On several occasions I’ve bemoaned the fact there are no polls in the Republican race, aside perhaps from internal polls not released to the public. It has given somewhat outsized importance to website-based polls such as the Red Maryland poll or the Red White Blue poll, neither of which are scientific. The same goes for a poll sponsored by the Gazette newspaper, which as I write this has Larry Hogan with a slight lead over Charles Lollar, with David Craig and Ron George trailing significantly; on the other hand, George has won the last two Red Maryland polls. The proof that the internet-based polling may be overblown is the amount of cajoling the candidates (or supporters) have done to solicit support, particularly in the Gazette poll since it’s a “reputable” news site.
- David Craig on Facebook Monday: “Please take a moment to show your support by casting your vote for me in this online poll.”
- Ron George on Facebook Monday: “Please take a moment to vote in today’s Capital Gazette online poll, ‘If the Republican primary were today, who would you vote for as the nominee for governor?'”
- Larry Hogan on Facebook Monday (via Change Maryland): “First online poll since our Harvest Party with Change Maryland‘s founder and Chairman Larry Hogan in it. Please click on this link to cast your votes.”
- Charles Lollar on Facebook Tuesday: “Good Morning Lollar Supporters! We are only a few points away from taking 1st place in this poll. Please vote for Chares Lollar, the only candidate that can win in the General Election. Vote from your computer, your work computer, your phone. Together WE can do this!”
That’s just one of several appeals, mainly from the Lollar and Hogan camps. But Larry is going one better, based on a newsletter I received yesterday:
Earn points by helping us Change Maryland by sharing our posts, by getting your friends involved, and by engaging in the conversation. Use your Change Maryland points towards getting Change Maryland stickers, T-shirts, hats and awesome polos!
I was thinking I already have the sticker, and as much as I’ve pimped the group over two years I could qualify for being clad head to toe. The group continues to add followers and may have 70,000 before the week is out. But the political world isn’t based on Facebook likes or easily-manipulated internet polls; the question is how real voters will really react when the ballots are cast in June.
As I have often pointed out, a poll such as the Red Maryland poll or Gazette poll simply is a basis of knowing how many people are in the devoted 1% of followers – consider that if you believed a number of internet polls, we would be talking about President Ron Paul right now. But in real life he rarely cracked double digits in any primary.
Regardless, this all means the gubernatorial race isn’t taking much of a holiday break.
Update: Steve Crim of Change Maryland alerted me to the fact this Change Maryland point promotion has been underway since June – I already have 116 points!