Saturday, May 20, 2006

Allen, Thompson & Van Hollen Favored in WisPolitics GOP Convo Straw Poll

GOP activists voting in the annual Straw Poll this weekend favored JB Van Hollen for attorney general, Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate and George Allen for president.

Van Hollen and Thompson were heavily favored by official convention attendees as the picks to represent Republicans on the November ballot, while Allen, with 61 votes, narrowly edged Rudy Giuliani (60), Newt Gingrich (53) and Condi Rice (50) as the current choice for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008.

Last year in Sheboygan, Secretary of State Rice won the presidential preference straw poll. And gubernatorial candidate Mark Green, lieutenant governor candidate Jean Hundertmark and Van Hollen won the straw poll of GOP activists at that Wisconsin Republican Party convention. In that straw poll, 322 total ballots were cast.

In this year's WisPolitics straw poll at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention in Appleton, 357 total ballots were cast by official convention attendees despite state Republican Party efforts to curtail voting by activists in the straw poll.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin and attorney general candidates Paul Bucher and Van Hollen, in a letter to WisPolitics earlier in the week, requested that an AG question be excluded from the WisPolitics straw poll because of an agreement between the competing attorney general campaigns to discourage straw polls and a convention endorsement vote. The letter was distributed to convention-goers. declined the request.

See the exchange of letters.

But Bucher and Van Hollen, and representatives of their campaigns, ended up voting in the WisPolitics straw poll this weekend, though it was not clear if they answered the question about AG preference. In all, 41 respondents left that question blank. Bucher is the Waukesha County district attorney; Van Hollen is a former district attorney and U.S. attorney. In November, one of them will meet the winner of the Democratic AG primary between incumbent Peg Lautenschlager and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

357 total ballots cast

**Who is your choice in the GOP primary for attorney general?
_ Paul Bucher, 88 votes
_ JB Van Hollen, 228 votes
No response, 41

**Who is your choice to run against Herb Kohl for the U.S. Senate?
_ Marc Gumz, 3
_ Robert Gerald Lorge, 20
_ Tim Michels, 76
_ Dave Redick, 2
_ Tommy Thompson, 241
_ Write In, 6
No response, 9

**Which possible 2008 presidential candidate do you currently favor?
_ George Allen, 61
_ Sam Brownback, 11
_ Bill Frist, 8
_ Newt Gingrich, 53
_ Rudy Giuliani, 60
_ Chuck Hagel, 1
_ Mike Huckabee, 2
_ John McCain, 37
_ George Pataki, 4
_ Condi Rice, 50
_ Mitt Romney, 40
_ Tom Tancredo, 8
_ Write In, 7
No response, 15