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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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    victoria_29 | July 25, 2011 at 12:22 am

    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?

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