Saturday, August 26, 2006



I was just doing a little lazy Saturday trolling around and decided to check out what was up over at, as I had not visited there for a couple days (small doses, people). I ran across something that I thought was interesting and I thought that I'd share it with you.
Apparently, the Redstaters were participating in a "blog-wide" GOP presidential straw poll. (I normally don't link to righties, but I thought I should for this one: GOP Straw Poll.) Now, as I proud member and frequent reader over at Daily Kos, we see these sorts of things on a fairly regular basis, but this one is the first that I'd seen from 'the enemy camp'. (Actually, I suppose that if I just did a Google search with '2008 gop president straw poll' as my search parameters, I'd get several hits; it just never crossed my mind to look.)
The poll was oddly constructed. There is a list of 11 candidates and there are three choices for each candidate; first choice, acceptable and unacceptable. Voters could only vote for one "first choice" but multiple "acceptable" or "unacceptable" results. Voters were also asked to rate their level of conservatism from 1 (RINO) to 10 (Ultraconservative). There was also a choice for lefty trolls (their wording). Afraid that choosing "lefty troll" might skew my results, I instead affiliated myself in the middle. (For your information, 182 self-described lefty trolls participated in the survey, about 2.6% of the sample. The most popular classification was 8 with 2036 votes, about 29 percent. Based on the fact that the top four choices were 8, 9, 7, and 10 [accounting for 75% of the total results], and assuming that those selections were accurate, I'd say that this is a fairly good indicator of where the right wing of the party is looking as far as presidential choices.)

Boasting a dominating 6963 ballots cast at the time of my visit here are some findings:
The potential candidates, listed in alphabetical order are Allen, Brownback, Frist, Gingrich, Giuliani, Hagel, Huckabee, McCain, Pataki, Romney and Tancredo.
According to the "first choice" option, Giuliani leads with 25% of that option, followed by Gingrich at 21.5% and Romney well behind with 12.9%. Presumptive nominee McCain was currently sixth with only 6.2%.
According to the "acceptable" choice, Giuliani again leads with 66.7% followed very closely by Gingrich with 66%. Romney is currently third with 62.1%. Allen, who finished fourth in the first choice category, also finished fourth here, with 57.6% of respondents finding him acceptable. McCain is currently eighth with 28.3%.
Under the "unacceptable" banner, the top choices are close as Hagel and Pataki garner about 68%; Frist is close with almost 63%. McCain placed fourth here with a very high 62% of voters finding him unacceptable. Giuliani is currently "last" with 24.5% (Gingrich is at 24.6% unacceptability).

What this all means:
I tried to be honest with my ballot as far as who would be an acceptable president if I had to choose a Republican. I chose Hagel and, not surprisingly, he's the most unacceptable choice according to these respondents.
There also seems to be quite a disconnect between supposed conventional wisdom and the alleged hardcore element of the party. CW says McCain is the leading candidate, but he really does not seem popular with these masses. I assume that this is similar to what is found on left-commissioned straw polls in that Hillary is the supposed popular choice but she rarely actually polls well among the liberal/blogger set.
What I find strange is that for all of Giuliani's liberal issues (based on his record as mayor of NYC, and I suppose that he could completely crap on that record if he so chose to) he's the top selection all around. It's always been my understanding that it's the red meat issues (abortion, God, guns, and gays) that really motivate the base on the Right, but Giuliani would score a big fat zero on at least two of those issues based on his positions as mayor. (According to a response given in Dec. 0f 1999, he doesn't even support so-called partial birth abortions). As I said, he's entitled to change his mind (and be called a flip-flopper if he does), but I'm just surprised that Rudy would get such widespread support given this conservative sample. I suppose it's possible that the voters are putting a lot of stock in Rudy being "America's Mayor," a label I always felt was a bit of a stretch (as does Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins, authors of Grand Illusion, a book about Giuliani after 9/11). Actually, I would fully support a Rudy nomination just so that he could be hammered incessantly over his flip-flopping. As we learned in '04, this type of campaigning is easily recalled by the voting masses (I seem to recall polls asking something along the lines of 'what's the one thing you know about Kerry' and the answer would predominantly be flip-flopper) and constantly keeps the candidate on the defensive.
Another oddity - why does Giuliani poll so well, but Pataki doesn't? In fact Pataki is one of the most unpopular choices among the group of eleven. Now obviously, Pataki did not get the "rub" that Rudy did after 9/11, but is that the whole reason? They both have similar views on issues - favors a women's right to choose and equal rights for gays among other issues. Yet Pataki is a bottom feeder in this straw poll even though he is generally considered more conservative than Giuliani.
Still, I guess since there is still over 26 months until the the '08 elections, there is still an enormous amount of time for people to learn about the candidates. Based on my skimming through the comments over at Redstate, many tend to believe that Giuliani will not survive the primary season. It's odd that the same people who voted him as their first choice (about a third of the voters in the "Right Blogosphere" straw poll were from Redstate) are skeptical about him even clearing the primary. Something doesn't compute.
But there I go again, trying to apply logic to the right wingers. When will I ever learn?


Terry C, Outright Partisan said...

Rudy The Lisp would never go over in Jebusland.

Way too comfortable in drag.

Ben said...

I agree. Tough for Rudy to walk the tightrope that holds their unholy alliance together.