The past week was a very good one for Ted Cruz in South Carolina, as he swept the straw polls at four bi-annual Republican county conventions, and one county GOP Executive Committee bi-monthly meeting.
The first came as Cruz won the Anderson County GOP convention straw poll as follows: Cruz 27%, Walker 25%, Rubio 15%, Huckabee 9%, Graham and Perry 6% each, Santorum 5%, Bush, Paul and Carson 1% each.
But the biggest prizes came for Cruz as he won Greenville, Spartanburg and Aiken GOP convention straw polls all on the same day as follows:
Greenville: Cruz 28%, Walker 22%, Carson 8.5%, Rubio and Santorum 8% each, Bush 5%, Paul and Huckabee 3% each, Graham 3%, Perry 2%, Fiorina 1%
Spartanburg: Cruz 32%, Walker 30%, Santorum 14%, Paul 7%, Others 16% combined.
In the Aiken straw poll, voters could vote for multiple candidates by listing their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices. Scott Walker got the most total votes, but Cruz edged Walker out in 1st choice votes as follows: Cruz 36%, Walker 32%, Rubio 14%, Santorum 9%, Paul 6%
And finally, late last week came the Dorchester county GOP Executive Committee straw poll: Cruz 30%, Walker 25%, Carson 16%, Rubio 11%, Paul 7%, Graham 4%, Santorum 2%, Kasich 2%
Greenville and Spartanburg are by far the two largest and most populated GOP voting counties in the state and count for more than 20% of the total GOP primary vote. The two counties accounted for nearly half of Governor Haley’s 2010 general election net votes.
In order to vote in a GOP convention straw poll, a person must attend their bi-annual precinct reorganization meeting, an be elected as a delegate to their county convention, and pay a registration fee to attend. In the case of the Dorchester Executive Committee, individuals have to attend their precinct reorganization meetings and be elected as a Precinct Committeeman which makes them a voting member of the county Executive Committee. So these straw polls are not ones that can have outside people brought in to vote and sway the results.
While GOP convention and Executive Committee straw polls do not fully represent the primary electorate as a whole, they are a sampling of the most active members of the Republican Party and conservative activists. Having command of their early support can help propel a candidate to later success with the general electorate.
When looking at the numbers from all 5 straw polls combined, four interesting things stand out as a pattern:
1. Ted Cruz won each poll by a pretty consistent margin, and with a pretty consistent percentage of the vote.
2. Similarly, Scott Walker came in a consistent 2nd place by a similar margin, and took a similar percentage of the vote in each poll.
(Take a look at the matchup in all five polls between Cruz and Walker.)
Greenville: Cruz 28%, Walker 22%
Spartanburg: Cruz 32%, Walker 30%
Anderson: Cruz 27%, Walker 25%
Dorchester: Cruz 30%, Walker 25%
Aiken: Cruz 36%, Walker 32%
3. Jeb Bush did not get above 5% of the vote in any of the polls, and in Dorchester and Aiken he received zero votes.
4. Similar to Jeb Bush, Rand Paul scored very low in all polls, especially in Greenville 3%, and Anderson 1%.
Steven Wright, a conservative activist from Dorchester was a voting member in Dorchester’s straw poll. Wright said that he is excited to be helping with the grassroots effort for the Ted Cruz campaign. “The American people are ready for a leader that does what he promises. Senator Cruz has been an active fighter for freedom and limited government in the U.S Senate. I see a large amount of grassroots support here in the Low Country for Senator Cruz. The grassroots are ready to take our country back and we see Senator Cruz as the only candidate in the race who will do that.” Wright said
Article by: Javan Browder
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