Posts Tagged ‘straw polls’

 

Libertarians Seek to Open Minds

Keynote speaker Beth Cody of Iowa City explains how she uses fiction to introduce Libertarian ideas to a skeptical public.

The famed patriot John Adams once declared that it did not take a majority to prevail, only a tireless minority dedicated to setting brush fires in the minds of the public.  When, some twenty or so such patriots gathered this weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston for the 2012 Libertarian Party of Iowa convention, opening minds was the topic of the day.

Party chairman Ed Wright encouraged delegates that libertarian voices are growing.  He mentioned movements like the tea parties and Occupy that, while not wholly dedicated to liberty, were at least standing up and challenging the statist quo.  Wright urged Libertarians to educated themselves, reading up on the founding documents, and not relying on a government school system to teach resistance to government.  Once educated, he exhorted Libertarians to “urge others to come to terms with the solutions that freedom brings.”

Keynote speaker Beth Cody, a columnist and author from Iowa City, demonstrated how she turned to fiction writing to broaden her outreach to those who would not be interested in her political columns.  “Time and free markets can make everything better,” she told the crowd, “even political systems.”  With fiction, new ideas can be introduced, to show people that a better way is possible.  Her new book, Looking Backward, does just that.  The novel is a take-off on the utopian socialist fiction of 19th century writer Edward Bellamy.  In Looking Backward, Bellamy’s Professor Julian West wakes up, not in a worker’s state but in a glorious libertarian future circa 2162.  For those not literary-minded enough to be familiar with Bellamy, its essentially Futurama but with Earth ruled by the disembodied head of Ron Paul rather than Richard Nixon (and no Zoidberg).

The convention also featured a surprise guest speaker in Gary Roeve, who was one of the founders of the LPIA in the 1970s.  Appropriate for a party celebrating its 40th year, Roeve gave an impromptu speech on the early days of Libertarian activism.  Inspired by Ayn Rand, Roeve began to work with Ben Olsen to start an Iowa chapter of the newly-minted LP in 1972.  Finding others brought on board by the presence of an Iowan on the top of the ticket, a chapter was formed in Ames in 1975.  Roeve would go on to work on policy for the 1976 Roger McBride and 1980 Ed Clark Presidential campaigns as well as several local races, before despairing of the task moving the state towards freedom.

Awards were given to party members who competed in local 2011 elections.  Nick Taiber won re-election to the Cedar Falls city council and Roger Fritz was elected for a non-consecutive term as Roland mayor after his neighbors wrote him in.  2010 CD2 Congressional candidate Gary Sicard lost his race for Robins city council in a multiple candidate field, but was optimistic that the experience he gathered would propel him to victory in a one-on-one mayoral race this fall.  LPIA Executive committee member Casey Head of Des Moines hailed the candidate’s efforts stating that in the LP, “if you have a will to make change, you can do it.”

The Presidential race also featured prominently in the days activities, although no campaigns had a formal presence, unlike in 2011 when then-candidate Roger Gary appeared and Lee Wrights deployed his campaign manager as a surrogate.  Governor Gary Johnson dominated the straw poll with 13 votes to 1 for publisher Sam Sloan and one for perennial LP vote-getter NOTA, an 87% randslide victory for the LP frontrunner.

No other candidates for 2012 were announced, other than Sicard’s mayoral race, though there are rumors that Libertarians may field two Congressional challengers.  IFR will hold off on publicizing them until they officially enter, but suffice to say, they are two somewhat prominent refugees from the statist parties.  With some money in the bank, the Libertarian Party will be in a position to make some incumbents sweat out their positions in the fall.

 
 
 

Iowans for Accountiblity: NFRA Misses Opportunity

Iowa Freedom Report planned to publish a follow up to our article last week about the efforts by Ron Paul to win the National Federation of Republican Assemblies Straw Poll in Des Moines.  By now, you’ve heard that Dr. Paul was the landslide victor with over 82% of votes cast by Iowans.  Paul also won a comfortable majority of all votes.  The embattled campaign of chronic sexual harasser Herman Cain, also made an effort to turn out his supporters.  Staffers for Mr. Bailout were seen embarrassingly unable to find takers for many of the 250 tickets they had purchased.  Cain did manage to find enough tax-increase proponents to come away with a distant second place, no doubt a resounding victory in the eyes of the mainstream media there to cover the event.

Despite Dr. Paul’s runaway victory, the organization hosting him made the shocking choice to give their official endorsement to the former Senator from Pennsylvania.  Dr. Paul was dismissed early in the endorsement process while the other freedom candidate Governor Gary Johnson was eliminated from consideration immediately.  While we at IFR struggled for words to express our shock, our friends at the Scott County Iowans for Accountability summed it up well for us.  From IFA chairman Michael Elliott:

NFRA Misses Window of Opportunity to Boost Membership Nationwide

The National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NFRA, held a Presidential Preference Convention in Des Moines, Iowa this last Saturday, October 29, to measure all the candidates’ popularity among Ronald Reagan/Barry Goldwater conservatives. The Convention was promoted on the NFRA website as “the last major straw poll before the Iowa Caucuses” and The NFRA is one of the oldest and largest GOP grassroots organizations and promotes Reagan and Goldwater conservatism, small government, lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong defense, the right to life, and a decent America.

430 votes were cast and it was no surprise that Ron Paul won 82% among Reagan/Goldwater conservatives in Iowa. What WAS a surprise to many was the condemnation of the Ron Paul supporters by, Eric Golub a.k.a. the “preeminent politically conservative comedian”, one of the guest speakers during the luncheon, questioning Paul supporters to be “good little soldiers and fall in line when Ron Paul is not the party’s nominee” which immediately erupted into boo’s by many of the members of the Convention. Then to add insult to injury, the 94 NFRA delegates representing 26 of the 37 states where the NFRA operates, later disregarded their own convention members’ vote for Ron Paul and nominated instead Rick Santorum, the third place candidate with less than 1% of the vote, as their organization’s official endorsement.

Rick Santorum is known for his stance against privacy rights and his interest in perpetual war and nation building like the Bush and Obama presidential administrations of the past and present. This is hardly a Reagan/Goldwater Conservative favorite, as indicated by his poor support at the Convention by Iowa members. “If this is what the leadership of this organization really represents, then I doubt they will continue to exist in the near future as the liberty movement continues to grow across this country,” said Michael Elliott, one of the Iowa voters and attendees at the Convention.

One thing is for certain, Ron Paul and his supporters were definitely the life of the Party at this convention and could very well be the life of the Republican Party so long as Republican Party leaders don’t miss this window of opportunity to boost its membership and popularity. Michael Elliott added, “As the old saying goes, hindsight is 20/20, let’s see if the other Republican leaders are wise enough to learn from the NFRA’s missed opportunity.”

 
 
 

Ron Paul Making Push for Des Moines Straw Poll

More that two months after the major event in Ames, Ron Paul may yet win the Iowa Straw Poll.  No, they’re not recounting the votes, but another straw poll is being held in central Iowa this weekend that is drawing many of the top Republican candidates.  The National Federation of Republican Assemblies is hosting their quadrennial Presidential Preference Convention in Des Moines this weekend.  The good doctor is slated to address the gathering tomorrow morning at 9:15 alongside neoconservative candidates Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and the former senator for Pennsylvania.  Straw Poll balloting will take place between 9am and 1:30pm.  Tickets for the event are $20, but an email from the Paul campaign offers them at a discounted rate of $10, indicating that the campaign is willing to put serious money and effort into winning.

The NFRA began in California in the 1930’s as an effort to involve young professionals in the party.  Eventually it spread nationwide and was a base of power for the pro-freedom campaign of Barry Goldwater in 1964.  Today, like all Republican institutions, it has been thoroughly infiltrated with the despicable neoconservative ideology.  Still, many old-time Goldwaterites remain in the organization, enough that Ron Paul was able to finish 3rd in their 2007 convention’s poll.

Word on the street has it that Mr. Bailout, Herman Cain is also going to make a run at winning this year’s poll.  Cain has soared in the national polls, but has yet to demonstrate a ground game to match his media hype.  That could be changing now as many so-called “tea party” supporters have flocked to Cain’s message of higher taxes for 84% of Americans.  The new slogan for the movement might be “Taxed Enough? Alright, I’ll pay 9% more.”  This poll should also give us an interesting look at Michelle Bachmann’s appeal.  Her support has plummeted since her August victory, so it will be interesting to see if she still has a committed Iowa base that would buck the national trend.

 
 
 

Ron Paul: “I’m Happy With Second, I’d Be Happier With First”

The scoreboard in Hilton Colesium shows 4,671 Iowans came out to support peace and liberty shortly after it was annouced that Ron Paul came second in the Ames Straw Poll.

The Champion of the Constitution may have only been a runner-up at today’s Ames Straw Poll behind neoconservative cheerleader Michelle Bachmann, but for his campaign and the freedom movement it was an historic day.  The titular quotation comes from a chance, one-question interview granted by a hurried Dr. Paul to this publication as he was leaving the grounds.  This snapshot of Dr. Paul’s sentiment seemed to capture the mood of most of his supporters today.  There was great optimism in the crowd that we could pull the upset, though staff and speakers in Paul’s tent were guarded in their assessment, only going so far as to point to the tightness of the race and state that we were doing very well.  When the results were announced by party chairman Matt Strawn, the initial reaction was applause from the warmongers but was answered with a cheer of “you can’t ignore us now!” from the messengers of liberty.

Let’s take a brief look at what “very well” means.  In the 2007 Straw Poll, Dr. Paul came in 5th place with 1,305 votes.  Even for what was at the time an underfunded, poorly managed campaign, this ended up being about 10% of his eventual caucus night total of around 11,000.  Growing the total by 3,300 votes in four years demonstrates both that Paul’s message is spreading and that his organization has ramped up to compete in the major leagues. Of course, so long as the neocons have a 24/7 turnout machine in the Fox News channel, opponents of the statist quo will always be fighting uphill.  No one in the media, right-wing or left, can mention Paul without tacking on “but he can’t win.”  Repeating that line will only spur on the dedicated supporters, but for apolitical folks who are marginally attracted to our ideas, it is a massive deterrent.

If only 10% of Paul’s potential Iowa voters made it out today, he will win the caucuses going away.  If he is able to triple his vote total in the caucus as he did in the Straw Poll, he is still quite formidable.  Keep in mind as well that Dr. Paul is one of the few candidates capable of competing in both socially conservative Iowa and socially liberal New Hampshire.  No Republican has won the Iowa caucuses without finishing first or second in the Straw Poll.  Last time around, it was Mike Huckabee’s second place, not Romney’s win that had the bigger impact on the campaign season.

For those who didn’t make it out today and our friends reading in from across the nation, you missed a heck of a party.  Dr. Paul rented the largest space on the grounds, and if there was a bigger one, they would have needed it.  Half of the space was taken up by a tent filled with picnic tables to enjoy the catered meal of pulled pork sandwiches, sweet corn, and “Chef Ken Dunn’s famous sour cream dill potato salad.”  The other side was divided into a stage and area with games for the kids.  Noted historian and Presidential adviser Doug Wead served as emcee for a line up of speakers that included our three pro-liberty state representatives, Barry Goldwater Jr., and virtually every member of the Paul family including the junior Senator from Kentucky.  The troubadour of liberty Jordan Page regaled the audience with his original compositions honoring Paul and a local band filled out the program with some hot jazz.   And yes, there was a dunk tank in which voters could dunk “Ben Bernanke” – a volunteer wearing a mask of the Fed chairman.  There was even a “dollar slide” where the kids could have fun going down while adults waiting at the bottom could read up on the decline of the dollar since 1913.

Paul’s supporters packed the house when the good Doctor took the main stage in the middle of the day.  You could see the handprints of Wead on the speech as most of it was dedicated to the life issue.  That’s not surprising, as Paul lead with life in this 2007 address as well.  This time he did so in graphic detail, recounting how as an intern fresh from medical school he has witnessed a premature but viable baby being born then discarded in trash can.  The experience made Paul sick to his stomach, but steeled his resolve to fight abortion.  It was a little shocking, but did provide a sharp wake-up call to those Iowa Republicans who have heard only the rumors being spread of Paul’s supposed pro-abortion stance.  It is certainly more compelling than the tale of how Mitt Romney came to his anti-abortion views after reading a poll taken of Iowa voters.  Moving from abortion, Paul hammered the other piece of the life issue stating that life is precious even when children come of age, and they ought not be sent to die in needless nation-building adventures of the type favored by President Obama and most of the GOP field.  It might perhaps have been better if Paul had taken more time on economics, reminding voters that he alone in the field had correctly predicted the recession and had the only prescription.  But Paul is more of a truth teller than he is a shrewd candidate, and the 15,000 assembled in Hilton got a full dose.

At the end of the day, it was not enough to win, but it was enough to send a message to the world – freedom is popular and we can win.  Michelle Bachmann will remain the frontrunner, but she has flaws of her own.  Her consistent inability to tell the truth will catch up with her at some point.  The formal entry into the race of Rick Perry and Sarah Palin will dilute the pro-war, pro-Fed, pro-big government vote even further.  It will be a long fight ahead, but Dr. Paul and his supporters took a huge leap forward in Ames today.

 
 
 

Paul Campaign Vows “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”

Ready, Ames, Fire!

That’s the message Congressman Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign delivered in Iowa on Wednesday.  The long time champion of the Constitution and “Father of the Tea Party” has been in our fair state so often its almost not newsworthy anymore, and his staff tells Iowa Freedom Report that plans are in the works for weekly visits in the foreseeable future.  Campaign co-chair Dr. Drew Ivers says the effort is leading up to a chance to “make some history” at next month’s Ames Straw Poll.

This week Marshalltown and Cedar Falls were on the agenda.  Dr. Paul delivered his message to a crowd estimated to be as high as 100 on the first stop (not bad for 9:30 am on a Tuesday).  We caught up with the good doctor in a crowded room at the PIPAC convention center for a noon speech.  Media estimates ranged up to 200 attendees while the campaign website puts the number at 160.  This included many “typical” Paul supporters – college-aged hipsters sporting thin beards and thick glasses clutching one or another of Paul’s tomes and young homeschool families with multiple young ‘uns in tow – but also a lot more grey hair than is usual for freedom events.  This indicates the in-roads Paul is making with mainstream members of the Republican Party whose base of power consists almost solely of the over-70 set.

Cedar Falls has been a hotspot of liberty activism in recent weeks in opposition to the city council’s Agenda 21-driven mandate for “lockboxes” to be placed on the outside of all commercial properties in order to give thieves easier access to local businesses.  Several chief opponents of the measure were in attendance, including Libertarian councilman Nick Taiber, who sported a Ron Paul sticker, and freedom-friendly mayoral candidate Lea Ann Saul who many local Paulites are looking to back.  It would have been nice had the campaign given Taiber or Saul a few minutes to address the crowd on this matter, but the good doctor was on a tight schedule.  One can only imagine the hijinks Congress tries to pull when they hear that their “conscience” is out of town for an extended period of time.

Dr. Paul was his usual self, leading off with a deep discussion of economic policy, and getting animated as he discussed the Federal Reserve’s role in the recent crisis and continuing malaise.  Paul noted a silver lining to the downturn in that more people we becoming concerned about the situation and realizing that Keynesian economics has failed.  In 2008, everyone became a believer and now, “we’re real close to the time when we can get rid of the Federal Reserve system.”  “No country should have a deliberately weak currency,” he stated, “but politicians like it, to take care of their special interests.”  He went on to state that the predictions of a depression if the country hadn’t passed the TARP bailout so beloved by his fellow candidates Herman Cain and Sarah Palin were accurate, but by following their prescription, the depression was passed from the bankers to the middle class.

Paul also touched on foreign policy.  In his declaration that the Democrat Party’s idea that Africans could be slaughtered on a President’s whim to be “a bad attitude, and I’d like to change that” he sounded like a 50’s era schoolmaster rapping the knuckles of a misbehaving lad.  Connecting this issue back to the economy, Paul argued that it would be much easier politically to cut spending abroad first and then work on the harder question of entitlements once the savings kicked in.

Dr. Paul closed with the reminder of the upcoming straw poll on August 13th.  While Paul largely wrote off Iowa in 2008, he told a reporter that he has now come to realize the opportunity it affords him to get the message out.

You can help Dr. Paul “make history” by signing up at his site www.IowaForRonPaul.com and taking advantage of the limited number of discounted tickets still available.

Paul’s next stop in Iowa will be on Monday, July 11 when he will sit for an interview with Christian libertarian radio host Jan Mikelson (a long-time fan of Paul’s), have coffee with Des Moines residents, and give a speech in Fort Dodge.  The congressman’s son, Senator Rand Paul is scheduled for a whirlwind tour of the state on July 29-30.

 
 
 

Updates: Paul Wins “Caffeinated Conservative of the Year”, DeVries Falls Short in SD-35 Bid

Just an update on a few stories we alerted you to last week:

Dr. Ron Paul has was named the “Caffeinated Conservative of the Year” by our friends at the influential Republican blog Caffeinated Thoughts.  Legions of freedom lovers heeded the call of this site and others to swarm the poll and move Dr. Paul ahead of two-time defending champion Sarah Palin, who is beloved for her cheerleading of paper money and inability to govern Alaska.  Paul had been nominated in 2008 and 2009, but earned the victory this year as the Tea Party movement he started in 2007 began to exert real power at the polls and over the direction of the Republican agenda in 2010.  Dr. Paul will receive a certificate and a Starbucks gift card as his prize.  As he steps into a new role as chairman of the Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, Dr. Paul will need that jolt of energy to lead the charge against the Federal Reserve.

In more disappointing news, Campaign for Liberty leader Matt DeVries came up short at the nominating convention called to choose the Republican nominee in the SD-35 special election.  Drake law student and former Iowa State wide receiver Jack Whitver will instead represent the GOP.  Whitver has some name recognition in central Iowa from his playing days and campaign experience from an earlier unsuccessful State House bid.  He is favored to hold the seat which came open when Senator Larry Noble was appointed to a position in the Branstad administration.  DeVries did manage to poll ahead of several more experienced candidates and won praise for his pro-liberty agenda.  The strong performance by DeVries could make him a frontrunner should another legislative seat open up in his area, perhaps as redistricting gives more seats to the Des Moines suburbs where he lives.

 
 
 

Ron and Rand Paul Nominated for Caffeinated Thoughts “Conservative of the Year”

One of Iowa’s leading conservative blogs, Caffeinated Thoughts, bestows an annual “Conservative of the Year” award to the person who has “made an impact on the conservative movement in the past year.”  In both 2008 and 2009 the winner has been incompetent half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin who was given the award for reviving neoconservativism after the excess of the Bush/McCain Republican Party had nearly killed it off.  As a sign of the growing influence of the freedom message within the GOP, constitutionalist Doctors Ron and Rand Paul are both nominated.

Site editor Shane VanderHart cites the incoming Kentucky Senator as:

. . .quite the surprise in the Kentucky Republican Senate Primary and demonstrated the clout of the tea party movement by upsetting the establishment candidate also overcoming smear tactics from within the Republican party and without.  Having a staunch advocate for limited government and personal liberty in the U.S. Senate will be a welcome addition.

Site contributor and 2010 Libertarian candidate for State House Dustin Krutsinger wrote the nomination for the elder Paul, ticking off a long list of Paul’s proposed legislation and accomplishments including the victory at the 2010 CPAC Presidential Straw Poll.

Ron Paul certainly deserves the award, and not just because we at Iowa Freedom Report wholeheartedly agree with his ideas.  Paul has lead an ideological shift with the Republican Party and the broader conservative movement away from the big-government “compassionate conservative” ideas that dominated for the last decade.  Simply listen to the debate at the state GOP convention.  If the delegates had their way, most of the Republican agenda from 2000-2008 would be undone – no child left behind, expansion of government run health care, McCain-Feingold, massive budget deficits, etc, etc, etc.  You would not hear many Republican politicians talking about the Constitution or the national debt had Paul not been crying in the wilderness in 2008.

To the extent that the Tea Party movement had an impact in the 2010 midterm elections, this also is traced back to Paul’s ideas and his followers.  Yes, the Tea Parties to a large degree have been infiltrated and subverted by advocates of big government and yes, some have twisted the message of freedom to include their anger over people who make different lifestyle choices, but the movement we started on that cold December of 2007 has staying power nonetheless.

Riding this Tea Party wave, many of the other nominees are lagging, rather than leading, indicators.  Rand Paul would not have been a serious candidate had not Ron Paul united a movement.  Michelle Bachman was not well known until she started following Ron Paul around Capitol Hill and repeating his message.  Even Sarah Palin at her best is only popularizing Paul’s ideas.  Does anyone really think she has read up on Austrian economics before she turned her minions against the Fed?  For that matter, is anyone really sure she knows how to read?  Her opinions on domestic issues have come Paul’s direction while Paul’s commitment to principle remains firm.  For evidence of this, go back and watch her appearance on Freedom Watch where Judge Napolitano opens with a discussion of her hacked email account and works around to a embarrassed admission from Palin that maybe government spying on private emails without a warrant is going too far.

Please join Iowa Freedom Report in casting your vote for Ron Paul as Caffeinated Conservative of the Year.

 
 
 

Sorenson, Rogers Win Tom Latham’s Money

As we reported to you back in June, Congressman Tom Latham’s FARM PAC hosted an online poll this year to pick Iowa’s “Republican Idol.”  The two winners of the poll, one GOP State Senate and one State House candidate received a $5,000 contribution from the PAC.  Yesterday it was announced that freedom candidate Kent Sorenson handily won the State Senate poll with 37% of the vote.  Sorenson, who is known for his championing of real right-to-carry legislation and for supporting various 10th Amendment resolutions, waged a vigorous online campaign tapping his followers in both the freedom movement and among social conservatives to win the convincing victory.

The winning State House candidate, Walt Rogers of Cedar Falls, no doubt benefited from the name recognition he has garnered from multiple state legislative challenges in the past few cycles.  While Rogers has yet to win election, many of his losses have been by razor thin margins.  As for our movement’s interest in his candidacy, Rogers is better than the average politician on fiscal issues.  He is well read and demonstrates a genuine understanding of the free market rather than just repeating what he heard his favorite Fox News host say the night before.  We don’t know if that alone is worth an endorsement, but we would expect him to be in the top half of legislators if he finally wins election.

FARM PAC’s contest also included a poll of potential 2012 Presidential candidates, but without any donation money at stake.  In this poll, the movement had our streak of online poll wins broken as Mike Huckabee took a plurality of 25%.  Full results were not announced, so we don’t know how freedom advocates Dr. Ron Paul and Governor Gary Johnson finished.

 
 
 

Deace Poll Results Bode Well for Freedom Candidates

Earlier this month, “Liberty’s Best Frenemy” talk show host Steve Deace posited a question to his listeners about a hypothetical election match up.  The election pitted three fictional candidates – A, B, and C.  As Deace describes at length here, Candidate A is personally a Christian and has very liberal voting record.  Candidate B is a principled, committed libertarian and is an atheist.  Candidate C sounds like a typical Republican with a somewhat conservative voting record, but with a questionable moral past and no real principles to speak of.

To the mild surprise of Deace, the libertarian option won in convincing fashion.  Over 70% of voters in the online poll and many callers supported the libertarian.  Assuming that Deace’s listeners share most of his socially conservative views, it is a very promising sign for the spread of the freedom message that social conservatives are willing to go outside their own communities to endorse candidates with different lifestyles but a “less government, not more message.”

Deace introduced the poll during an interview with former freedom candidate for President Michael Peroutka of the Constitution Party.  Peroutka, however, disappointed many big-tent oriented members of our movement when he expressed hesitation about supporting a libertarian who would uphold the Constitution.  Peroutka stated that he felt an atheist “would not understand” the highest law of the land.  Fortunately for the Constitution Party, their 2008 nominee understood the political reality of building coalitions around issues rather than writing off potential allies who have different lifestyles.

The Libertarian Party candidate for Governor, Dr. Eric Cooper, saw past the poll’s generic candidates and took the results as an endorsement for himself.  He even got himself a mention on Deace’s program by calling the host to give his take.  Clearly, the “hypothetical” candidates bear a striking resemblance to Governor Culver, Governor Branstad, and Dr. Cooper.  However, if Cooper has “attended numerous parties at the Playboy Mansion over the years,” he hasn’t thought to invite his favorite pro-freedom blogger to join him.  Then again, maybe we should call the guys at Liberty Line and ask them for the photos.

Whether A, B, and C are hypothetical or allegorical, the overwhelming response to the pure freedom message demonstrates the increasing appeal of our movement and its ability to build coalitions with groups once thought to be in the pocket of big government politicians.

 
 
 

Narcisse at 21% in IFPC Straw Poll

The independent gubernatorial of Jonathan Narcisse got a boost this week from a straw poll taken at the Iowa State Fair.  21.3% of fairgoers visiting the Iowa Family Policy Center booth gave their support to Narcisse in a poll that included all ballot qualified candidates.  Authoritarian Republican Terry Branstad won the poll with 55.2%, while Narcisse’s showing was good enough for second ahead of the 16% won by incumbent Democrat Debt Culver.

“Mr. Narcisse surprised several of us at IFPC Action by showing an impressive 21.3% in our poll,” said [The head of IFPC's PAC Chuck] Hurley. “If our State Fair poll is at all representative of public opinion, Governor Culver, who finished with just 16%, is facing long odds in November.”

Iowa Family Policy Center made waves in Iowa politics last spring when its leader, former Republican state representative Danny Carroll announced that he would not support authoritarian Terry Branstad should the former governor win the GOP gubernatorial nomination.  For Carroll it was an “emperor has no clothes” type of moment, as social conservatives have been the most loyal of Republican voters for decades, despite any evidence that the GOP has ever advanced their purported agenda.  Indeed, even on the signature issue of restricting government marriage to opposite-sex couples, it has been Republican appointed judges handing down the bulk of the judgments in favor of extending preferential treatment to all couples at the expense of single Americans.

With this showing by Narcisse in the IFPC poll, it seems that many conservative Iowans are willing to follow Rep. Carroll’s lead and break with the duopoly in favor of principled, pro-freedom leadership.

Also, kudos to Iowa Family Policy Center for including all candidates (along with a generic “write-in” option) in their poll.  WHO-TV of Des Moines also conducted a straw poll, but included only duopoly candidates as part of NBC’s continued policy of making in-kind political contributions to statist candidates with their biased reporting.