Last Saturday in Tifton, an 8th Congressional District debate was held. I am told the crowd was made up of mostly out-of-towners. Results of the statewide races straw poll can be found here. As you can see, a large number of people were undecided. I am told that both Max Wood and Doug MacGinnitie were alerted to the event with just over 24 hours notice, but still managed to pull higher numbers than their opponents. Take what you will from these numbers.
What I am more concerned with are the straw poll numbers from the 8th Congressional race:
Valerie Meyers 3.17
Ken DeLoach 3.02
Angela Hicks 2.93
Diane Vann 1.39
Actual Vote Break Down can be found here.
Whereas statewide polls were based off of simple majority, the straw poll for the 8th Congressional seat used a weighted average method.
Now, I got several calls over the weekend regarding this debate, specifically the one for the 8th District Congressional race. Organizers were accused of rigging the debate for one particular Congressional candidate. However, I gave the organizers the benefit of the doubt and contacted them. They assured me that the debate would be neutral (no softball or attack questions) and that it was merely to inform the people of the candidates and issues. That being said, I am confused as to why, out of all the races, the Congressional straw poll used a different method. Why would you use a different method to calculate a poll for one race than you did for all other races?
I was told by those in attendance that some of the audience got multiple ballots and that others didn’t vote in everything. Another accusation was that one candidate’s supporters were seen giving them a first ranking without giving other candidates a ranking, detracting from their score. Given that any of these are true, it renders the straw poll useless and/or biased. I know people fight over polls all the time. Some say straw polls are useless, maybe this time they are right.