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Week 17 Begins! Vote Now – And get a Widget to make your site or weblog a polling place.

Over 110,000 votes have been cast in the weekly PAJAMAS MEDIA PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL. The seventeenth week has officially begun. DON'T FORGET: You can put the poll on your website or blog with our free voting widget and become a precinct in the Pajamas Media Straw Poll. Learn how the readers of your site are voting and compare it the the total.

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May 13, 2007 - 9:00 pm

Last week had the lowest voter turnout so far in this poll. PJ Media believes – in fact many have told us as much – that distorted poll numbers far different from other national polls have “turned people off” from voting in our poll. We apologize to our readers and intend to fix that situation, while maintaining, as much as possible, the open spirit of our poll.

One reason for this distortion has clearly been people who have been trying to game the system to improve the chances for their favorites, even though these fabrications most often embarrass their candidate and work to his or her detriment.

As an example, this week a computer “bot” was discovered, automating voting in large numbers for Tommy Thompson. Those votes have been deducted, as have other spam votes we have detected, and measures taken to prevent this from happening again.

On the larger issue of which candidates get to be in the poll, PJ Media has been receiving requests from supporters of a long list of candidates to have their favorites included. Some of these candidates were quite well known, but others we had never even heard of. We were in a quandary about what to do. We wanted to be as open as possible, but we had to draw the line somewhere to keep our poll credible. For that reason, some time ago PJ Media announced that our baseline for inclusion would be that the candidate had one percent on the most recent Gallup Poll. We are continuing to stick by that rule.

Therefore, this week three Republicans who achieved one percent in the new Gallup Poll – Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee and Chuck Hagel – have been duly added. Mike Gravel (Democrat, week 16′s runner-up) and Ron Paul (Republican, week 16′s winner) have been removed from the poll because they did not reach one percent on Gallup. If and when those latter candidates again reach one percent, we will reinstate them the following week. Their supporters may be disappointed for now, but it is worth pointing out – and PJ Media takes no pleasure in doing this – that their successes on the PJ Media Poll evidently did them little good on national polls. We encourage Gravel’s and Paul’s supporters to work hard to make an impact on the next Gallup Poll, so we can put their candidates back on the list. The same goes for supporters of other candidates who have not yet appeared on our poll.

We invite those interested to discuss this week’s results on our Round Table.

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