By Allen Wilson
I’ll admit that I’ve been less than enthusiastic about straw polls and their reflection of the true mood of the electorate. It is also worth noting that responses to comparisons of these polls depends heavily on the outcome and the candidate making the comments. But,occasionally there are tid bits of information that may give us some insight.
Take for instance the Leadership Lake County straw poll Tuesday Night. Candidates had the option of buying a table and voters had the ability to talk with many of the candidates one on one. Big winners on the night were Leslie Campione running for District 4 County Commissioner and Sean Parks running for District 2 County Commissioner. From school board to governor votes were cast and winners and losers walked away assessing the meaning of the results.
It was a good night for Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Pam Bondi also came out on top. A list of winners can be found at dailycommercial.com with some local analysis and comments at The Right Side of the Lake.
One race that yielded some interesting results was the US Congressional District 8 contest. With 10 contenders including Alan Grayson and Daniel Webster the outcome was anything but predictable. Surprisingly, Grayson made a passably good showing. If this straw poll is anything to judge by, Todd Long’s recent declaration that he was the candidate that could beat Grayson was somewhat premature as Grayson out polled both Long and Webster. Kurt Kelly may have finally found some respect, besting Daniel Webster.
The winner though was the candidate who has been working hard to win the hearts and minds of voters throughout the district, Patricia Sullivan. Sullivan beat the incumbent freshman Grayson by 11% and her nearest Republican rival by 5% making it very hard for her opponents and the local press to find a way to marginalize her popularity.