived* to be (Michelle -- are you satisfied with that qualification? I don't want to get too badly sidetracked) the conservative alternative to the Big Three, one might suspect a conservative skew. But the well-to-do crowd (whom you would expect to be disproportionately represented at the WSRP auction) also tends to be the "moderate," "fiscal-only," "business" wing of the party, so you would expect Mitt & Rudy to split 70% of the vote between them. Instead, Mitt & Rudy split 31% -- a smackdown considering all the free media attention they've been getting. So if the skew of the WSRP auction tilts moderate, what are the percentages going to look like in living rooms in places like Enumclaw?
* I concede the point of WA's late primary. But I suspect grassroots in other states do not think so differently from those in ours.
So, to make a long story short (OK, sorry, too late) I think likely caucus attendees are searching for alternatives to the Big Moderate Three, and beginning to connect.
I'm kinda feeling like Newt... talk to me in September.
Until then all this debating, posturing and polling (straw or otherwise) is pretty much intra and extra party political gotcha: a fun diversion to watch but ultimately insignificant.
10. I'll back TB here. I think it's pretty safe to say that the GOP base here in Washington (and dare I say probably abroad) are not exactly enamored with the "The Big Three".
This must come as a huge shock to those campaigns.
11. ... and that the man who took half the vote is someone who is *perceived* to be (Michelle -- are you satisfied with that qualification? I don't want to get too badly sidetracked) the conservative alternative to the Big Three, one might suspect a conservative skew.
Yes, I'm quite satisfied with the entire phrase, actually.
But the well-to-do crowd (whom you would expect to be disproportionately represented at the WSRP auction) also tends to be the "moderate," "fiscal-only," "business" wing of the party, so you would expect Mitt & Rudy to split 70% of the vote between them. Instead, Mitt & Rudy split 31% -- a smackdown considering all the free media attention they've been getting.
Well, perhaps some of those types have been reading about the other perception of Fred Thompson and figure that's the way to go:
12. To restate what I said previously- isn't it interesting that the left in this State support the way out candidates; and the Rs in this State also support the also-rans (without the Thompson vote). That is, if you believe the State Rs are not enamored with the big 3.
13. You know- time may well prove Gingrich to be the best conservative thinker of our time, but I would never vote for a man who served divorce papers on his wife while she was recovering from cancer surgery. There is something lacking in the moral fiber of the man.