Ron Paul

How to Buy a Straw Poll


Republicans held a straw poll in Vinoy Park, FL, down the road from the YouTube debate, and around 500 Ron Paul backers showed up to support their man. Yet Mitt Romney won the poll handily, with 893 votes out of 1539 cast… at event that drew around 1000 people. How'd he do it?

"I voted 20 times," Derek Gyongzois, 38, of St. Petersburg exclaimed after casting ballots.

He said he works as a volunteer for the Romney campaign (and begged a reporter not to print his 20-vote tally). Did he buy the tickets?

"I don't have that kind of money," Gyongzois said.

He wasn't the only person voting more than once. Paul supporter Mike Wagner, 57, of St. Petersburg: "This thing is rigged."

Some Paul people bought multiple tickets, too, according to the report. But a campaign paying $400 to one person, and maybe more than $10,000 overall, just to spite the Paul people? Given that it led to the sleazy scene captured by YouTuber geo2525t , I don't know if it was worth it. Watch the volunteers with Romney stickers vote, remove their voting cards from the machines, insert another card, vote, and repeat. (Geo2525t has another video here.)

NEXT: Government Health Care Efficiency: Paying More for Oxygen, Penis Pumps, and Canes

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  1. That this could happen in Florida is just shocking!

  2. (and begged a reporter not to print his 20-vote tally)

    This looks to be a poor job on the part of the reporter. Not that the reporter ran the 20-vote thing, but that the reporter didn’t play along and get more info from the willing stooge…

  3. It’s a fund raiser.

    I don’t have a problem with it. And I hate Romney.

  4. Democrats are voting in a Republican primary? No wonder VA tried to head them off at the pass (with a really dumb method).

  5. A guy with a bomb is in one of Hillary’s campaign offices in new hampshire according to drudge

  6. Is this type of cheating illegal in any way? Can someone press charges of some sort?

  7. A guy with a bomb is in one of Hillary’s campaign offices in new hampshire according to drudge

    It’s probably the Mooninites again…

  8. It’s surely not illegal what Romney did, but it is extremely embarrassing, the kind of thing that should kill a campaign. Unfortunately the corporate media won’t say a word about it, so most people will never know.

  9. Given the more or less useless nature of straw polls in the first place, it’s hard to get worked up about this. They’re the meatspace equivalent of the non-IP logging internet poll.

  10. Who knows how many other straw polls Romney has bought?

  11. Crazy Stuff That People Will Do.

    Ron Paul Rocks !!!

  12. Hilarious – the SP Times article has a bunch of pissed Paul supporters on the thread.

  13. I’m in NH. I heard in on the news an hour ago.

    2 Hostages, maybe a bomb. Here is what I wrote on another forum…

    Actually, I was thinking *dons tin foil hat* that he was a paid operative of the Romniani campaign who would take hostages with a pocket full of Ron Paul stickers and 9/11 Truther propaganda.

  14. The story about Romney was dugg earlier today, so I don’t think it will be under the radar despite the MSM ignoring it.

  15. I think the guy with the bomb is Dondero. He wants Hillary to concede to Giuliani without waiting for the election.

  16. Repeat after me: Straw polls are meaningless.

  17. For Romney to blow his money on a stupid straw poll shows how loose he will be with the tax payers money. BOOOOOOOO

  18. When Romney buys a straw poll it stays bought, by God!

  19. Meanwhile, the righty blogosphere is up in arms over the sleazy and unfair tactics of… CNN

  20. Hostages have been freed, according to liberal traitor terrorist sympathizer NHPR.

  21. As president Romney would triple the number of straw polls bought.

  22. Although not illegal, it should tell everyone what sort or man is running and staff he surrounds himself with. The money for the votes came from somewhere. This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that voting Americans are sick and tired off. This reminds me of some of the stuff you hear about going in Banana republics – or is that what we have become now – with our subprime mortgages, corrupt media, housing collapse, manufacturing collapse, patriot act, FEMA…I could go on and on but I am not. Vote Dr. Paul and stop the ROT!

  23. @ hostages released. elderly man. known mental problems. not a big deal, it appears.

  24. make that 2 hostages realeased. Itchy shift finger, y’know.

  25. Why does anybody even care about straw polls? They are completely meaningless.

  26. Stuffing the ballot box is almost as old an American tradition as elections themselves.

    …as is denouncing those who stuff the ballot box. Really, it’s like turkey and pumpkin pie.

  27. What this shows is how he is spending campaign cash which is legal for it supports and promotes his campaign.

    Romney is a discrace to even allow people to be part of this so think of what kind of president he would make.

    I am actually starting to like Ron Paul and i think i am going to send him some money and probably my vote in the primary.

  28. Ron Paul has done quite well in straw polls, without buying them:

    It makes you wonder about the political “experts” who question whether Ron Paul’s well-organized, numerous, and highly motivated volunteer base will “translate into votes” — it looks like it already has, on numerous occasions.

    The bigger question is will Rudy Giuliani’s support in random telephone surveys of people who probably can’t even name half the candidates translate into votes….

  29. The scariest thing is that we have people in this country who think that buying multiple tickets to stuff a straw poll ballot box is a good use of their time and money. They need to get a life.

  30. Stuffing the ballot box is almost as old an American tradition as elections themselves.


  31. “He wasn’t the only person voting more than once. Paul supporter Mike Wagner, 57, of St. Petersburg: “This thing is rigged.””

    I’ll take private rigged straw pole over nationally televised rigged CNN debate anytime. Is this the best counter-punch you’ve got Weigel?

    But then, CNN shot itself in both the head and groin — losing so much blood, that I suspect it won’t really matter now anyway.

  32. How long before the conspiracists claim this is PROOF that the primaries are going to be rigged against Ron Paul?

  33. A guy with a bomb is in one of Hillary’s campaign offices in new hampshire according to drudge

    Whoops! Wrong door. You did say Obomba, right?

  34. This is PROOF that the primaries are going to be rigged against Ron Paul! It’s a conspiracy!

  35. Brandybuck – 12 minutes.

  36. Straw polls are not proper polls and were never meant to be. They were fund raisers for the Republican Party. In Iowa Ron Paul bought tickets to allow people to vote on his behalf and gave them away as well. That some Paul voters are in weepy hysterics and acting outraged is a double standard. Paul voters could do it and have done it as well. But the Paulists are notorious with their doublestandards. Earmarks by other candidates is bad news — but when Paul does it they can be justified.

  37. There’s a difference between buying tickets and giving one to each Paul supporter and buying 30 tickets for each Romney supporter. I’m guessing sem. can’t figure that out.

    That said, it’s not that big a deal. Romney bought the Iowa straw poll too with all of his busses and whatnot. It’s how the local Party apparatus raises money. I’d let Rich Uncle Romney finance my political party shindigs, too, were I in charge.

    It does look dodgy, though.

  38. In the latest straw poll, 38 percent said they wanted to be made into a broom, while 57 percent wanted to be a basket.
    5 percent were undecided.

  39. this is reminiscent of the weak logic behind the “when clinton lied, nobody died” bumper stickers. paul cheated, but romney cheated worse, so ron paul is awesome? either they are both cheaters, or else straw polls are pointless and meaningless, or both. but what can not logically follow is “cheating is not cheating if ron paul does it.” except in the fantasy land of h&r, apparently.

  40. Stuffing the ballot box is almost as old an American tradition as elections themselves.


    Boss, I read a biography about you earlier this year. I’ll give you credit for ballsy, no apologies, voting fraud. Machine politics hasn’t been the same without you.

  41. But the Paulists are notorious with their doublestandards.

    Care to elaborate?

  42. In the latest straw poll, 38 percent said they wanted to be made into a broom, while 57 percent wanted to be a basket.
    5 percent were undecided.

    How many said they’d rather be a hammer than a nail?

  43. As a Ron Paul supporter I can’t say straw polls are meaningless. We brag when Paul wins. You and I know they can be bought but sheeple don’t and when they hear Mitt won they’re happy because the man the media is pushing on them won. Now they don’t have to think and they will mindlessly vote for whom they been told to. We need to wake them up and have them do what every good american should do and find out for themselves who is the best candidate for the job. I’m sure that most who do the research will find that it is Ron Paul.
    We know he’s the best, now convince the rest.
    P.S. To the Michael before me, go pound sand up your ……

  44. Hey man, I didn’t say it, sem. did. I left quotation marks off, though. I wanted to know what this person meant by their comments. I don’t know to which double standards he/she was referring.

  45. I think jimmy is just a strawman.

  46. As a Ron Paul supporter I can’t say straw polls are meaningless.

    Yes you can. It just takes a little courage. Maybe a swig (or five) of strong drink. Nothing like alcohol to spark that oddly lucid yet fleeting coherence that comes with artificial stimulation. Write it all down before you forget it. It was all a wonderful dream, but now it’s time to get back to work and face your miserable future.

    Happy to be of help. Buh-bye!

  47. This whole episode climaxed with a physical threat to one of the Ron Paul supporters who organized grassroots attendance at the event. It’s a very sad and frustrating story. I highly recommend watching the video linked from Digg below.

  48. Straw polls are suppossed to measure organizational ability. Campaigns that want to compete, identify supporters and get them to show up at the staw poll. It is also usual for the campaigns to pay any costs for their supporters to participate.

    Meetups have formed a good bit of the organization of the Paul campaign. Someone finds out about a straw poll, and the call goes out for Paul supporters to show up. Efforts are made to get the campaign to pay for the tickets. Sometimes the campaign does.

    Paul supporters show up, and generally do pretty well.

    The local long-time Republican activists show up as usual, but a bunch of Ron Paul supporters show up and sometimes swamp the others, and other times make up a significant minority.

    Sometimes another campaign makes an effort as well. They buy tickets and try to get supporters to show up.

    The Paul campaign shows that in much of the country, it is competitive with the other campaigns in this way. And they are doing it across much more of the country more often than anyone else.

    Most staw polls only allow each person attending to vote only once. This campaign
    was unusual in that they let people vote multiple times, and the Romney people used this to win.

    According the the report in the paper, about 500 Paul supporters attended and Paul received 534 votes. It also said that Paul supporters were voting multiple times before rain ended the BBQ.

    So, some Paul supporters showed bad judgement. Romney is “cheating” and winning. We will do it to. Well, they didn’t win. And they apparently didn’t do too much cheating. (Only 34 extra votes.)

    The other campaigns apparently made no real effort here, and when you add up their support (probably local party regulars), it suggests that Paul won in terms of getting his supporters to show up.

    It is an embarrassment for the Romney campaign. And it is sad that the Paul supporters who voted more than once (maybe
    34 of the 500 bought another ticket and voted
    again because Romney is doing it?) showed
    poor judgement.

    But it looks worse for Romney.

  49. Top ten reasons Ron Paul won’t win the nomination for anything except Kook of the Month:

    1. There aren’t enough Nazis voting in the primaries
    2. Dimwits who think there’s a “war on religion” have already formed their own cults.
    3. He has Tancredo’s position on immigration but not Tancredo’s charm.
    4. He makes Bush look charismatic
    5. If he receives a donation from Osama Bin Laden-and he might-he will refuse to give it back.
    6. He looks like an aged Alfred E. Newman.
    7. People tend to go into shock on learning about his positions.
    8. Most of his supporters couldn’t grab their asses with both hands, much less remember voting day.
    9. Aliens have abducted most of his staff and replaced them with alien look-alikes.
    10. The liberal-controlled press will never let him win. Never!

  50. Who says retards can’t count to ten?

  51. 11. Ron Paul supporters are too witless to come up with a good insult.

  52. Possible conspiracy theories to explain Ron Paul’s defeat:

    1. Zionists paid the Nazis to suport him.
    2. Atheists removed all references to God from the Constitution.
    3. The federal government pushed daylight savings time knowing full well that many libertarians would refuse to reset their clocks and fail to vote on time.
    4. ?
    5. ?

  53. I could have sworn that edward declared that he would stop posting here.

    I call on the power of mighty Urkobold? to cast out the lesser troll edward and exorcise him from this blog thread!

    The power of Urkobold? compels you!

    The power of Urkobold? compels you!

    The power of Urkobold? compels you!

  54. Possible headlines

    Pundits shocked that quirky long-shot anti-war Republican candidate with Nazi backing fails to capture nomination

    With ust under 2% of the vote, Ron Paul backers refuse to concede defeat

    Ron Paul to choose the late Aaron Russo as running mate

  55. Ron Paul’s appearance on CNN’s Late Edition raises suspicions among Paulistas that the mainstream media are intent on undermining their candidate with media exposure.
    “It’s a no brainer,” said a Ron Paul activist. “The more people know he’s running, the more they attack him. The liberal meadia are vicious.”

  56. From the lunatic religious right:

    The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.

    Pat Robertson? Nope, Ron Paul “The War Against religion”

  57. Remember we need Romney in the race. The more candidates, the further spaced out the votes, and the lower percentage Paul needs to win.

  58. Kevin

    Ron Paul won’t win even if all the other candidates die in accidents.

  59. Edward:

    Even if Ron Paul does not win the presidential election, at least he restored my faith in humanity.


  60. Romney is an unethical cheat, with a lying son who announced on his blog that his father won the straw poll in St Pete after he rallied the crowd, but what is worse is that he cheats with the assistance of the Republican party. I do not believe that he has won any straw polls legitimately. I never see any Romney signs or supporters at Republican event other than his family and staff. The issue that should enrage everyone regardless of who you support is the integrity of the vote in this election. let the victor be the real choice of the people. Expose the cheaters, clean up the process and lets start a national crusade to have an accurate count.

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