Roger L. Simon

Analyzing the votes in the PJM Presidential Straw Poll

We’ve had over twelve thousand votes cast in the PJM Straw Poll and the results so far are fascinating to me – although I am not clear what to make of them. Apparently our readers, the ones voting anyway, are not too fond of John McCain who is running a surprisingly low 5.3 percent at this writing. Gingrich is running stronger than I expected and Giuliani is in the lead.

On the Dem side, we have Obama strongly in the lead with Richardson second. I think Richardson’s high numbers may be accounted for by his being a favorite of Republicans. We encourage people to vote in both parties. (It could be that some voters are choosing candidates in their “enemy” party they think would be losers for that party.) As for Obama, the poll was linked by the Huffington Post and this may account for his popularity. Hillary is known not be a favorite of Arianna’s.

But I speculate. The truth is I’m not sure what’s going on. I do know that some of the campaigns are watching the poll. I also suspect we will have some profound swings in the weeks to come. (It’s a weekly poll.) These swings may even be early harbingers of swings in the wider public. It will be interesting to see.

We inadvertently left off Ron Paul from our Republican candidate list and will add him next week – Fred Thompson also, whose name has been bandied about. We didn’t think it fair to either of them to add them midweek. We’ll also be keeping an eye out for third party candidates as they surface.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey has persuaded me that a Bill Richardson candidacy could be formidable. Perhaps his numbers are no accident.