What does all this mean? Does it give us a glimpse into the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary? Does Sarah Palin’s popularity take a back seat at the ballot box? Will Romney be our nominee? Maybe. The Politico suggested perhaps Palin fans are more practical when it come to their presidential picks (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0410/35617.html). But more importantly, it means when you are running for office or running a campaign, you better be organized to win straw polls where you play. For the SRLC, Ron Paul’s group bought hundreds of tickets for his supporters and “Evangelicals for Mitt” also purchased tickets and encouraged Romney supporters to attend and, more importantly, vote. Palin and Gingrich did not seem to have any formal organization working the grassroots for them.
Straw polls can be a real thorn in the side of campaigns. Most will tell you they don’t care, that the results don’t matter. But the second they win one, they are quick to tout that win and make the case from it as to why they are gaining momentum. Winning straw polls should be as much a part of your grassroots campaign strategy as knocking on doors and making phone calls. It’s also a great test of the strength of your organization. Know when and where the critical ones are being held, put them on your calendar and organize your supporters to turn out and vote!
Don’t believe they work? Ask any underdog who has worked the grassroots community hard to gain ground. Ask Marco Rubio. A year ago no one thought he had a chance at beating the campaign-pro Charlie Crist in the race for Florida’s US Senate seat. But Rubio was determined. He visited every county, spoke at every neighborhood bbq and played to win in every straw poll possible. Week after week the announcements on his straw poll success were announced. Crist downplayed them and Rubio continued to gain attention and popularity. Now, there have been many other factors contributing to the Rubio rise and Crist collapse but those straw poll wins were an important early momentum builder for Rubio.
So, before quickly writing off the next straw poll, give it some extra thought and consider whether the reward may outweigh the risk for your campaign.
If you had attended the SRLC, who would your pick for 2012 have been? Romney, Paul, Palin, Gingrich, someone else?
By now, we have all heard of the Tea Party movement. I like to believe the Tea Party movement is an assortment of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents with one binding mentality– the government no longer represents them or their interest.
President Abraham Lincoln once proclaimed, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”
The peaceful gatherings and raising of voices this summer helped slow down the health care reform process. This collection of in-tune political participants became a force to be reckon with, but the question is – how much of a force?
Politico ran an article this weekend titled, “Tea party candidates falling short.” The underlying question posed in the article was “can an organic and fledgling movement that lacks the institutional grounding and top down organizational strength of either major political party transfer protest-oriented grass-roots energy into tangible success at the polls.”
Outside of the snarky tone of the post by Alex Isenstadt, I think Alex misses the accomplishments of the Tea Party thus far. They are simply raising the bar of discourse in this country. They are challenging Republicans to re-discover their conservative roots or face a tough primary. They are forcing transparency and openness in a federal government controlled by one party. They are making politicians answer their questions; otherwise face a potential public relations snafu.
Although, the Tea Party might not have electoral success this year – given the two-party system, they are steps ahead any other recent third party movement in this country. Just think about how many timesRalph Naderhas been on the ballot.
As this contentious 2010 election cycle moves forward, it will be very interesting to see the impact made by the Tea Party.
What sort of impact do you see the Tea Party having in 2010?
Posted Feb 16, 2010 by Matt Bales |
Comments ( 2 )
| Filed in: Politics
The retirement announcement yesterday of Senator Evan Bayh from Indiana rocked the political world on both sides of the aisle. The Democrats have lost yet another Senator to retirement prior to what is shaping up to be a tough mid-term cycle for the party in power and Republicans see an opportunity to gain back a seat the lost.
Tom Jensen from the Democratic polling firm PPP states, “I can’t believe I’m saying this but I really think Republicans have a chance to win back the Senate this fall now.”
Republicans are foaming at the mouth to pick up this seat in the traditional red state of Indiana as summed up by Matt Latimer’s quote in Politico’s Arena – “The regular lament when things don’t go well for a politician in Washington is that the city has become ‘too ideological’ or ‘too partisan.’ That Evan Bayh says this of a Congress almost totally controlled by the Democrats is interesting, but I don’t think that’s usually the problem. “
Latimer’s quote underscores another sentiment – Washington and its cohorts are too power hungry. When a moderate Democrat like Byah steps down because he is fed up with Congress, but loves serving the people, the culture in Washington is simply broken.
Bayh said in his retirement speech, “For some time, I've had a growing conviction that Congress is not operating as it should. There is much too much partisanship and not enough progress; too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous national challenge, the people's business is not getting done.”
While Bayh’s decision has left Democrats scrambling and Republicans even more power hungry, gaining one of their seats back, the real winner is the American people by his decision. For the first time, I think, Congress is starting to get the picture that Americans are dissatisfied with Washington and its two political parties and the lack of solutions to fix the nation’s problems.
What do you think that Bayh’s decision says about Congress and the public’s sentiment towards Washington?