The Last Straw (Poll)

We see now how the voting went—
The winners now can holler—
With so much time and money spent,
How many votes per dollar?

Or maybe (gosh, I’m cynical)
A different stat to note:
In reaching Ames’s pinnacle…
How many bucks per vote?

The Iowa straw poll is the furthest thing imaginable from a scientifically valid sampling; it costs money (often paid by the candidates’ organizations) for a self-selected, non-representative sample to cast votes… for an incomplete representation of the available candidates, all of whom might not have even joined the race at this point.

So it’s no surprise that more straw poll winners have lost the eventual general election than have won it.

But that’s not my question. I have two questions, neither of which I have been able to find answers for. Perhaps it’s too early, perhaps I am an idiot and have been looking in the wrong place.

First: How did Rick Parry (with an A, for America. An A for IowA) do? I have heard tales of Parry being counted with Perry, and of Parry voters being yelled at by poll officials, but I have seen no official mention of Parry votes in any tally.

Second (and far more interesting): If we divide votes received by dollars spent, how do the candidates rank? In this straw poll, it is perfectly within the rules (I think–please correct me if I am mistaken) for a candidate to pay the voting fee for individuals, in exchange for their pledge to cast their vote for that candidate. So it seems to me a very reasonable question–once we factor in how much money each candidate has poured into this event, how did they do?

If anyone knows, I’ll gladly update this post with the info!


  1. Randomfactor says

    What tickles me is that the poll hasn’t picked the winner of the general election since forever. (Leaving aside the 2000 election where the Supremes flipped a coin…)

    It means what, now?

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