REMEMBER: STRAW POLLS MEAN NOTHING!!!
Let's all say it again...together...
STRAW POLLS MEAN NOTHING!
So why am I stressing this so much on Monday morning?
Because it seems as though Longboat Key congresswoman and Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Katherine Harris put out a press release late last week to political reporters across Florida noting that she won 54-45 percent over Democratic incumbant Bill Nelson in a straw poll held as part of Lakeland's Politics in the Park event.
There were a couple of items which she failed to mention, though. Anyone, of any age, with $25 could vote in the straw poll, as well as enjoy some barbeque (The event was free if you were there just to hear the candidates speak). As a matter of fact, Lakeland Ledger political reporter Bill Rufty mentioned in his column this morning that the newspaper ran a photo of Ms. Harris helping out a six year old child vote.
Straw polls at these type of events are usually used to help defray the cost of the event or as a fundraising tool. They are not meant to be a true measure of a candidate's support, and are often done to add some fun to an event.
Rufty mentioned one of the latest "real" scientific polls for the U.S. Senate race, done by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which shows Nelson with a sizable 18 percent lead.
From what I've seen since the press release was sent out Thursday, none of the other political reporters around the state have taken the bait, and accepted the so-called "news" item for what it is (here enter Sam Pak, from the Appliance Direct infomercials, to say)..."It's a piece of JUNK!"