BREAKING: Cobb GOP Straw Poll Pressure

A very trusted friend tells me that when he attempted to vote in the Cobb GOP straw poll, Brian Laurens, a Romney supporter, tried to convince him not to vote for Fred Thompson. He said it was not isolated, but that a number of people had the same experience. Brian’s logic was apparently that Fred was going to win but “they” wanted to keep the margin of victory low.

Another friend tells me that the Ron Paul supporters were out in force blaming the Jews for 9/11 and claiming that the Bush Administration played a role.

Here are the overall results, even with Romneybot pressure:
73 Fred
43 Ron Paul
38 mitt
33 huckabee
29 newt
26 Rudy
2 Tancredo
2 McCain


  1. Clint Austin says:

    I have great respect for both Cobb Republicans and all of the GOP candidates for President, but isn’t it a stretch to call anything about a straw poll “breaking news” that has top-4 finishes by three candidates who don’t have even a small chance of winning GA on primary day (Huckabee, Romney, and Ron Paul)?

    Just wondering…

  2. rugby_fan says:

    And it’s a marathon, not a sprint to the White House.

    The marathoner nee John McCain can’t seem to find support when other candidates are locking in their supporters can’t hold on to staff, has to dispel rumors (unconvincingly) that he isn’t dropping out of the race, can’t raise money, can’t keep any money, and yet he is the man to beat, right Bull Moose?

  3. Donkey Kong says:

    A koopa troopa I had on the ground at the BBQ told me that the Paul supporters also said that the Jews were behind Hitler and the Bolsheviks. They must be friends with Cynthia McKinney and her father.

  4. As a Dem, I am a little worried about Huckabee doing so well. In my opinion, he is far and away the best candidate the Republicans could nominate. I am glad to see that Fred euphoria is taking off though.

  5. Bill Simon says:

    FYI to the thread:

    I do not know if it was mopre than one Ron Paul supporter who was pushing the idea that the Jews were behind 9-11, but the one guy In know about wore a black shirt with white lettering that read “9-11 Was An Inside Job.”

    I did not get a chance to talk to him personally. Darn it.

  6. shep1975 says:

    While Ron Paul and Huckabee are a bit unrealistic, the truth is Fred is continuing to stay on top, and that is significant. Isolated straw poll wins would not mean much if it were not for the backing in other, more “scientific” polls (ie Paul and Huckabee). So far, nothing has happened to break someone away from the pack. We see that in our candidates’ disappointing fundraising and the large number of undecideds. No one is investing in the GOP this go around. We need a candidate that excites the party. None of the current announced crew does that.

  7. bowersville says:

    If it is true that the Ron Paul supporters at the Cobb event believe the Jews are to be blamed for 9/11, it becomes a legitimate question of Ron Paul as to whether he believes the same garbage.

  8. YourFutureLeader says:

    Good numbers for Huckabee, he is the best nomination at this point of those that have declared.

  9. Donovan Head says:

    The BBQ was the best one we’ve ever had.

    as for the straw poll, congrats to the Fred and Mitt teams..they put a lot of effort into turning out their support….I tried to do the same for Rudy, but I was out numberd and out funded lol, and not quite as organized….Huckabee was a suprise though.

    Ron Paul, I swear that the Cobb Libertarian Party infiltrated that BBQ and they even brought a flat screen for their booth…I have been around the Cobb GOP for about 5 years now, and I have never once seen any of the people that were wearing Ron Paul shirts at any other event…one of them had a shirt that read “9/11 was an inside job”

  10. Brian from Ellijay says:


    Both Fred Thompson and Ron Paul sponsored tables which gave them x number of tickets.

  11. Donkey Kong says:


    A few of my friends were there, but I was only able to make it for a few minutes. I thought I’d be there much longer. I’m sure we’ll get another chance to meet.

    My koopa troopa did talk to the 9-11 guy, and apparently, when he asked the guy for his name, 9-11 said, “Come out to the parking lot and I’ll tell you.” Ron Paul sure attracts some great people. I think the saying is true–You know a man by his friends.

  12. debbie0040 says:

    You have to hand it to Brian, whether you agree with him or not. When he supports a candidate, he is in all the way, 110%, very passionate. It is like a “vision quest” to him.

    Fred Thompson is the man to beat. Brian, why don’t you join Fred’s team? Come on now, you know you really, really want to.

    I suspect that once Fred officially announces, there will be defections from the different camps to the Thompson camp. People committed way too early.

    The other campaigns could have bought tables. Where were they?

  13. GOPGrassroots says:

    Instead of pursuing his “vision quest” Mr. Laurens should go out and get a job. He is very passionate and dedicates all his time to candidates because he has nothing else to do. His attempts at voter intimidation yesterday were just another chapter on how not to be active in politics – Lamut (lost), kicked out of College Republicans, banned from the GOP offices in ’04, Calder Clay (lost), caught on camera stealing signs in Cherokee County, and now this.

  14. cfountain72 says:

    We had a great time at the BBQ. Everyone was very friendly, and the BBQ was great. Luckily, I did not experience any ‘arm-twisting’ when entering my ballot. :^)

    Re: Ron Paul infiltrators: You are right if you did not recognize many of us. Even though I grew up as a fan of Reagan and the subsequent Republican Revolution, I have never been to a ‘GOP function’ or even contributed to a presidential campaign. I just go to work, go to church, take care of my family, discuss politics with friends and then vote…and that was it.

    And that’s the point: Ron Paul has inspired us to act. Nothing you saw came from, and nobody who was there, was organized by campaign headquarters. Our group includes life-long conservatives, independents, libertarians, and yes, even a couple democrats (remember what it was like having Democrats crossover to vote for YOUR candidate). His message has truly brought together a growing coalition that will continue to grow as more people hear about his unique record and his pro-Constitution message.
    Thanks again for being so inviting yesterday.

    Peace be with y’all.

  15. Clint Austin says:

    Standard disclaimer: I got no issue with Fred Thompson.

    That being said, Fred is first – barely – in the South and not ahead in any other region of the country. Rudy still leads pretty handily elsewhere.

    It is a stretch to say Fred is the man to beat at this point…

  16. Donovan Head says:

    GOP Grassroots, you might want to get to know some one first before you sling mud..uyou obviously are commenting based on unfounded rumors from certain people.

    I have known Brian for about 5 years now, and he is very passionate about politics and works very hard for candidates…and by the way he does have a job and he does go to college, and he has become a well known figure in Cobb and Georgia amongst us activist for his perseverence….all that despite comming from humble beginings.

    I havent always been on his team, I was helping Price when he was working for Lamutt..we both worked hard for Cagle, and now he is helping Mitt and I’m helping Rudy…..but despite difference of opinions on candidates and certain issues, I’ve always had a level of respect for Brian. Unlike certain adults who end friendships over primary races, most of us younger people seem to understand that primaries are fun and friendly competitions and we maintain friends with the staff and volunteers of the other candidates.

    Brian and I talked at length about how we wanted to make sure Fred Thompson didn’t walk away with this straw poll…we both decided to call our contacts with the campaigns..Mitt’s people were from what I hear Brian decided to design a logo and make t-shirts and a banner for Georgians for Mitt..and he rounded up voulnteers to help him, I think he had about 20 or so………….I got a hold of my Rudy contacts but by the time they got back to me, I didn’t have time to run to Birmingham to pick up some banners and signs and lapel stickers….I just made do with what I was given from a previous event I coverd for them.

    But anyway, Brian blew many of us away with how organized he came in for Mitt, and it paid off….Mitt was 1st out of the non-sponsoring candidates.

    and we both look forward to either helping a Rudy-Romney ticket or a Romney-Rudy ticket…either way will work, but I prefer the 1st.

  17. Donovan Head says:

    …and as for him being banned form Cobb GOP functions….he is more than welcome to them now, and I’ll leave it at that.

  18. Donovan Head says:, one more thing…I worked with him for Cagle and for Sonny with scattering yard signs…out of all of the times I did sign blitzs with him, he never once removed signs from other candidates, or even said anything hinting to temptations of doing so…even when we watched Mark Tayor people taking down Sonny signs in Buckhead, we didn’t retaliate…..our group did however put about 5 Sonny signs in Mark Taylors front lawn the night before the election just as a harmless prank…..If your talking about last year’s Cobb’s 4th of July BBQ..I know the full story and it was blown out of proportion, and I was told by the some one close to the accuser that apologies were made to Brian for the false accusations.

  19. Jas says:

    If anyone let Brian Laurens intimidate them, they should be shot and then laughed at. Constantly.

    In my short stint in election politics I’ve met some brainwashed lemmings, but Brian was up there. Hearing the story about him getting kicked out of the GOP Offices in 04, brought back memories.

  20. cfountain72 says:

    Oh, and Erick, if you could, please ask your friend who he/she was talking to (male/female? what were they wearing?): we would really like to know. Ron Paul does not subscribe to either of the views your ‘friend’ claims that his ‘out in force’ supporters were ‘claiming.’
    Either that individual has some explaining to do, or your ‘friend’ does. I’m sure, as a brother in Christ and (not to mention fellow Mac user) you would not want your good name to be party to irresponsible hearsay.

    Peace be with you.

  21. Bull Moose says:

    I agree with you Clint Austin. The only place where Fred is really staking a claim and doing well appears to be in the South an in particular Georgia.

    We’re still a long way off till the first votes are cast and like I say, it’s a marathon not a sprint.

    A lot can happen between now and then!

    Remember 1984 when Gary Hart was ahead of EVERYONE… Hmm… Strange things happen along the road to the White House…

  22. ConservativeCaucus says:

    Although straw polls are clearly not scientific, it is a measure of the level of activist support. What can be drawn from this, IMHO is that McCain, and to a lesser extent, Guiliani have a disconnect with GOP activists. That is bad news for them.

    Clearly there is a lot of excitement over Thompson… we will wait to see if he can turn that excitement into something solid. If he doesn’t, who benefits? Does Newt get in the race? Does Romney pick up the votes? Do people make a pragmatic choice and get behind Guiliani? Does someone in the 2nd tier (most likely person at this time is Huckabee) catch fire?

  23. Icarus says:


    Can’t speak for everyone, but my choice behind Thompson is “make a pragmatic choice and get behind Guiliani.”

    I want Thompson in the race, and I believe he can articulate what both conservatives and indys need to hear. But I need to see him lead some polls outside the South before I’m solidly on board.

    Otherwise, I still believe that Rudy is the only one of our candidates that has a chance against the dems in this electoral climate.

  24. cfountain72 says:

    Pragmatic choice? Voting for this guy? Who openly supported not only abortion rights, but supported USING TAXPAYER FUNDS to pay for them!? Few Dem’s even have the gall to ask for something so outrageous. Is this what the Republicans have been reduced to in 2007?

    Reagan must be turning in his grave.

  25. Icarus says:


    Who’s going to do more damage to the pro-life cause, Rudy Giuliani or Hilliary/Obama/BreckGirlEdwards?

    Giuliani is at least honest where he stands on the issue, unlike a few other candidates who’ve worked real hard to suck up and pander to the religous right.

    I’d rather vote for someone who’s honest about his positions and I agree with 80%, then vote for someone who tells me what I want to hear and then appoints another Souter. I’d also rather we elect someone who agrees with 80% of what I agree with than someone who agrees with 10%.

  26. Doug Deal says:


    I would add that the Federal government has no place in the abortion debate anyway. Roe v Wade should be overturned, but as far as making it legal or illegal, that’s a matter that should be left up to the state.

  27. cfountain72 says:

    I agree that they would stop the progress made by pro-life groups these many years, not to mention a host of other bad ideas will come to the fore. But I also have to say that no pro-Iraq War candidiate will win in November 2008.
    You might as well vote your conscience in the Primaries, because neither Rudy nor Thompson nor Mitt will win in the General.

  28. Icarus says:

    Everyone should vote their conscience, but mine tells me that I should vote for the most electable Republican to avoid a massacre by the Dems.

  29. cfountain72 says:

    I understand your concerns and where you’re coming from. However, if Rep. Paul, was the nominee, the Democrats war advantage would be neutralized, and then we’d have a real debate about free markets vs socialism, low vs high taxes, less gov’t spending vs more. Now, that’s a debate conservatives actually CAN win in Nov 2008.

  30. IndyInjun says:


    You are absolutely right, but it is something the partisans do not grasp.

    The only way for them to see it, is to see their party utterly wiped out.

  31. Icarus says:

    If Ron Paul were the nominee, we would lose 50 more house seats and 5-10 Senate seats. It might not be as bad as if Tancredo were our nominee, but it would be close. That’s what I mean by a massacre. I’m not sure Rudy would win, but he’s not going to scare he heck out of independent voters and cost us down ballot races in swing states/districts.

    Paul/Tancredo/Brownback/Gingrich all would.

  32. ConservativeCaucus says:

    It’s my take that the reason that Fred is so popular is because people have looked at the “top three” and were underwhelmed. In the event that Fred can’t take advantage of it, I think either Newt gets in or a second tier candidate gets a shot.

  33. GOPeach says:

    Okay- I am with Huckabee!

    Just looked at his sight and –
    His You Tube interviews.

    And I just opened an e-mail from C-Biscuit
    who asked me to back Huckabee and that
    settles it. She said that Ed Setlzer was with him
    also. Okay!

    The race is on!

  34. Icarus says:

    I don’t see how a second tier canditate has time to break through this late.

    Thompson has 2-3 months to prove his mettle. If he falters, Gingrich steps in to fill the vacuum. With his baggage and very late start, I don’t see him breaking 20% either. That takes up the six months between now and the first votes in Iowa and NH, with Super Tuesday now just 7 months away.

    Continued fracturing among “pure” conservatives leaves Rudy at the top through Super Tuesday.

  35. cfountain72 says:


    First, I appreciate you keeping this discussion at a respectable level. However, I think you misread the Independent vote entirely. A solid majority of them are very weary of the Iraq War, while many are also very leery of a lurch to the welfare state. Rep. Paul bridges that gap as no other candidate in either party can do. Our campaign in its nascent state shows this to be the case, as we have members from both parties, as well as self-described independents joining everyday. Losses in the House and Senate can and should be blamed on support for this war, and the absolutely mind-numbing spending levels we have experienced since the GOP took power.

    Besides, Paul would hold the veto pen, and even his Republican critics should warm to that idea.

  36. Icarus says:


    A lot of folks are weary of the Iraq War, including Republicans as well as indys and Dems.

    I think that by 2008, the election will not be as much about how we got there, but what we do next. I believe there will be a lot of pressure on the White House from Congressional Republicans by early fall to begin troup withdrawls from Iraq. Our Army is not trained to be peacekeepers, and we’ve allowed mission creep to go on too long.

    I understand the desire of purity for someone with a true libertarian perspective, but it’s never been an easy sell to the masses. If you think the MSM will be kind to Mr. Paul and not twist his blunt, matter of fact pronouncements about most topics because he’s anti war, you’re setting yourself up for a big disappointment.

  37. Inside_Man says:

    So Icaurs, you’d “rather vote for someone who’s honest about his positions”? Paul is your only choice. Even Jon Stewart recognizes the man has principles.

  38. GOPeach says:

    Re: Cobb 4th of July BBQ ’06

    It was NOT Brian- It was people who were volunteering for the Cagle campaign. I saw Jesse’s pictures on his cell phone. Brian just
    happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong
    time I guess. Seems he was out there at the
    same time but he was not in the pictures.

    In fact I was told by Kyle that Brian was making
    space at the front for his mom’s signs.

    Then- the next day or so – a rumor started that
    Brian was removing signs to put up Casey’s. I
    never saw any evidence of that.

    It was sadlyt all a big misunderstanding.

    I think it would be great if Donovan Head and
    Brian Laurens would talk C-Biscuit into running
    again. She comes so close.

    Just think what a great legislator she would make if she had you people actually helping her ? I think she has tried to really reach out
    to both of you on several occasions with
    great kindness.

  39. GOPeach says:


    What do you mean ” Fred Thompson bought a table”? Don’t you mean the illionists who are backing Fred for fear nobody but Fred could stand down Hitlery????

    Come on folks!!! We are stronger than this!

  40. ConservativeCaucus says:

    I am a conservative who is frustrated with the apparent lack of competence on the Iraq war by the Bush administration. To me, the two basic questions are:

    1) Was it wrong to go there in the first place? (for deciding if the general concept of attacking governments who sponsor/protect terrorist activites is a wise one)
    2) What do we do now that we are there?

    On point 1: Just because the administration’s mishanded the war doesn’t mean that the concept is wrong. However, this belief does place a lot of trust in the executive branch to have exceptional intelligence and good motives… be reminded that our founders built our system of government on the assumption that we needed to work hard to keep government honest.

    On point 2: Congressman Paul’s assertion that we should leave now is something that I cannot agree with, both from a policy standpoint as well as from a philosophical one.

    On policy, I believe that it is in our nation’s best interest to bring this conflict to a place that we can reasonably say that we have accomplished our objectives and it is time for the Iraqi government to take over. To immediately withdraw (which I understand Mr. Paul’s position to be – please correct me if I am wrong) means to further the perception that we have lost. I also fear that we are far too impatient as a country when it comes to war… but that is something to discuss later.

    On philosophical grounds (and this is where Mr. Paul lost me for good), he said that our overseas actions had invited the terror we experienced on 9/11. IMHO, to leave now would be a major propaganda victory for those in the Islamic Jihad movement.

    I believe that you can be a patriotic American and disagree with policy of pre-emption. I believe that you can be a patriotic American and want to withdraw now (although I disagree). However, I draw the line at saying that we were attacked because of our action overseas… these extremists attacked us because we do not ascribe to their thinking… our action overseas is just an excuse to unleash terror on INNOCENT Americans.

  41. abouthadit says:

    FWIW, Congressman Paul’s reference to blowback, a term coined by the CIA, is what you are taking issue with. Anyone who thinks we were not attacked due to US policy on policing the world is deluding themselves. We have troops, that is: military occupiers, in 130 countries??? Bin Laden has been quoted as saying attacks were as a result of our military on Saudi holy ground. The sooner America wakes up to the fact that we have no business acting as the world’s police man, nor do we advance the cause of liberty at the point of a gun, the sooner we can start living in peace with the rest of the world. You should redraw your lines based on factual history instead of what the MSM tells you. If our actions overseas is an excuse, then what are we doing there and why is our National Guard ( remember them? They who guard OUR NATION) deployed offshore?? You are merely parroting the neocon line.

  42. Icarus says:


    I pretty much agree with your overall assessment of both the War, Bush White House, and Congressman Paul.

    I’ll add that while the war may have been for the right reason, hindsight shows that the Bush team threw overboard his economic team who told him how much it would cost, and Colin Powell, who told him “if you break it, you own it.”

    Inside Man,

    It’s not that Ron Paul doesn’t have principles, it’s that he’s totally and completely unelectable.

    When asked in a general election how he would reform social security, my guess is that he would say social security is not provided for in the consitution, and therefore should be eliminated. Same for most Federal agencies.

    When average joe six-pack voter hears this, do you really think they’re going to have philisophical debates about whether he’s right, or just vote for anyone else who doesn’t appear completely out of the mainstream?

    I don’t care to have a debate about whether or not he’s right about the consititution, and I’ll cede that on most points, he is. That doesn’t make him in step with the average voters or make him in any way able to win a national election.

  43. rugby_fan says:

    Bull Moose;

    How is the marathon going?

    Your marathoner is pulling up lame (torn ACL I believe), running out of gas, trailing more and more, his shoes are falling apart, and no one has hit the 13.1 mile mark yet.

    Amazing how apt your marathon comparison is.

  44. Clint Austin says:

    Debbie – that poll is somewhat dated – two newest polls show Giuliani back at double digit lead including Fox.

    Thompson has had a honeymoon. Probably ending. He has now got to slog through things like everyone else.

    I think Thompson is a great candidate and may well be the nominee (which I do not object to at all) but it is time to see his campaign more objectively, particularly in light of what he brings (or does not bring) in border states and outside the South.

  45. Demonbeck says:

    “3 days is an eternity in politics”

    The Term Limits Association’s 2007 Slogan unveiled right here on Peach Pundit.

  46. ConservativeCaucus says:


    I agree with you. Thompson may be the best thing since sliced bread, but can anyone seriously tell me why he has such a following without laying out one bit of policy? For all I know he could be another Reagan (except for the fact there would be no possibility of tort reform for the next 8 years and he supported the greatest rollback of first amendment speech in McCain-Feingold). I must admit, as a conservative, I am not happy with the “top three” choices in the GOP field, but I am not convinced that Thompson is the answer.

  47. cfountain72 says:

    With all due respect, I am now forced to ask: what DO you believe in? Are there any principles you would you not trade away to get a Republican in office? I think that is how we got in our current predicament, by voting for pseudo-conservatives with no principles, who then voted for every conceivable spending bill that crossed their desk.
    Based on what your saying, it sounds to me that the ‘small government’ plank in the GOP platform is purely for window dressing at this point. Are there any gov’t programs that we CAN tell Joe Six-Pack we’d like to eliminate?
    Specifically to your question, Rep. Paul recognizes that we have sadly succeeded in creating a dependent class of citizens. While he is not a supporter of Social Security in its current form, he would most assuredly grandfather people out gradually by allowing younger citizens to opt out of the program over time. He would certainly not suddenly stop the checks on Inauguration Day.

  48. Icarus says:


    I’m going to venture that what I believe in and what you believe in are relatively similar. I believe in smaller government, a federal government whose primary purpose is national defense, and a free-market capitalist based economic system.

    My point in the above is not that Mr. Paul is wrong on most of his issues, (though I totally agree with CC above about his blaming us for 9/11), it’s that he’s totally out of touch with the American voter.

    I’ll put it this way. Given today’s electoral climate, if you had the choice to nominate Barry Goldwater or Gerald Ford, who would you pick? I’m guessing you would say Goldwater, as he most closely articulated modern conservative (and libertarian) ideals. Ford was a pragmatic centrist who, while Reagan’s intra-party nemesis, didn’t exactly turn our country over to the hippies when he was president.

    Republican’s are going to have to earn every vote they get in this election. While most Republicans will recognize the need for Social Security reform, they also realize statements like “he is not a supporter of Social Security in its current form” are vote killers.

    If Mr. Paul were our nominee, I’m sure he would articulate libertarian policies on limited government with the most clarity of any candidate since Goldwater. I’m also sure he would scare the hell out of every centrist voter in this country, get about 30% of the popular vote, and cost us at least 10 more Senate seats, 50+ house seats, and ensure that a fillabuster proof congress filled with liberals would change the laws and courts of this country to ensure that no conservative majority could be elected again for generations.

    As for the specific question about what I would do to keep a Republican in office, I’m much more concerned with keeping a liberal democrat out of the office than keeping a Republican in it.

  49. redhaven says:

    Ron Paul is a Vietnam vet who advocates strong border security along with a foreign policy that is non-interventionist. He is a ten-term congressman who keeps getting elected by bigger margins, and is a staunch pro-life advocate who would nominate judges in step with the sanctity of life legislation he has introduced.

    Fred Thompson complained of the long hours in the Senate and did not seek re-election as Tennessee Senator because he couldn’t take “fourteen hours of voting”. He was – and still is – a lazy politician-turned-actor ( the opposite of a Reaganesque actor-turned-politician ) who “didn’t leave any footprints in the Senate”.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address in 1961 warned the nation of the military-industrial complex – he wished to coin the phrase “military-industrial – Congressional complex” – which is what we have NOW with corporations getting a chunk of that $2,000,000,000 -billion – per week in Iraq.

    The more the citizens know of Congressman Paul, they won’t consider the collection of unemployed ex-mayors, ex-senators, ex-governors who can’t get re-elected, yet want to pretend they could get elected President of these United States.

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