Sunday, April 30, 2006


Hawkins County Straw Poll Results

I will post more on the event later, but here are the results of the straw poll in Hawkins County last night.

U.S. Senate

1st - Ed Bryant - 131 (44%)

2nd - Bob Corker - 100 (33%)

3rd - Van Hilleary - 68 (23%)

U.S. House, 1st District

1st - David Davis - 87

2nd - Richard Venable - 71

3rd - Vance Cheek - 32

4th (tie) - Dr. Phil Roe - 30

4th (tie) - Richard Roberts - 30


1st - Jim Bryson - 221 (87%)

2nd - Mark Albertini - 33 (13%)

From all indications, the poll was run fairly (although a bit disjunct, with some votes being collected some 10-15 minutes before others), and there were no apparent attempts at vote stacking or bussing in of voters. I will have more later after church.

FYI: Richard Venable only received 63 votes rather than 71.
Come on, Rob. How do you figure no candidate bused in voters when Richard Roberts had the huge tour bus parked out front to fill his three tables? It doesn't matter, though, since he only got six votes in addition to the 24 which sat at the tables he purchased. He had better get all of that Niswonger money into this race pretty fast if he wants to finish in the top four.

I agree that no candidates tried stacking. A Bryant staffer actually returned a ballot after receivng two by mistake.

The only questionable tactic I saw was Vance Cheek being accomponied by eight children of under 10 years old, all of whom received straw poll ballots... The Sebastian kid, who is 17 and helping Cheek, also received a voting card... I would say Cheek's numbers were inflated by rougly 10 underage votes.. I also saw a handfull of Johnson City residents in attendance and wearing Cheek stickers. So, on second thought, his numbers are extremely inflated.
I have never known straw polls to limit participation to only those of legal voting age. My three kids enjoy participating in straw polls, because politics has been a family focus. All three of my children have been in a voting booth their entire life. As infants they were carried into the voting booths.

Today, they go with my wife and I into the booth. We should encourage kids to participate in straw polls. With voter apathy, today, let's build the voters of tommorrow.
I'm not saying children shouldn't vote. I'm saying Cheek's numbers are heavily padded -- and they clearly are.
Of course, Richard Roberts showing up with the blood-mobile isn't a ploy to encourage democracy
I only counted 5 children with Cheek. This was an issue to me because 3 of them kept running around from inside to the outside. I did notice one baby with them. I don't know who you are referring to as "the Sebastian kid". I only noticed the young ones -- 3 to be exact, not 8 as votedavis06 says. And they appear to be family members children -- I've seen them all at events before and never really thought Cheek was out driving a school bus recruiting kids for Lincoln Days to stack votes! Although that's a funny thought!

I'd have to agree with Brian Hornback in that I think the one sure way to encourage the upcoming generations to vote is to allow them to participate in events such as these.

That being said, I always notice that Davis seems to have several young guys who follow him around.
I think we're interchanging "young" too freely. Being 22 myself, I would put myself in a slightly different category than someone under 10 years old. Davis brings the same three young staffers to every event he has. With Cheek, I sat right behind his table and counted exactly how many children were with his party. It isn't a big deal, but these foks certainly gave him a boost in the straw poll.
Having attended the Lincoln Day Dinner in question, I can assure you that there were no disadvantages presented to any candidates. As for the votes taking time to count, yes it did take time with six people sorting & counting almost 400 votes with multiple candidates in each category.
Both Chairman Cecile Testerman & Mike Faulk should be commended for their efforts on attempting to accomodate everyone & having what most have deemed to be the most successful Lincoln Day Dinner ever in Hawkins County. Petty trivualizations are only harmful to the Party as a whole & serve no function other than to cause divisiveness.
If straw poll votes counted as real votes in the real world we would have 435 very different people sitting in Congress. What was clear from the speaches was that Cheek was the most animated and interesting speaker of the bunch. Cheek clearly could run (or drive) circles around them.
Perhaps someone needs to learn how to count?
I only saw 4 - 5 kids with Cheek and 2 of those were my own and I know that my son did not vote because he and I were outside because he had a run-in with a concrete bench.
Straw Polls are just meant for fun and truly do not indicate what anyone thinks, but those present at the time of the poll.
I thought Sat. night was a great event and I am proud that my kids have been able to attend several Lincoln Day Dinners in various areas and see exactly how these political events and the politicians operate.
I need to learn how to count? Perhaps you should start being a tad more transparent by actually logging in rather than trying to manipulate a false sense of agreement.
Dear Anonymous ---

VoteDavis06 is young. He's 22 according to his post so perhaps he's polishing that counting skill. He's also a bit defensive about your remarks. Me thinks he doeth protest too much and perhaps knows that you are correct with your own testimony regarding the children attending with Cheek.
Dear anonymous -- you are the same person who posted the initial remark. The same writing style and key words are used. I hope Rob clears everything up by looking at where the posts originated. You seem awfully defensive yourself about the children subject. I could claim the same logic you did, so I'm not sure where you're going with that. Have a nice day and I hope we meet on August 3rd.
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