Straw polls give us something to talk about around here. We understand and readily admit that they’re not scientific, and in most posts where I provide any commentary on them, I usually refer to them as political Rorschach tests. You generally can see anything you want in them if you try hard enough.
That said, the one from Gwinnett yesterday is getting “real” media attention, and I spoke to Doug Richards from WXIA/11 Alive about it this afternoon (Updated: His online report is filed here). Thus, I’ll provide more fodder for the sock puppet fire:
1) The fact that straw polls are moving from blogs to traditional media is a sign that the “real” campaign is upon us. Everything we’ve done up until now hasn’t been “the” campaign, it’s been organizing and preparing for it. Traditional media is now engaging, and thus, the general public will be as well. It’s go time.
2) This straw poll interests me because there is a second data point, found here. It’s the results of a straw poll taken just over 1 year ago, and shows how much has changed in this Governor’s race.
Gwinnett County Convention Straw Poll Results:
Shafer won Gwinnett 189 to 28 for Johnson
Clay Cox took 1 write-in vote.
Note that the candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor are not the same. Many political eternities have occurred since that GOP convention. And during that time, John Oxendine may be close to using up his 9 political lives.
He has gone from having 52% of the grass roots of his home county to 15%. While not scientific, I personally consider this significant. Those who know John Oxendine well have chosen to look elsewhere for their next Governor. There’s a lot of smoke around this campaign, and the home folks have decided not to get burned.
3) I’m struck by the swing of supporters in the Secretary of State’s race. Last March, Kemp was the overwhelming favorite. MacGinnitie has worked the grass roots hard during the last year. While Kemp maintains the institutional support via the fact that Sonny got to early-early vote, MacGinnitie has won over the grass roots county by county. He’s still showing up. Kemp, not so much these days.
4) The last time I wrote about the state of the Governor’s race, I predicted either Handel or Johnson would be the nominee, with Ox still having a 50-50 shot at the runoff. This straw poll shows that, but I’m no longer sure that’s correct. I’ll have more to say about that tomorrow.