In yesterday’s California straw poll Ron Paul won a commanding victory capturing almost as many votes as Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann combined. The final vote totals are as such:
Ron Paul 374 votes or 44.9%
Rick Perry 244 votes or 29.3%
Mitt Romney 74 votes or 8.8%
Michele Bachmann 64 votes or 7.7%
The rest of the candidates finished with less than twenty votes apiece.
Given how the media has been hyping the results of previous straw polls you’d think that this one would be a big deal as well. Although the various outlets are reporting this poll, a few are also quick to dismiss the impact of this particular poll. For example, Politico reported that “it was not a prize that most campaigns were organizing for” and “Paul camp had brought in busloads of people to vote.” Fox News repeated Politico’s earlier line in their story while MSNBC attempted to downplay the victory by repeating Politico’s statement that “it was not clear how much effort each of the other candidates put into winning the poll”.
As I stated prior to the Ames poll last month, I don’t take too much stock in straw polls. None of these votes are binding and should serve primarily to motivate the campaigns, candidates, and activists. Nevertheless, I believe that the primary point of the major media is to report issues objectively without spinning the issue to favor their cause or candidate. Facts are facts, but when the media masquerades their opinions as if they were truth, one does have to question their ability to report without bias. Of course, one can see a long history of such actions with even with the most superficial of glances at the 2007/08 campaign season.
Now, you might argue that I’m operating under a double standard here, but I’ve been quite clear time and time again that my choice for president is Dr. Paul. Any article that I write concerning this issue should be viewed with the knowledge that it is crafted through a pro-Paul lens.
I congratulate Ron Paul and his campaign for their victory in California yesterday. I hope that they are able to use that win to increase fundraising, activism, and excitement for the effort. Although it is not a monumental victory, one should not completely dismiss it either. Paul and his supporters are a growing force in the political dialogue.
But, then again, that’s just my 2¢.