Round two of the Freedom's Defenders 2016 Straw Poll has closed (and Round 3 opens at noon today!). This round was an intriguing but -- when you compare it to Round 1 -- slightly more predictable battle between supporters of some of 2016's top potential candidates. Here's what we saw from behind the scenes.
Rick Santorum's supporters are well organized and good at rapid-response. I've known this for a while now, but this poll really showed it. Within an hour of the poll being posted, Santorum was leading by a more than two-to-one margin compared to the next guy down the list. It took the other contenders a while to catch up -- which they never fully did. Rick Santorum won by one vote over Senator Ted Cruz.
The Senator-to-Governor vote ratio stayed pretty much even, compared to Round 1. Last round, governors took about 35% of votes cast, and Senators did as well. This round, they each scored 37% and 38% respectively, with other contenders splitting the remaining 25%.
Once again, it's obvious we're all pretty conservative around here. Jeb Bush and Chris Christie may have managed to make it into this round, but they failed to make the cut for Round 3... Christie finished second-to-last, while Jeb Bush is only two places higher.
Because a poll would be boring without them... write-ins. Once again, Joel Grewe scores two write-in votes (we're assuming this is the same Joel Grewe that heads up Generation Joshua). Scoring one write-in vote each: Senator Tom Cotton, Trey Gowdy, Alan Keyes, Pat Paulson, and Robert McLeod. And to whoever asked "So if a write-in guy gets more votes than Ehlrich, do you list him?" in the write-in slot, thanks for asking. If a write-in got enough votes to make the cut for the next round, yes, we would indeed include them. (For those wondering, Bob Ehrlich was the only candidate to receive zero votes in Round 1). And by the way, if anybody has any questions that you like to have answered more directly, you can always contact us here.
A prediction... As you probably heard, a certain United States Senator and conservative warrior launches his Presidential campaign today (more on that later). It will be interesting to see how this affects Round 3, but I'll go ahead and guess that Senator Ted Cruz wins round 3.
This is not a scientific poll. 402 votes were cast, probably by about 100-150 individuals -- while each user could select 5 candidates, not all of them did. We could have paid the creators of the poll to be able to access more information, such as the exact number of voters and which users voted for which candidate, but we're fiscal conservatives through and through, and the $200 price tag was just a bit more than a bit too high.
Additionally, we received several write-in votes for candidates on the list. We choose not to count these votes to ensure that nobody could vote for Bob Smith and then write-in Bob Smith as well, scoring two votes by one voter.
We know that this poll was posted in Facebook groups supporting Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Condoleeza Rice, and potentially others as well.