A VERY Good Day for Duncan Hunter
The Republican Party in Spartanburg, SC conducted a straw poll with these very surprising results:
With 81 of 92 precincts reporting, Giuliani garnered 158 votes. California Rep. Duncan Hunter was a close second with 152 votes, and Arizona Sen. John McCain was third with 116 votes, according to county GOP officials. (Report from GoUpstate.com)
Hunter, unlike the supposed frontrunners, had ZERO paid staff working the state for this event. By way of comparison McCain had 11! There is no great love among conservatives for Guiliani, McCain and Romney. Yes, they have the money and the press attention, but they are not acceptable to many. Guilani is respected because of his response to 9/11 and deservedly so. But if you are a conservative first and a Republican second, he's not a very attractive candidate philosophically.
One swallow does not make a summer they say. But this straw poll result is extremely encouraging. Hunter deserves the support of conservatives. Let's get behind his long-shot campaign and turn it into a winner!
UPDATE: Well, apparently just about all the remaining uncounted votes were McCain votes. Here's the final tally:
Still, this is an embarrassment for McCain. There's no other way to put it. He's spent the most money and has by far the most paid people on the ground...and he ends up in a virtual dead heat with two other candidates, one of them almost unknown to the major media. He's having serious cash flow issues (fittingly ironic for the man who trashed the Constitution to bring us campaing finance "reform"), and he just doesn't seem to be connecting the same way he has in the past.
It's even more embarrassing for Mitt Romney. To finish behind Brownback in a poll like this, and in fifth place overall reveals some real problems. He's gotten ten times the media attention and probably 50 times the money of Hunter and Brownback combined...but not the support. Romney has serious issues convincing people he's a real conservative. Too many flip-flops for my liking.
Bottom line--a great day for Duncan Hunter. Hopefully he can generate attention, momentum and fund raising off of this to continue on as the real conservative in the race. It's only a straw poll, but it's far from meaningless.