Giuliani wins the straw poll. No, not THAT one... - Granite Grok

Giuliani wins the straw poll. No, not THAT one…

hippie traffic
Ron Paul’s supporters caravanning to the straw  poll? *
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In the Nashua Telegraph’s blog page, "NH Prime Cuts", Kevin Landrigan reports on another, lesser-known straw poll that took place this past weekend. Given that it took place in NH, probably a more important state than Iowa in the requisite steps a candidate must take on the path to the Oval Office, it bears at least a closer look than one might otherwise give to such a happening.
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According to Landrigan, at the town of Whitefield, NH’s annual "Community Day" festival this past Saturday, a straw poll was conducted with attendees of the affair casting ballots for their preferred nominees for president in ’08.
“There were no candidates, surrogates, signs or even stickers.  Just real people taking a few minutes break from their supper to participate in grassroots democracy.” said Jeff Woodburn, a former State Democratic Party chairman and event organizer.
Why a vote at an event like this matters is the fact that there was little pre-publicity, thus preventing the usual assortment of operatives somehow "rigging" or otherwise skewing the results. You can just imagine a Greatful Dead-like caravan of Ron Paul supporters travelling north on 93 all the way to Whitefield to cast votes for the quixotic Republican candidate had the poll gained widespread notoriety. Instead, with the small town’s quaint community event, prone to draw mostly local folks, we are provided with what one might characterize as a rather untainted preview to what the voters in that town might actually do come primary day. That’s because, as opposed to some meeting or picnic provided by either political party, which tend to attract only the more hardcore political type people, this particular occasion likely brings a cross section of persons more similar to what one might find actually voting come that day. Landrigan’s post reports the results:
Giuliani got 33 percent from Republican voters to 22 percent each for both Senator John McCain and former Governor Mitt Romney. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Edwards tied at 33 percent with Governor Bill Richarson getting 28.7 percent to place third.
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Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani. Photo by GraniteGrok
When you contrast the kind of vote that took place up north in the tiny hamlet of Whitefield, NH with the "who can spend the most cash & mobilize the most campaign footsoldiers" spectacle that is Iowa, you do have to wonder which is the more accurate snapshot. Based on my daily conversations with many different "regular" people, I am not surprised at the results of the Whitefield vote. I think that Rudy Giuliani is an acceptable candidate across the broad spectrum of people. McCain’s second-place finish reflects the genuine strong support he still enjoys locally.
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[UPDATE] In a phone interview with poll organizer former NH Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Woodburn, he told me that he felt the results painted a "fairly accurate political picture" by "looking at a rural area" with less of the influence of big media saturation, "more representative of your average person" and "where they’re at." Without any prompting on my part, he further observed that the poll seems to confirm the "Giuliani presence" he has noticed at recent local events. "While there are some who say the Mayor lacks a grassroots effort, I am seeing more for Giuliani than I am for others." And he described them as not the paid type, either. More regular people that happen to be for him. [End Update]

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That’s as of today, of course. There’s still a lot that can happen between now and when the real voting actually begins. Stay tuned…
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*The photo at the top isn’t really a caravan of Ron Paul supporters… It’s a snap of the traffic headed into the infamous Woodstock Festival. They really aren’t much different… (He did get one vote, by the way…)
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ron paul banner
CNHT picinic. July ’07. Summer of Love redux?
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