Monday, August 15, 2011

Pay 2 Play at the Iowa Straw Poll

I like to wait until the smoke clears in the mainstream media and find an unoccupied spot on the chessboard to make a stand.

The Iowa Straw Poll was over the weekend and I became interested when Steven Colbert took his SuperPac Money and started running ads.

The thought of messing with Rick Parry (with an A) instead of Rick Perry (with an E) was a really cool idea. I hope he extends this into other situations.

What I didn't realize until I looked further into it was each of those voters had to pay $30 to vote in the Straw Poll. This blew me away for a couple of reasons.

  1. It is not a good thermometer to take the temperature of an electorate that is essentially broke.
  2. I cannot believe that Colbert's iteration of Rick Parry gathered no votes. If they were counted in with Rick Perry - then the Colbert Nation did have a significant impact. I hope that the Colbert SuperPac employs a lawyer or two to impound the ballots and demand a recount. If the GOP cannot run a fair election within it's own party - how can anyone expect fairness at a larger level?
  3. Based on the results of the Straw Poll - Tim Pawlenty dropped out. I didn't think that his demographics were going to be the frothing-at-the-mouth Republican that would put the family food money on the table to vote for him. I got the impression that he was going for a more moderate and reasonable crowd. He would never get a crowd this intense.
  4. Since Michele Bachmann won this poll with a total of 4832 votes, this election could have been had for the paltry sum of $200,000 ( 5000 votes to be bought * ($30 per vote plus $10 lunch money) ). It would have exposed the real nature of this type of polling.

If you think that $200,000 is a staggering amount - think about all the commercials that went into this. Think about all the media time it generated on the news stations. This was a product that was sold to the consumers as content on the national news cable stations. Wrapped around that content were advertisements. $200,000 is a drop in the bucket.

Stepping away from the Iowa Straw Poll makes me think the whole thing was gamed like a sleazy carnival's 11 foot basketball hoop.

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