Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Recap of the Straw Poll

Some thoughts about the straw poll.

First, about the voter numbers. In both '95 (Bob Dull) and '99(GW) the winners buses in huge numbers from out of state. There was no provision made to make certain that only Iowans were voting. I have always believed that neither of them would have won if only Iowans had been the voters. So the number of voters was inflated because many simply voted with tickets provided by the campaigns.
This year was much different, when the lovely Mrs. farmer and I voted we had to show our drivers license as proof of Iowa residency then after recieving a ballot, put our thumb on a pad of indelible ink. Then we voted on a paper ballot which was then fed into a Diebold? counter. BTW, the number of tickets sold is deceiving as well, I had signed up with both the Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo campaigns for free tickets. So the wife and I had four tickets. My younger brother had signed up with Tancredo, but his tickets would not allow him to go into the auditorium to hear the candidates speak(there was number limit on that for seating purposes). I gave him two tickets, so he and his wife were able to get in, then the tickets he had been given to vote, but not hear the speeches went unused. I know of several others which signed up for tickets with more than one campaign.

As far as it goes, this system was still better than the last vote at the str-pll. That is why there were so many less votes cast. I heard several people asking how they could get an Iowa id to beat the system, but for the most part I think the vote was honest.

On the other hand, if you have big bucks, Romany had them, then all you had to do to win was get the bodies, warm breathing but unthinking bodies to vote. Romany had buses from every one of the 99 counties in Iowa and large counties had more than one. He had also rented over a hundred golf carts. His strategy was very simple, get as many old geezers as you can, give them a free ride to Ames, don't make them walk from the parking to the event, feed them the best food in town, Hickory Park Barbecue, then carry their stuffed, portly ass over to the voting machine. Along with this plan, never mention change in any other than rhetorical fashion, so mr and mrs geezer think the SS and medicare checks will keep coming, and ta da you gots yourself a winner.

I had several friends and acquaintances there, all of them remarked on the large numbers of geezers in the Romany contingent. Throw in a number of faithful wearing the Holy underoos and it was a slam dunk.

I was surprised that Brownback did as well as he did, there were not a lot of signs of public support. I guessed he was going to lose to Huckabee but I would have guessed that Tancredo would beat him as well.

It was not just presidential campaigns there though, FairTax had a huge presence as well and the NRA, all six in my family got free hats from NRA, several groups lobbying for change in SS law, repeal of Real ID, even a group trying to petition Alan Keyes to make another run for President.

All the candidates had food, I ate a light breakfast at Tancredo's tent, Krispy Kremes and fresh fruit. Most had a stage with entertainment acts, bands speakers etc. There where lots of families. You know the type, us homeshool parents with 4, 5, 6, or more kids in tow, I know one family with eleven was there. Brownback, Paul and Romany had games, slides, inflatables for the kids to play on.

Ron Paul had by far the most volunteer help there. They literally lined the streets and sidewalks with volunteers holding signs and shouting Ron Paul. I think if all of them could have voted he might have won. Saturday morning Dr. Paul's wife was admitted to the hospital with an irregular heart beat, so he was late arriving at the event.

I had to leave at noon to attend a wedding, so I did not get to hear the speeches. According to my brother, who did not hear them all, Romany was perfect, looked perfect(looked like he spent a week in the tanning bed), spoke perfect, no stutters or stumbles, paused at the right times for applause, just did a perfect acting job playing the part of a conservative in the mold of RR. And the geezers ate it up like candy.

Tancredo on the other hand stuttered and stumbled, spoke during the applause, lost his place several times, so had to look at the written copy, not a good performance by any standard.

And yes I voted for Ron Paul.

more info is in the Des Moines Register Sunday edition online.