Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Democracy is 51% of the people taking away the rights of the other 49%.”     Thomas Jefferson

September 2, 2007

Ron Paul Third In Texas Straw Poll

by Doug Mataconis

Ron Paul came in third in the Texas GOP’s Straw poll yesterday:

FORT WORTH, Sept. 1 — Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) won Texas’s first Republican Party straw poll on Saturday in a low-turnout event that lacked the top-tier presidential candidates.

Hunter got 534 votes, or 41 percent of the total. Former senator and actor Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.), who is expected to announce his candidacy next week but was not at the event, came in second with 266 votes, or nearly 21 percent. Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) came in third with 217 votes, or 17 percent.

No other candidate received as much as 7 percent of the 1,300 votes.

The Texas straw poll is only for party activists, and those casting ballots must have been a delegate or alternate in a recent GOP state or national convention. Last month’s Iowa Republican straw poll, which former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won, was open to any voter who paid for a ticket.

A respectable showing, especially considering the fact that Texas limits participation to people who’ve been actively involved in the part in the recent past, but all of the campaigns in the top three should remember that none of the leading candidates —- Giuliani, Romney, McCain —- appeared for the event or, it would seem, actively participated, so it’s unclear that these results mean anything one way or the other.

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49 Comments

  1. I think its interesting that the supposed big winner of Ames, Huckabee, had a poor showing.

    From what I see on youtube, the Ron Paul boots on the ground was pretty impressive. I agree that it was a respectable showing.

    Comment by Daniel — September 2, 2007 @ 8:31 am
  2. Daniel

    It’s unclear that Huckabee even actively participated in this poll.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — September 2, 2007 @ 8:33 am
  3. He was supposed to be… I was very interested in his performance. Appears he pulled out just a few days ago which in of itself is a bit surprising.

    Comment by Daniel — September 2, 2007 @ 8:41 am
  4. Ron Paul’s main obstacle now is name recognition. I’m doing my part here in S.W. Missouri to get the word out. Plus, I’m retired military thus have lots of time on my hands. Hope yaw’ll will help spread the great news of Ron Paul for president.

    Comment by Glenn Miller — September 2, 2007 @ 9:06 am
  5. Working hard in Colorado to spread Ron Pauls message:)

    Comment by kenny — September 2, 2007 @ 9:23 am
  6. http://youtube.com/watch?v=YDnWT4gCJSE

    I was the camera man
    Rob Werden

    Comment by Robert Werden — September 2, 2007 @ 9:24 am
  7. THIS IS HUGE! Ron Paul shows that he has support from the Republican base. This will only build on itself. And from what I hear he had the MOST people on the ground. He is doing great in every strawpoll all of the U.S.A. The Republican leadership hates Ron Paul, but the the base is going to love him because he is the only one that can beat Clinton.
    Ron Paul will be the next President of the United States.

    Comment by Proud American — September 2, 2007 @ 9:26 am
  8. So, this one was limited to previous delegates only……. I wonder how we spammed this one? ;O)

    JM

    Comment by James Maynard — September 2, 2007 @ 9:53 am
  9. I’m doing my part in Minnesota. Spread the word!

    Comment by Haley Nelson — September 2, 2007 @ 9:59 am
  10. Yes, the poll was limited to previous delegates only.

    I’m a registered Republican voter in Texas and I could not vote in that straw poll.

    Looks like the party apparatchiks wanted to limit participation so Ron Paul couldn’t win.

    http://freedomjoyadventure.blogspot.com/

    Comment by Richard — September 2, 2007 @ 10:24 am
  11. 3rd place under these conditions of the rules to me shows:

    1.) Ron Paul is for real…. sort of.

    2.) Thompson is more for real…. even though he totally sucks.

    3.) These straw poll results send a message: people don’t like the GOP candidates *at all*. look at Hunter’s fluke win, it was a protest vote basically.

    Comment by Duff Beer! — September 2, 2007 @ 11:13 am
  12. Ron Paul is going to be around for awhile at least not excluded from debates before Jan ’08. So whether you like him, dont like him or dont care, he’s still going to be on your TV for a good while to come, and will probably drop much more good needed flare.

    Comment by Moto — September 2, 2007 @ 11:43 am
  13. I think if more people understood economics, they’d undoubtedly be for Ron Paul. It would probably be very beneficial to pass around books & Cd’s such as “The Creature From Jekyll Island” & the DVD “Freedom to Fascism”.

    Comment by Janie — September 2, 2007 @ 12:02 pm
  14. So what finally was the deal with the Ron Paul delegates that could have voted not being admitted. How many people were actually excluded that could have voted?

    In Missouri I have my Ron Paul sign up in my yard and on my car. I am talking him up with friends. And I am looking for ideas to do more.

    Comment by Denis — September 2, 2007 @ 12:21 pm
  15. I would have expected a better showing for Paul in his home state.

    But then again, Texas has got a lot of Military bases, and is very Pro-Defense. I would guess that a lot of Texas Republicans are not enamored with Paul’s anti-Military views.

    As a libertarian, I’m leaning Fred Thompson. Paul should give it a rest.

    Comment by Robert Srandard — September 2, 2007 @ 12:27 pm
  16. You are a libertarian and support Thompson? No libertarian could possibly support an empty suit that has an internationalist [Thompson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations] pedigree…

    Comment by Leland Faegre — September 2, 2007 @ 1:01 pm
  17. Ron Paul should give it a rest? That’s simply absurd. He has had huge success with the most 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins in straw polls than any other Rep candidate.

    Fred Thompson is yet another CFR NeoCon. Yeah, you know, CFR and the NeoCons, the folks who have made things the mess that they currently are.

    Fred has waited to jump in the race, in the hopes that the enthusiasm won’t have time to wear off before all of his past dirt comes to light. Yep, Fred was a lobbyist for years. He carries on about “small government” but he’s just like Bush, and the Bush family is supporting his campaign. Do you really want another Bush in office???

    Comment by Paul — September 2, 2007 @ 1:14 pm
  18. Also, Paul did quite well in the TX straw poll considering how restrictive it was. 17% from the same people who brought you Bush and Cheney a few years ago is actually surprising.

    I’ll remind you that of ALL of the candidates running for President, Rep and Dem, Ron Paul has received the MOST donations from members of the military.

    Comment by Paul — September 2, 2007 @ 1:18 pm
  19. GOP apparachka wont let Ron Paul get the nomination especially at the caucases, people voting in them are staunch neocon GOP. The real question is whether Paul will backtrack on his unwillingness to run 3rd party. He has, relatively, a lot of money, to be doubled at Federal Matching Funds time. All those people worked so hard for him, he will need to do something about it.

    Economnic downturn possible this fall would boost his campaign geometrically. That is one of a very, very few wildcards Ron Paul has left if he ever dreamed of gaining the GOP nom. Another wildcard is his deftly outperforming at future debates.

    Comment by Moto — September 2, 2007 @ 1:20 pm
  20. Ron Paul should give it a rest? Na! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgCE53OxLAM

    Comment by Paul — September 2, 2007 @ 2:00 pm
  21. Hi Robert Srandard,

    Fred Thompson is a member of the CFR who supports the North American Union… So , why would anyone who values liberty vote for Fred Thompson?

    Also, Fred Thompson does not even provide answers as to what he would do to eliminate the IMF’s claim to devalue the dollar by 20%….. Nor sir, Paul is the only canidate who even dared answer my question with a great reply. CFR memember Thompson just went to the next question.

    Please take the time to understand that the CFR was created to bring about world gov and that Nixon was the first to bring in many of the tank advisors.

    Also, you know yourself the value of Ron Paul’s economic wisdom.

    No sir Ron Paul is the only answer!

    Comment by Darel99 — September 2, 2007 @ 2:09 pm
  22. Look for the other candidates to intensify their emulation of Paul’s policies. They are already doing it right now and they think they can get away with it due to perceived lack of name recognition of RP.

    Comment by Moto — September 2, 2007 @ 2:37 pm
  23. Remember Fred Thompson is just AN ACTOR who gets alot of money PRETENDING…..remember that….Dr RON PAUL IS THE REAL THING….THE REAL THING….America is in real danger…and Congressman Ron Paul is our only hope.

    Comment by M Chance — September 2, 2007 @ 2:42 pm
  24. I attended the straw poll as the guest of a delegate and was horrified at the pro-war propaganda used before, during, and after the speeches. Were it a prom, the theme would have been “9-11, Never Forget”.

    The openening video consisted of 9-11 footage with some country western pop song in the background (“some say we should give up now, but I don’t think that’s true…” or words to that effect), and most speeches (besides Paul’s) beat the war drums. One candidate I had never heard of, a terrorism expert, warned of suitcase bombs blowing away the eastern seaboard (at his suggestion of nuking Iran, a loud “booooo” rang through the room, from Paul supporters, no doubt). The last speaker, not a candidate, was a Pentagon 9-11 survivor who shared his flesh-melting experience in great detail, with pictures of his melted arm (pre-skin graft) shown on the two huge video monitors that flanked the stage.

    Initially, I was disappointed with the third place performance, but considering that the straw poll voters were DELEGATES from past conventions and that the war drums were beating so loudly that morning, I think this represents a victory for Paul’s message. Not everyone in the GOP machine is taking their marching orders from the powers that be.

    Comment by Ben — September 2, 2007 @ 2:43 pm
  25. Ron Paul is getting 86% of the Republican vote and is the #1 vote getter of ANY candidate on Who Would The World Elect dot com.
    http://www.whowouldtheworldelect.com/

    Comment by Dennis — September 2, 2007 @ 2:50 pm
  26. I think that the boots on the ground had a major impact on convincing some of the delegates to vote for Ron Paul. But with only 1/6 of the vote I’m not sure what to make of it.

    As a Texan, you’d think even a chimp could do better than 1/6. (And I think a chimp did do better, 8 years ago, if ya know what I mean!)

    But then again, the republican party would not be in the predicament it is in today if it did not have some pretty big self-imposed restrictions on logic and reason! Ron Paul is like “bad medicine” to many people. Like, deep in their gut they know Ron Paul is probably right, but they’re still in the denial stage. So his job, and all our jobs, is made doubly difficult by that. And all we have to look forward to is that stage that comes after denial, which aint no easier to deal with.

    Comment by Iconoclast421 — September 2, 2007 @ 3:04 pm
  27. “As a libertarian, I’m leaning Fred Thompson. Paul should give it a rest.”

    Nothing like an informed electorate.

    Comment by Buckwheat — September 2, 2007 @ 3:12 pm
  28. Ron Paul is ALL HAT AND NO CATTLE! Yes Ron Paul voted against going to Iraq but Ron Paul has not even proposed legislation to recall the troops. If you think that is not true please post the date and legislation that he proposed removal of our troops from Iraq since I can not find it. He could at least propose legislation and hold a press conference with like minded congress people. That might even get him media attention and embarrass the rest of the candidates running for President that claim to be against the war as well.

    In regards to who has authority to bring our troops back, Read the War Powers Resolution H. J. Res. 542 of 1973 and “Use of Force” H.J.Res 114 of 2002. It says Congress can bring them home at anytime no matter what the President wants. Stop blaming the President and start holding Congress to task Ron. Introduce legislation to stop the war RON, that’s what we pay you for.

    Here is a quote from Ron Paul on the floor of Congress introducing his fake anti-war legislation: “Unlike other proposals, this bill does not criticize the president’s handling of the war. It does not cut off funds for the troops. Nor does this bill set a timetable for our withdrawal” WHY NOT RON, I thought you wanted to end the war?

    http://www.ronpaullibrary.org/document.php?id=757

    Comment by David — September 2, 2007 @ 3:48 pm
  29. I agree with Moto, in that caucuses wont elect him due to diehard neocon entrenchment and fear.

    Ironically, Ron Paul’s best friend right now is reality. If events play themselves out with either Iraq or the economy it’s possible for things to be a different ballgame.

    I do my part, graffiti’ing everything I see until even the oldest neocon grannies see Paul’s name wherever they go.

    Comment by bartender — September 2, 2007 @ 4:19 pm
  30. Ron Paul is GROWING bigger and bigger!! KEEP IT UP!!

    Comment by Nick — September 2, 2007 @ 5:01 pm
  31. The Ron Paul drum beat just keeps getting louder and louder. Momentum is a wonderful thing. Just keep fanning the fire. Watch it grow.

    Comment by Larry — September 2, 2007 @ 6:39 pm
  32. I do my part, graffiti’ing everything I see until even the oldest neocon grannies see Paul’s name wherever they go.

    Please make sure that your graffiti isn’t harmful to the property of others.

    That would be counterproductive and contrary to everything Paul stands for.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 2, 2007 @ 7:52 pm
  33. Ron Paul all the way! He is the only candidate who knows what it takes to be a true – constitutional minded president.
    We need to wake up! This last week, Bush allowed 100′s of mexican trucks to come into our country and roam wherever they want to, unsupervised and without checking their cargo for a program that will last at least a year! If you do not believe me check out Google News and you can read all about it! The whole time taking away our freedoms and privacy rights for what? For an imaginary sense of security from people thousands of miles away who did not even attack us!!! We need to protect our borders and get rid of those EVIL men who stand in positions of leadership in this country! GIVE US BACK OUR UNALIENABLE RIGHTS! GIVE US BACK OUR HOPE – OUR FOUNDERS GOOD OL’ US of A!

    Comment by Justin K — September 2, 2007 @ 9:32 pm
  34. Check this spin:
    http://www.townhall.com/blog/g/c948fc7d-68ae-48c6-b8fe-8bc2eeab07e8

    Says Thompson had a good showing but Paul did a poor showing? Thompson had less than 50 more votes than Paul, but Paul did poorly and Thompson did good?

    Comment by Rich Hutnik — September 2, 2007 @ 9:38 pm
  35. Sorry, I just find Paul’s views too extreme. And I’m not into conspiracy theories; the CFR, Tri-lats, the government brought down the Twin Towers, and all that.

    I think it hurts Paul to be associated with such groups.

    Fred Thompson is more of a centrist libertarian, and that’s where I’m at.

    My understanding is that Fred Thompson was endorsed by libertarian groups in his Senate races in the 1990s.

    So, I don’t quite understand why some libertarians here are now opposed to him?

    Comment by Robert Standard — September 3, 2007 @ 9:55 am
  36. My understanding is that Fred Thompson was endorsed by libertarian groups in his Senate races in the 1990s.

    So, I don’t quite understand why some libertarians here are now opposed to him?

    For the same reason you don’t eat imitation crab meat in New England.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — September 3, 2007 @ 10:10 am
  37. Libertarians largely oppose Fred Thompson for the same reason they largely oppose George W. Bush now. Both ran on libertarian-friendly platforms, both demonstrated in office that they were libertarian-hostile conservatives.

    And Thompson’s not a centrist libertarian…he’s a Bush Republican.

    Comment by UCrawford — September 3, 2007 @ 10:36 am
  38. I wouldn’t call Bush “hostile to libertarians.”

    He has appointed many libertarians to top administration posts. Didn’t he appoint that woman from the Colorado Libertarian Party as Interior Secretary? How is that “hostile” to libertarians?

    Comment by Robert Standard — September 3, 2007 @ 2:10 pm
  39. Robert,

    I would argue that his policies are, on the whole, entirely antithetical to what most libertarians believe.

    It really doesn’t matter who he appoints, its the actions that matter.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — September 3, 2007 @ 2:21 pm
  40. Does anyone here think that Duncan Hunter is going anywhere? So what does that tell us about the straw polls that Ron Paul has won?

    As the only only Republican candidate who opposes the Iraq War, Ron Paul should be able to scrape up a large percentage of the 38% of Republicans who oppose the war. And yet, he refuses to make that the centerpiece of this campaign and refuses to focus his campaign on a few small states where he could have an impact early on. He spent only one week campaigning in Iowa and ran radio and TV for only a few days. A majority of Iowa Republicans oppose the Iraq War but Ron Paul finished behind Tom Tancredo who wants to bomb Mecca!

    I don’t know what the strategy of Ron Paul’s campaign is, but I cannot see where it is doing much to make Ron Paul’s name a household word and especially to spread his views on foreign policy which probably coincide with the American public’s views more than any other candidate of either party. Alas, no one knows about him.

    Comment by rob — September 3, 2007 @ 5:03 pm
  41. I know this: Paul ain’t gettin’ the GOP Nom!

    And this: he already said in print and multiple radio intoviews that he would NOT run 3rd party if he doesn’t get it. But he’s going to be holding too much freaking money to not try until the nominee is selected. And that must be a real downer to him, because he and his wife are literally dying trying to run: she had a pacemaker installed during Iowa for instance.

    And all those people who literally are the poorest economically who drove cross country, exhausting themselves by the end of this ultra-911-creepy Straw Poll. Everyone is exhausted, the Pauls, the supporters, everyone. It’s dark days I think for the campaign, and they know all the money in the world isn’t going to let them have the nomination.

    Ron should have thought this out more extensively before he tried this grand experiment.

    Comment by RickYo! — September 3, 2007 @ 5:21 pm
  42. Although you can’t tell by reading some of the blogs most Paul supporters understand that he isn’t going to be elected President. You’ve got to remember than not all campaigns are about getting elected. Some like Paul’s are about education and movement building. Paul ran as a 3rd party candidate in ’88 so he understands the process and I’m sure he thought this out very carefully before he got involved. The money will be well spent by the campaign on ads and by Rep. Paul traveling around the country spreading the good news of smaller constitutional government, sound money and non interventist foreign policy. If the liberty movement is closer to eventual victory after the campaign than it was before the campaign that Rep. Paul was successfull.

    Comment by Bob — September 3, 2007 @ 7:37 pm
  43. I’m not tired –

    I am not losing faith in his campaign. In Arizona – there are signs everywhere, marches, meetings, events we have been going to… ASU is filled with volunteers and we are having another march in OCT down Mill Ave in Tempe.

    I just donated some more of my “Starbucks” fund to Ron Paul.

    I think Mrs Paul needed a pace maker because she is so excited about the progress the revolution is making.

    Don’t discount the RP supporters and the campaign just yet. I do agree however that the RP campaign needs to kick it up a gear pretty quick. I was hoping before Fred entered.

    Peace -

    Comment by a Patriot — September 4, 2007 @ 2:14 am
  44. Anyone who thinks Ron Paul will get anything other than single digits in the primary is utterly delusional. Taken seriously, Paul’s candidacy has many, many problems.

    The first problem is that he doesn’t do anything to help people take him seriously. There are plenty of Republicans who would be sympathetic to his ideas. He wants to get rid of the Department of Education (for example). Great. Lots and lots of Republicans are for that, especially TX Republicans. How does he think, as president, he will go about accomplishing such a feat? He can’t credibly talk about accomplishing anything because he simply votes against everything that comes to the floor in the house, and so he has nothing to offer people who disagree with him. His consistency to principle is admirable – but there’s a way to be consistent and true to principle while offering potential gains to political and ideological opponents in order to accomplish your own priorities. Paul has no sense of that (or it’s not apparent), so people have no incentive to work with him. He’s a boat-rocker; people don’t necessarily oppose a boat-rocker unless he’s boat-rocking for it’s own sake, which in effect is what Paul does. His past history and the way he (doesn’t)accomplish anything in Congress.

    Secondly, his foreign policy is simply a pipe dream. His priorities of preserving liberty are commendable and sympathetic to many, many Republicans and conservatives. But how does he think he’s going to preserve those liberties? What he argues for, in effect, would be to surrender all of America’s influence in the world. Isolationism as a serious foreign policy ideal died long ago. It’s simply not possible. That being the case, RP would need to have some sense of a cohesive foreign policy that based on principle, but is practical and rational. His isn’t – and he attracts supporters that *really* turn off everyone else (which brings me to problem #3).

    Thirdly, people judge you by your supporters. That’s just how it is, regardless of how fair or unfair you think that is. RP’s supporters come across (and the ones at the TX straw poll were archetypal) as obnoxious, unreasonable, incoherent nut-jobs. That doesn’t speak will for RP.

    I think he has more problems than this, but these are pretty big problems.

    Finally, the straw poll results were an indication more of who Texans *don’t* like, rather than a measure of who the *do* like. Lots of people genuinely like Duncan Hunter. He is a fine candidate. He has no chance of winning. I think many delegates simply approached the straw poll as answering the question “in your dream world, which of these candidates would you want to win the presidency”?. Duncan Hunter seemed to be the closest to that ideal with respect to the other candidates. That Thompson finished second means that people aren’t put off by him like they are the others, and would support him if given reasons. RP finished third because he bussed in supporters. He and Hunter are the only candidates that even tried to win. There is no RP movement in the Republican party. There is a cabal of fanatical Paul supporters that will go to extra lengths to support him and make it appear that he has more support than he really does. It’s fine that they do that – but it doesn’t fool anyone, particularly people who aren’t internet junkies. More interesting than the top three, I think, is that Romney, Giuliani, and McCain garnered so few votes. Texas Republicans simply don’t like Giuliani and McCain, and they’re having trouble warming up to Romney because of his apparent political expediency (I don’t think his Mormonism is as big an issue as it’s made out to be). They really, really don’t like McCain. Ray McKinney beat Sen. McCain by a 2-1 margin.

    Comment by Ben — September 4, 2007 @ 1:31 pm
  45. Wow. I posted a criticism of RP’s campaign and now everyone seems to be piling on. I had really intended my criticism to be more constructive than that. I know that RP isn’t going to win the GOP nomination, but I don’t think the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary are out of reach. I only wish Paul would spend more of his time and money in these two early, anti-war states. A RP victory in either of these two states would be earth-shaking for the GOP. Even a second or third place finish would be stunning because it would put him ahead of one of the front runners.

    Am I totally crazy to be thinking this when Paul is the only anti-war candidate in the field? If not, how do we communicate to the campaign that this is what needs to be done? I’m sure they feel that they’re the professionals, and that they know what they’re doing. But I’m not seeing much that looks very promising coming out of the RP campaign so far.

    Comment by Rob — September 4, 2007 @ 4:03 pm
  46. I dunno about earthshaking per se, but definitely significant event if either one of those did that. I could see NH but not IA.

    Running a top notch campaign obviousoly is difficult, and doing it on shoestring mode is probably proving to be a growing challenge.

    Comment by RickYo — September 4, 2007 @ 5:52 pm
  47. hey i thought of the best thing to do with the $$..

    get RP on Saturday Night Live!!!

    seriously..

    Comment by geezer — September 5, 2007 @ 12:29 pm
  48. What needs to happen is the realization that the Republican party as represented by members who voted in previous elections as general voters or as delegates is not the same as the Republican party today. Ron Paul’s campaign is made up, in large part, by individuals who are joining the party for the first time. There is a significant chance that the influx of this new blood, especially because it is blood that is passionate enough to go out and vote in a primary, will be able to influence the election.

    I agree with what many are saying about some of the faults that his campaign has. However, I do not believe that these are insurmountable nor do I think that anyone knows who will be elected.

    Comment by litcigar — September 5, 2007 @ 2:09 pm
  49. As long as states continue to use disproven voting machine technology, and they will, Ron Paul has no chance… Is a shame but I think this is where the prob really is.

    What really matters is that all of us try to be ‘good republicans’ and participate in our local election processes and become delegates. You have to be elected to a delegate postion, although in some sparsely populated areas this isn’t too hard. We have to tow the party line, work for our local republican candidates too, and be good boys and girls. THEN when we are delegates and go to the convention we can generate a landslide that will be heard around the world.

    The keys to the kingdom rely on playing the game their way, then turning the tables at the last crucial moment

    Comment by Dan Warner — September 5, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

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