Thursday, February 22, 2007


Say what you will about straw polls, but they do tend to provide a good snapshot of the strength of support when it comes to candidates.

Susan S. posted in the Daily Kos Wednesday that the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee had a booth at the recently ended Florida State Fair in Tampa, and registered Democrats from around the country were encouraged to participate in the poll (it wasn't mentioned if there was a contribution required to do so), and the results generally reflected what most polls have noted to date.

U.S. Senator and former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton ended up winning by a sizable margin, with 55 percent of the 2750 votes cast. Coming in second was U.S. Senator Barack Obama with 16.8 percent. Former U.S. Senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards was third with 12 percent. Nine other current and potential candidates earned single digit percentages.

Susan added:

Those of us working the booth were very surprised (maybe even shocked) at the support for Hillary Clinton. There was a certain militancy about that support, and it held up among men as well as women. We had to reorder Hillary campaign buttons and bumper stickers and have them express shipped several times over the 11 days. We also had to reorder Obama buttons and bumper stickers.

Speaking of Hillary, she earned some criticism earlier in the week when she came through Tampa on a fundraising swing through Florida. The event was closed to the media, and the frontrunning candidate decided she did not want to face any questions from the Fourth Estate, choosing to make her escape out a back door. The only somewhat public event during her day in the Sunshine State was a Q-and-A session with a mostly black audience of about 300 in Miami's Liberty City neighbourhood. It was also announced during the day that two South Florida congressional representatives, Alcee Hastings and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, endorsed Mrs. Clinton in the Democratic primary race.


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