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Candidates need to make noise

Posted: July 8, 2015 - 12:11am

The Columbia County Republican Party held a straw poll this past weekend to see what people were thinking about the ever-growing field of presidential candidates. The results are a little surprising.

Yes, I understand that straw polls are not in the least bit scientific or representative samples of registered voters. Still, since Jane Boyles, the local GOP membership chairwoman, shared the results with me, I thought I would pass them along.

First of all, the time and location of the poll was the county’s Independence Day celebration at Evans Towne Center Park, so you had to be there to participate.

You also had to inclined to visit the party’s booth and take part in the poll. As you might guess, most of the 437 people who participated claimed to be Republican voters, but apparently a handful Democrats dropped by the booth as well, Boyles said.

In addition, the GOP polled 68 children and teens, ages 7-17 for their feedback on presidential candidates.

In the 17-and-under set, Carly Fiorina was the overwhelming favorite, with 31 percent of the vote. I’m not sure why this is, but maybe being the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard give Fiorina some cache with those folks who do not recall a time without the omnipresence of computers in our lives.

Following Fiorina were Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson with 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Next was Jeb Bush with 10 percent, Marco Rubio with 9 percent and Ted Cruz with 6 percent. Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum brought up the rear with 3 percent each.

The adults had a decidedly different set of preferences. The biggest portion — a full 25 percent — favored Trump over the crowded field of candidates.

Why? While it is baffling to me how anyone could seriously this living cartoon of a man as the next president of the United States, I have a guess as to why he came out on top in this straw poll.

For whatever his numerous flaws might be, Trump knows a thing or two about getting publicity, especially where none is merited. He’s built a career on this skill.

So, for Trump it’s no surprise that he can craft a message a create a stir that can cut through the noise of a race with at least 14 other declared candidates.

Others in the poll — Carson with 16 percent, Bush and Rubio with 12 percent each, and Cruz with 9 percent — will likely fair better after Trump’s moment in the spotlight had faded and he is off to launch another ridiculous hotel or insipid TV show.

Or at least I hope so. The GOP crowd needs some weeding out, but it also needs some good ideas and an actual discussion about the future of the party and our nation.

The best way to push Trump out of the picture is for the other candidates to speak their minds, make some noise and cut through the fog of rhetoric we’ve been hearing for years. I’m looking forward to it.

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Comments (1)

Riverman1

About Cartoon Characters

If you want to see cartoon characters look at Hillary and Bernie. Hillary's conduct and Bernie's socialist views are dark comedy. But do you see them slammed in public like Trump is by reputable news organizations?