Much as a straw poll is somewhat helpful in determining grassroots support – but isn’t necessarily an indication of how an election will turn out – U.S. Senate Dr. Eric Wargotz may have proven he has the best supporters for stacking a straw poll.
My U.S. Senate poll came to a close early this morning (by prearrangement) and the final results out of over 5,000 votes are as follows:
- Eric Wargotz 2,864 (56%)
- Corrogan Vaughn 1,436 (28%)
- Jim Rutledge 519 (10%)
- John Kimble 144 (3%)
- Carmen Amedori 138 (3%)
- John Curran 5 (<1%)
- Daniel McAndrew 5 (<1%)
- Eric’s campaign never stopped responding to the poll once it got underway. He led pretty much the entire way and kept increasing his percentage as other candidates and their supporters lost interest. The last time I did this (with just four candidates – Amedori hadn’t entered the race yet and I didn’t know Curran and Kimble had entered) Jim Rutledge picked up support toward the end but not this time.
- I think Corrogan Vaughn’s camp exhibited the same phenomenon, as he and his supporters were probably the best at plugging the poll. But I’m hesitant to consider him as a real force in the race yet based on prior results. Even if you forget that the 2006 campaign had an all-but-annointed candidate in Michael Steele, Vaughn only drew 3.7% of the vote in 2004. Why is the support coming out now when the message didn’t sell before? Something doesn’t add up here.
- Jim Rutledge has good supporters based on comments, but they didn’t stay for the whole poll. It makes me wonder if his backing is all that strong as I’ve found his campaign stays on message well but has spotty execution at times. Hopefully those videos are helping Jim with campaign financing too.
- As for John Kimble, see Corrogan Vaughn. Most of his support came in the last day or two because prior to that he was a cypher. So my guess is that he or one of his backers caught wind of the poll and tried to make it sound like he had a little bit of backing. On the bright side, he did beat Vaughn in 2006 with 2.9% of the vote, finishing a very distant second in the primary.
- I see Carmen Amedori as the “establishment” candidate based on her prior service in state government, and it sounds to me like she ignored the poll. I got a note from her that she was doing door-to-door instead, which makes sense. She’ll get far more than 3% in September, I’m certain of that.
- On the other hand, McAndrew and Curran performed as expected.
At some point I’m going to do this again, perhaps later on this spring. But the next time I’m going to shorten the poll’s duration and see if I can dampen the repeat voting aspect to some extent. I had it set to one hour on my site but then again I don’t know if Polldaddy works that restriction through its site-based voting. (Now I know why I had 5,111 votes but not 5,111 readers! But readership did have a nice increase, thank you!)
I promised to put up some of the best comments for each candidate. There is no doubt that this poll was by far my best as participation goes, and I think I finally harnessed the power I envisioned when I started doing polling a few months back. These will be in order of finish, but most of the comments spoke about my top finishers and were cleaned up as needed for spelling errors and such.
“Sam” said about Dr. Eric Wargotz:
I don’t know. All are good people but very few really qualified to take a 6 year legislative hitch IMHO. I was quite taken with Dr. Eric Wargotz at the debate. Warm, comfortable, approachable style. Not stuffy and boring. Seemed to be right on with his responses. Came across very sincere and caring along with very knowledgeable. I have trouble supporting candidates for a 6 year legislative hitch if they have no elected legislative or constituent experience. I am also not a fan of politicians who are elected and then quit to take an appointed position. I feel that is a derilection of duty to the constituents who elected them. Just my view.
Jim Duncan pointed out the Facebook aspect – analytical like me:
Before you go too far in questioning the fairness of this poll, as the creator (of the poll) points out, it does appear to be consistent with each candidate’s level of support. At least with respect to the current order of finish, when you look at each campaign’s number of fans/friends on Facebook, where the candidates have pushed this poll. As best as I could tell, Eric Wargotz has by far the most support on Facebook with exactly 5000 friends. He has additional sites ranging from 126 to 1853 friends, but I will assume that most are duplicates. A distant second appears to be Corrogan Vaughn with 562, Vaughn has two other sites with 197 and 373 friends, Jim Rutledge with 514 and Carmen Amedori with 292, neither appeared to have other sites. I’ll bet there are some cross overs here as well…
Corrogan Vaughn had a number of passionate defenders for his cause. “JPS” liked his stand on the issues:
I agree with some of the above posters that we need someone who can take Baltimore city, and to add to that Vaughn can not only win Baltimore city, but he can win on solid principles. He has called for (abolishing) the IRS in place of sensible fair and simple taxation, abolishing the Department of Education because the education of our children comes from the states, and he’s serious about reining in spending. I know many have called Corrogan Vaughn the most Conservative candidate because he is deeply committed first and foremost to fiscal responsibility while maintaining social conservative values that will win over black conservative Democrats, a large voting bloc in Maryland fyi.
“Maryland Patriot” also chimed in for Vaughn:
I have worked in Maryland politics for several years on both sides of the aisle and have yet to meet an individual more honest and sincere than Corrogan Vaughn. The others are nice people, but seem to share the same disregard for the needs of everyday Marylanders as our present senator. Mr. Vaughn offers genuine solutions and ideas to the problems faced by our state and nation. He seems to be in this race out of sincere concern for Marylanders and Americans. Go Vaughn!
“Jasmine” was quite succinct:
I’m not familiar with politics here in Maryland but I will say that as a lifelong Democrat I’m switching to Republican this election to vote for Vaughn!!! Go Corrogan!
As Rush Limbaugh would say, “welcome home.” Meanwhile, Jim Rutledge supporters were in force early on. Here’s some of what they had to say, beginning with “libertypatriot”:
If you want a conservative candidate then the best candidate is Jim Rutledge. The other candidates do not possess the Constitutional knowledge and understanding that Jim possesses. While I don’t have anything personal against anyone in the race, conservatives know that Ehrlich is considered a moderate and what I’m hearing from people is Carmen is a reflection of that. Again, not making any judgment, just passing that on. Lastly, Tea Party people are tired of people already in government. We want an outsider, not an insider.
I think we all agree though… whomever ends up winning the Republican primary… needs to take down Mikulski. That’s the real end game.
In looking at her record, Amedori isn’t particularly moderate compared to some of her peers, regardless Wayne Ehrensberger said:
I have talked with Jim Rutledge at length on a wide range of topics. I can assure everyone that he is a staunch constitutional conservative, of solid moral character, knows the issues and fully articulates well thought out responsive plans and ideas. These same traits cannot be applied to Dr. Wargotz. Jim is a successful, experienced businessman. He is well versed in the politics although admittedly not a “veteran” politician. And that is certainly a good thing. What we obviously don’t need are more long term politicians. We need to put in place those that are in tune with the private sector that most of us work in and who understand, appreciate and will honestly adhere to the Constitution.
I am closely associated with several of Jim’s support staff. We knew each other before any of us were even aware of Jim Rutledge. These individuals would never align themselves with someone who isn’t a pure Constitutionalist. That of course also goes for me. I don’t possess any great incite into the remaining candidates, but I don’t really need to. The simple fact is that they are not Jim Rutledge. He is the individual that must win the seat currently held by Mikulski. Then we will finally have someone that truly represents We the People.
If anyone is interested in learning more about the Constitutional Conservative/Tea Party movement, I offer you two “Groups” based here in Maryland that you should check out and consider joining – allianceofamericanpatriots.org and restoreamericasmission.org. You will find yourself in company with many Maryland Patriots as well as the same from across the Nation.
Even the few Amedori supporters got their points across, with the best being “NRAD”:
I was at the debate in MoCo and by no fault of the YR’s the venue was pretty lousy for all the candidates. There was no PA system and there were barriers in the middle of the room. So by all standards ALL the candidates did a pretty decent job considering they had to shout at the top of thier voices so the people in the back and behind the walls could hear. By no means, should that be a gauge of anything. I will note that in all my days in politics it is always the front runner who takes the worst beating. May I suggest, however, that we not beat up on the GOP candidates. I bet Ronald Reagan would be turning in his grave by such antics.
Now, my candidate is Amedori for many reasons. And her experience is in the private and public sector – such a fabric upon which sound and wise decisions can be made. It is going to take that fortitude to take on the corruption in D.C. She has never shied away from a good fight. I remember her when she confronted then Lt. Gov Townsend and the way she always took on Joe Curran in Judiciary Committee. This woman is relentless. And, in my opinion, it is going to take a strong woman to take the fight to Babs. Amedori will surely do that. She has a conservative voting record to reflect her positions. Seems to me that anyone can say what they will do but we really need to look at what has been done. She is 100% pro life, 100% small business having been a recipient of The Shaw Award with MD Business for Responsive Government. And she is a fiscal conservative. All of that is reflected in her voting record. That is why Amedori has my vote.
The poll and comments are available here. While I’m changing my poll today, I must say this version was a memorable one!