A few thoughts on today's GOP TX Straw Poll ...
1. Texas Congressman Ron Paul
, came in 3rd. Most of his supporters, apparently, were not eligible to vote in the TX Straw Poll (only Delegates to the state convention were eligible). Though Paul turned out lots of supporters, it didn't translate to votes, leading me to ask: If Paul can't come in 1st place here -- where can he win (other than the internet)? Frankly, it is entirely possible that Paul's aggressive (and non-traditional) supporters may have actually turned some party regulars (who could vote) against the candidate.
2. This morning (on the video that will be posted later), I predicted Fred Thompson
would have a surprisingly strong finish. He did. I think there are two reasons: For one, Thompson's southern appeal fits in well in Texas. The other reason is that his announcement on Friday (that he will announce for president after Labor Day), gave him a little buzz going into the weekend.
3. Duncan Hunter
is obviously a big winner here. He deserved to win because he showed up -- and really worked it. He shook hands with hundreds of folks, and signed lots of autographs (mostly on tee-shirts). I can't help but believe many of the votes Hunter got were due to his merely showing up and campaigning hard. The question is: Would these votes have also propelled Mike Huckabee to a victory here? We won't know if this was a huge missed opportunity for Huckabee to keep his momentum going. Hunter took advantage, and for that, I give him kudos ...
4. Special thanks to Chairman Tina Benkiser
and her top-notch staff. Also, special thanks to Hugh Hewitt
for taking the TH team out to a very nice meal last night. KSKY's Dwayne Horner
was huge in putting this together. And lastly, special thanks to Greg Stamps
-- our "Townhall Texan" -- for all his help!