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Dorchester Straw Poll; Good News / Bad News

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by user Michael Smith

The bad news is - I didn’t win.  That’s OK, I didn’t expect to win.  The good news is – I came in 5 th and beat 9 others.  The Dorchester Conference gathers Oregon Republicans for a weekend in beautiful Seaside.  This year it included a townhall session with Sen. Gordon Smith (not particularly well received), a much more appreciated speech by Rep Greg Walden, and a presidential straw poll as this morning’s grand finale. 

The audience could nominate whomever they wanted.  Here are the results (with my impressions)


Rudy Giuliani – 60 votes   (friendly audience, receptive to Rudy’s electability)

Newt Gingrich – 34 votes   (he gets a lot of credit for the 90’s)

Mitt Romney - 23 votes   (social conservatives think he’s competent as well)

John McCain – 19 votes   (seemed like mostly “hawk” votes)

Me – Michael Smith – 15 votes  (I focused on small gov / libertarian themes)

Tom Tancredo – 10 votes  (immigration focused)

Fred Thompson – 9 votes  (nostalgia for an actor-president?)

Mike Huckabee – 8 votes  (Pro-lifers??)

Duncan Hunter – 4 votes  (immigration and defense focused)

Greg Walden – 4 votes  (native son / ag supporters)

Hillary Clinton – 2 votes  (smart asses maybe?)

Ron Paul – 1 vote  (libertarian leaners)

Jim Gilmore – 0 votes

Pat Buchanan – 0 votes


The remaining question for Rudy supporters – If the social conservative options had been condensed a bit more, how would he have done?

The weekend felt fruitful to me.  I made some great connections with folks from various county and Republican Womens’ orgs.  I did a radio interview in the lobby, and various people suggested that when I’m done tilting at windmills I should run for something more attainable.  Several state Party officials broke their previous stony silence and even came close to sounding supportive.

I’m tired.  I passed out a bunch of fliers, slapped stickers on anyone within arm’s reach, and just drove the 3 hours back from the coast.  I’m going to kick off my shoes and slip into a beer.  The only other presidential candidate with any presence at the event was a lone staffer for McCain.  They have to be feeling slighted by this result. 

Michael Charles Smith, Republican Candidate for President






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