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Sunday, October 21, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 7:06 AM | permalink
You don't try to win straw polls as proof of your national success among a group of voters. You don't try to win straw polls as proof of momentum. You don't try to win straw polls as solid proof of your chances at victory.

You DO try to win straw polls to gain free press to accomplish all three of the above. In other words: straw polls are a means to an ends and not the end itself.

Want proof? While blog readers wallow in the odd configuration and minutia of the FRC straw poll, the rest of the country sees this:









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THANK YOU for posting this, Justin.

I am so tired of people trying to explain away Mitt's win after win after win.

He WINS because he realizes organization is everything. He knows he lacks the name recognition and major wins like this are effective in boosting his MSM cred.

Excellent, Excellent, Excellent post! Thanks for putting this in perspective for us blog junkies!

Awesome post you have there Justin. I love all the images.

Great job!

I think this post has merit. Mitt won the poll and no one should take that away from him. That said, the showing for Huckabee was the real news, in my opinion, as it represents a stumbling block to evangelical leadership that appeared poised to pull the trigger for Romney in a unified swoop and now may be persuaded to reconsider. I also agree with Laura Ingraham's recent sentiments that the party must unite now or never. If SoCons get behind Huck, the party remains fractious and Rudy gets the nomination. Huck simply won't pull enough Republican voters who prioritize fiscal and military strength over social values. The reality is that only Romney or Thompson, or *gasp* McCain have a prayer at uniting all 3 factions of the party. If we go with Rudy, SoCons defect. We go with Huck, fiscons defect. If we go with Romney, we can win if SoCons overlook the "Mormon" issue. IF we go to Thompson, we may win with fiscons overlooking the "lazy" factor. My money is on Mitt. But something has to change. For starters, I agree with Ingraham in that these candidates MUST hit Rudy harder for the SoCon that he is and simultaneously beat him on the fiscal and military score. I think Romney is the only one who can do this, and I HOPE he is both prepared to do so in tonight's debate AND pulls it off. All eyes on Fox at 8 p.m.

Oh, and another thing . . . I'm also now in the camp that believes Mitt, not necessarely immediately, but sooner rather than later, will need to give the "Mormon" speech in order to solidify the SoCon movement under him and unite the party. I didn't think the FRC conference was the place to do it, but after seeing the turnout for Huckabee in the straw poll, I am not so sure that an opportunity wasn't missed.

Speech should not try to make Mitt to "fit in" with evangelical theological beliefs, even though Mormonism and evangelicals share some basic Christian beliefs. Rather, the speech should openly address that he is a Mormon and by definition theologically different from most evangelicals, but that he shares their basic values to a T and has dedicated his life to living them. Then say that as he does not base his candidacy on divergent theology, but rather on shared values, he will not address his theological, doctrinal beliefs on the trail and will never seek to impose them on anyone . . . Speak candidly to his past positions in MA quite candidly and then boldly promise to take up the social values cause and promise not to let the movement down when push comes to shove. Remind the party that all 3 factions must unite to claim victory and that he is willing to represent all 3 factions without flinching . . . I think if he does this he will succeed in quelling the anxiety and reservations that many evangelicals still have about endorsing him. If Mitt were already in the "inevitability" seat as the nominee, I would recommend he wait until the general to give the "Mormon speech." As things stand today, I believe he must give the speech in order to clear the evangelical hurdle to his nomination. Otherwise, hello Giuliani and goodbye Whitehouse.

Justin, This is great and it's a testament to what I have been finding all over the blogosphere this morning -- in conservative blogs, Politico, and alot of the MSM websites.

Mitt has a big advantage over the other candidates -- his ability to put a successful plan together and then slowly, but surely and methodically work the plan.

You know the saying - people don't plan to fail, they just fail to plan.

Well, not Mitt and his opponents hate him for it.

Any of the candidates could have had their supporters vote online in the straw poll.

I actually didn't hear it from Mitt's official campaign, I heard it from Evangelicals For Mitt and here - I was reminded over and over again until I finally voted.

Mitt's solid grassroots organization is what is going to win this nomination!

It's great to be with a winner!

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