McCain Wins Straw Poll in SC… Barely

The CNN Political News Ticker is reporting that Senator John McCain barely won a straw poll in Spartanburg, SC by two votes. My read on this story is that you have a whole lot of conservatives who want to send a message that while they like Rudy Giuliani, they’re not fully convinced of his positions on social issues. There’s probably a strong contingent of hard core Southern Baptist who are having a tough time with the “Mormon thing” with Romney. That would explain a better showing by Duncan Hunter.

Here is the text of the story:

Friday, March 02, 2007
McCain wins Spartanburg straw poll
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Arizona Sen. John McCain won a Spartanburg, South Carolina straw poll Friday, an early sign of how conservative South Carolinians might view the GOP presidential field.

McCain beat former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani by two votes, 164-162, according to Spartanburg County GOP chairman Rick Beltram. California Rep. Duncan Hunter came in third with 158 votes.

A total of 776 people voted in the straw poll.

Full results:

Arizona Sen. John McCain: 164
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: 162
California Rep. Duncan Hunter: 158
Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback: 85
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: 80
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich: 33 (write-in)
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: 21
Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: 10
Attorney John Cox: 4
Texas Rep. Ron Paul: 4
Secretary of state Condoleezza Rice: 2 (write-in)
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore: 1
Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson: 1
Sanders (the party was unable to identify this candidate): 1 (write-in)


  1. When you look at the numbers from both the SC poll and the CPAC poll, Giuliani has some strong support, probably the most consistently strong of any candidate at this point. But, interesting how well Newt did, even as a write-in. But is he electable?

    It is still very early and so much can happen. Six months is an eternity in a presidential campaign, and there is over a year before the conventions. That is the political equivalent of having a lot of rope left for any one of them to hang themselves is given the chance or for the opposition to find something.

  2. kralmajales says

    Who the heck is Duncan Hunter and how did he get so many of his pals to come out so that he could come in 3rd?


  3. Keen Observer says

    In response to kralmajales question:

    Duncan Hunter is a Conservative Congressman from San Diego, California. He was instrumental in the construction of the border fence between Mexico and California. A Vietnam veteran and former chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Hunter was the guest speaker at the recent Trunk & Tusk dinner. He spoke to a packed room and impressed everyone there. He was introduced that evening by AZ Congressman, Trent Franks, who has endorsed Duncan Hunter’s candidacy.

    His presidential website is:
    Check out the items under “core principles” and “biography,” for a good introduction to this intriguing man. If he doesn’t make the top-of-the-ticket, he would certainly be a fine choice as a Vice Presidential running mate.

    He is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the upcoming West Valley Lincoln Day luncheon. March 17, 2007 at the Union Hills Country Club. Call the AZ GOP regarding tickets: (602)957-7770.

  4. kralmajales says

    Thanks! Very interesting.

  5. Keen Observer says

    You’re very welcome.

  6. Grassroots Girl says

    While Hunter is an attractive candidate for conservatives like me, he has some baggage that is likely to get exposed in the near future. Remember Duke Cunningham, former conservative Congressman now sitting in federal prison? The guy who bribed him, Brent Wilkes, was just indicted… which means he is likely going to start to sing like a canary. What does this have to do with Hunter? Hunter has been an active pork-barreler for Wilkes defense projects just as Cunningham was. Sit tight, it could get a little bumpy for Hunter…

  7. Keen Observer says

    If Grassroots Girl is a conservative, pigs fly.
    Rush Limbaugh frequently refers to “seminar callers.” These are trained folks who identify themselves as conservatives to get on the air, and then bash platform Republicans. GG fits the pattern perfectly.

  8. Grassroots Girl says


    Did you not see the results of the election in November? We lost, and a lot of it had to do with people being disgusted by the spending orgy and both real and perceived corruption that we Republicans were responsible for.

    Republicans won in 1994 because we talked about restoring faith and trust and cleaning up Washington. It was easy to campaign against the Democrats in Congress because of the banking scandal that helped us clean house.

    We would be insane to ignore the problems within our own party. Just look at what the Jack Abramoff fiasco did? Because House Leadership tried to ignore the problems, they only made it worse. Cunningham wasn’t even associated with Abramoff, but he was the first to go down. Then Tom DeLay was tied to Abramoff, then Bob Ney. DeLay refused to resign before his primary and we were stuck trying to elect the Republican by write-in and we lost the seat. Ney refused to resign before the candidate filing deadline and we lost the seat.

    And, because Leadership wasn’t responding and DOING something about the KNOWN corruption, we had candidates who had little or nothing to do with Abramoff that got unfairly maligned and lost their seats – people like JD Hayworth and Richard Pombo – who were strong conservatives.

    So, think what you will, but look outside because the pigs are flying. I’m as conservative as they come and I don’t want us as Republicans to make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past. I agree we should support platform Republicans. But, if a platform Republican, like Duke Cunningham, is corrupt, we should throw them out of the party on their ear so they don’t destroy us from within.

  9. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Those of us genuine conservative who are used to GG’s rants are almost pleasantly surprised by her nearly civil tone at this time. That said, none of us has ever thought to call her conservative before and I doubt we will be starting now…

  10. John Q. Public says

    Well said, STS.

  11. How do you come up with these names? Goodness, especially when your name is kind of a plain one like Ann. I’ve got to come up with a better moniker.

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