First off, as a member of the Young Republicans, I was somewhat excited at the prospects of a straw poll. It can have positive results for the organization sponsoring it. However, it is a gimmick plain and simple that is used widely to build enthusiasm in the political process.
In 1996, Phil Gramm (who I supported whole heartedly) won just about every straw poll that was conducted leading up to the primaries. However, for those of you who do not remember, Gramm was out of the race fairly quickly (very unfortunate as he would have been an excellent President).
At the GOP State Convention, Fred Thompson won the straw poll. The group of draft supporters worked that straw poll hard and are to be congratulated for their efforts. Many people, including many of our state’s politicians signed on to support Thompson and hopefully draft him into this race. The boomlet of Fred Thompson reminds me of the boomlet of Phil Gramm.
The only reason I can gather from some of these draft Thompson supporters is that he’s an actor, he can communicate, and he’s a conservative. What’s interesting is that Thompson and McCain’s voting records are nearly carbon copy of one another. You couldn’t slide a sheet of paper between the two, the difference are that thin.
In all honesty, the political process would be better without political games and gimmicks like straw polls.