Yesterday, as part of my depressed rant about the disappointing array of declared Republican presidential candidates, I included an online poll asking PJM readers their opinions about the campaign. There were a surprisingly large number of votes (well over 2,000), and the results — though entirely “unscientific” in the manner of all online polls — were shocking even to me:
87% of voters specifically said they were dissatisfied with the current crop of Republican candidates, with an additional 7% who were “too depressed to even vote in this poll,” for a grand total of a 94% dissatisfaction rate.
Only 5% said they were satisfied with the current field, while 1% liked it because they preferred Obama anyway, for a total of 6% who were happy with the selection of declared candidates.
The second half of the poll asked voters which alternate Republican candidates they’d prefer instead of the ones already in the race. Sarah Palin (45%), Paul Ryan (40%), Allen West (39%) and Marco Rubio (35%) were neck and neck in what was essentially a statistical tie for first place (considering that it’s an online poll), while Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal failed to generate as much excitement. Voters were also allowed to suggest their own candidates, but the “Other” write-in option only garnered 3% of the vote.
(The polls are still open, so these percentages may change as more votes roll in; they are current as of the time of this writing.)
Interestingly, the commenters on the post were much more favorable toward existing candidates (Romney, Paul, Gingrich) and more critical of my suggestion that new candidates join the race; but it seems (as is usually the case) that the active commenters are a small percentage of the most engaged readers; while the “silent majority” of non-commenting readers overwhelmingly expressed their disappointment with the current field.
As polls go, this one is hardly likely to make national headlines, and only reflects the views of the PJMedia readership, but the incontrovertible percentages should make some people (especially with first names like Sarah, Paul, Allen and Marco) sit up and take notice.
(Technical note: The polling software prevents multiple voting by checking IP addresses and cookies; while it is of course possible for determined hackers to bypass these safeguards, there is no evidence that this was done extensively [or at all], so I’m pretty confident that the 2,163 votes represent the opinions of 2,163 different people.)
If you want to see the latest totals, and/or have not yet voted and would like to do so, click here and scroll to the bottom of the post to view and/or vote in the (still-open) polls.