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What is Your Voting Strategy?

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By Jason Hoyt of the ‘Tea Party Patriots Live’ Radio Show

A few weeks ago, Phil and I discussed voting strategy on the ‘Tea Party Patriots Live’ radio show, which broadcasts every Saturday from 4-6pm EST on 660AM WORL in Orlando.  This has been an ongoing debate basically since I’ve known him.  He and I come from two different approaches.  Phil applies a strategy to the general election in November that I’ll be applying to the Florida primary on August 24th. 

Phil’s voting strategy entails simply voting his conscience, supporting the candidate that most likely represents his values and letting the chips fall where they may.  Although I agree with his sentiment, I’m more of a realist and I apply a bit more strategy to my vote.

Florida Primary Election – August 24th, 2010
Phil’s strategy, voting for the candidate that best represents his values, is the very strategy I apply in the primary.  And its the fear that my candidate might not win that drives me to volunteer like mad in the weeks and months running up to the election. 

Many in the tea party movement want to send a message to “the establishment” that We The People should be selecting our candidate of choice, not the “party bosses” nor those that live off the network of insiders.  I concur.  And the time to do that is definitely in the Primary.

A Message to Independents
If you’re registered as an Independent, however, and if you’re sitting back and waiting to see who wins the Republican Primary or the Democrat Primary,…please reconsider your voting strategy and join us in the fight as soon as possible.  I believe the focus of this election is about fiscal issues: government spending, debt, deficits, taxes, government intervention into our “free” market, and the idea that bureaucrats in Washington think the American people can’t take care of ourselves, can’t make decisions for our families and that they know what’s best for us.  We need all hands on deck to defeat them!!

A Message to “The Establishment”
As we know to apply this on a case-by-case basis, I believe its safe to say there’s a pretty good chance there’s a candidate who agrees with these principles in the Republican Primary.  There may be one in the Democrat Primary as well but I believe that party was hijacked by liberal progressives long ago.  I also believe there’s a pretty good chance that a RINO (Republican In Name Only) candidate or atleast one favored by the establishment that is more prone to party favors than strict constitutionally principled votes.  The time to send a message to the establishment and those that live off it’s network is in the primary, and we need the help of Independents. Having Independents change their voter registraiton and having them participate in the Republican Primary is key.  Change it back for the General Election, but let’s all get involved in deciding the fate of our country now.

General Election – November 2nd, 2010
My strategy for the November General Election changes from a strict principled vote to a more strategic approach. I think we have to be more interested in determining who will actually end up in that seat at the end of the election.  Answering the question “who has a chance” of winning is only a determination I can make closer to the general election. Constantly considering that question determines how much I’m going to volunteer and do my best to affect the outcome, but at the end of the day, at that moment, I must determine what the result of the election is going to be, and how that may be impacted by my vote.

Here’s an excerpt from the radio show on Saturday, May 29th, 2010:


In a recent Orlando Sentinel article, Phil was quoted regarding the US Senate race with Crist, Meeks, Rubio and Phil’s choice, Alex Snitker, running as a Libertarian candidate. 

Some Tea Party activists already have cooled a bit on Rubio, said Phil Russo, an Orlando-based Tea Party organizer and radio host.

Russo said Tea Party voters found Rubio to be squishy on illegal immigration — he initially expressed concerns about Arizona’s new law — and unwilling to sign a handful of campaign pledges on subjects ranging from tax reform to the U.S. Constitution.

Russo said Rubio has mastered the “vernacular” of the Tea Party, but he said some in the movement have come to question his sincerity.

“Early on, people looked at him and thought, ‘Oh, god, he’s not Charlie [Crist]. This is awesome!’ ” Russo said.

But as they learned about his time as a Florida legislator — eight years total, two spent as House speaker — “some have said, ‘Aw, he’s just like the rest of them.’ ”

Russo said hardcore Tea Partiers, even if they’re registered Republicans, won’t vote for Rubio just because he’ll be the GOP nominee. They might instead choose to send a message by voting for someone with no traditional party ties — a candidate like Libertarian Alex Snitker.

With three contenders in the race — Rubio, Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek — losing even a point or two to an unknown like Snitker could be damaging.

“Can Alex Snitker win? No.” said Russo. “But he could screw over Rubio.”

Read more…. Analysis: With Crist aside, Rubio can start moving to the middle

“Can Alex Snitker win? No.”, said Russo.  Well, then why vote for him?  Why not vote for a candidate that closely resembles your values that can actually win? 

You have to take into consideration who will actually end up in that seat.  Will Snitker voters reduce the number of votes that Meeks gets?  …that Crist gets?  …or that Rubio gets?  Personally, I think he’ll take votes away from Rubio.  And what was Russo’s final quote in the article?  “But he could screw over Rubio.”  And what will come out of it?  Crist will likely win.  So is that a viable strategy?  Is that really what Russo wants?

One of Phil’s concerns is if we don’t send a message to GOP party bosses, then they’ll keep “giving” us RINO candidates.  We must send them a message, he believes.  And I agree.  How we send that message, however, is the key.  Phil, until recently, has been a registered Libertarian, so he has done his share of complaining about who “those Republicans” have given him as an option in the General Election while not having participated in the Primary to change that outcome.  To me, its certainly an odd approach.

In my opinion, as Crist was considered the GOP choice last year, we’ve already sent “them” a message.  With Rubio’s rise and Crist’s fall then departure from the GOP,…we’ve made that choice clear and the GOP should have heard our message.

In FL Congressional District 8, the seat currently occupied by Alan Grayson, there’s a similar story.  In this story, however, we will have a primary.

My voting strategy is as follows:
– I’m going to search for the candidate that closely resembles my values.
– I will support them heavily during the primary process: volunteering, donating, promoting, etc.
– I will do everything I can to send the “establishment” a message in the primary by making sure a “tea party movement worthy” candidate wins.
– For the general election, my strategy changes a bit, regardless of who wins the primary.
– I will focus on making sure Alan Grayson, who represents Nancy Pelosi and Obama’s incredibly fast-paced march toward socialism, loses.
– I will do everything I can to either stop or at least slow down that march.

If I vote for someone that doesn’t have a chance of winning, and ends up continuing this country down the path we’re currently on,…then what good did it do us?

Enough about me,….tell me about your voting strategy.

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