Second-Tier Republican Candidates Counting On Elaborate Mutual Self-Delusion

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Look, Wonkette readers: you're going to hear a lot about this so-called "Iowa straw poll" in the next few days. We would just like to point out something very important about it: it's a huge big lie, a pack of lies, lies upon lies! No, really: a lie.

Fun facts about the Iowa straw poll:

* When they say "poll," it's not a "poll" like "going to the polls", it's a "poll" like "taking a poll." It's supposed to gauge support for various candidates. It doesn't decide anything.

* In contrast with most polls whose results actually tell you something about how voting patterns might suss out, you have to pay to participate in the Iowa straw poll.

* The money all goes to the Iowa GOP. In fact, the straw poll is really an elaborate fundraiser for the state party. Its real purpose is to buy office supplies for Iowa Republicans, not to breathe life into Tommy fucking Thompson's campaign.

* Almost nobody pays their own money to participate in the Iowa straw poll. Their favored candidates pay for them. This makes the results completely meaningless.

* Still, candidates pretend that they actually have to woo poll-goers, as if they hadn't been bought and paid for in advance. This year, for instance, Mitt Romney has a tent that promises "music, barbecue and a whole lot of fun" for people for whom folding cash somehow isn't enough.

* At the 1999 straw poll, George W. Bush spent $62,000 on pork -- not on home district spending, but on actual cooked hog flesh.

* Despite an atmosphere that is cross between a county fair and the last corrupt days of the Roman Republic, the results of the straw poll will be treated as meaningful by thousands of political reporters who know better. Did Sam Brownback manage to bribe more people than Mike Huckabee and come in a distant second to Mitt Romney? OH MY GOD INSTANT CREDIBILITY! Did Rudy Giuliani decide to skip this ghastly parody of the democratic process because, against all appearances, he still holds on to a shred of dignity? HOLY COW HIS CAMPAIGN'S IN TROUBLE!

This is my final post as guest editor; Ken Layne returns tomorrow. If I leave you with just one thought, let it be this: FOR GOD'S SAKE THIS THING IS A FARCE DON'T BELIEVE IT OR PAY ATTENTION NO NO NO!

Oh, and that thing that's gonna happen next November? Probably won't change anything either. You've been warned!

When A Poll Is Not Really A Poll [WP]


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