Swing State

Politics and Humor…but I repeat myself

Is Romney’s grassroots support legitimate or merley Astroturf?


First there was the touted Romney win at CPAC a couple of weeks ago which numerous bloggers and news mediums have reported the possibility of being tainted because Romney bussed in college students to skew the already skewed sample even more in Romney’s favor.  These reports could not have been worse for Romney considering when the numbers came back and it was all said and done, Rudy Guiliani had actually acquired higher numbers in terms of first and second choice totals.


I am not sure what look worse, getting called out on trying to rig a victory or coming up short in doing so even after being exposed.


And then today Matt Lewis over at TownHall has as interesting article on the Romney campaign here in Michigan and on the importance of the state in the upcoming Primary.  According to the article the Romney campaign is listing members if the MIGOP as endorsers of the campaign who have not exactly given their support to the former Governor.


He also makes a point to note last months blow when some members of Michigan’s legislature who had previously endorsed Romney’s campaign pulled their support.  According to the article, Jack Waldvogel and Joel Westrom, both who were listed as Romney supporters have chosen not to endorse anyone at this time. 

Waldvogel states:

“I like Mitt Romney, but I did not authorize them to use my name in an endorsement … they did use my name in an endorsement ad. I had not authorized that … “

And Westrom adds:

“My name should not have been listed. I’ve been working with the Romney team and the First District and there was a misunderstanding about my support. As Chairman for the District, I’m neutral in the Presidential race.”


To add yet another foul apple to the giant bundle that is stinking up the blogosphere for Romney, Eye on 08’ is questioning the legitimacy of Romney’s poll numbers in New Hampshire because of the methodology used in collecting data by the polling firm Franlin Peirce; who Eye on 08’ points out used to be run by Romney consultant, Rich Killion.

Eye on 08’ sums it up nicely:


“Two polls show Romney in the game in New Hampshire (the other is Suffolk University, “in the heart of Boston”). Both of them have shoddy methodology. The most recent is Romney’s consultant’s old polling shop.”


Now in defense of Romney the whole straw pole thing might have been blown a little out of proportion because amassing a group of supporters to win a straw poll is nothing new in the game, all it basically does is ruin the legitimacy of most straw polls because everyone does it.


Unfortunately for Romney, however, the fact the Rudy Giuliani was actually able to come out ahead in the CPAC straw poll from a certain point of view with almost no organization what-so-ever is the more damaging of the two accusations.


Concerning the mess that Romney has got himself into in Michigan in terms of loosing previously committed supporters and fabricating the existence of others, Romney’s Michigan grassroots organizer, Gerry Mason, had this to say:

“We do not want anybody on our list who is not supporting Mitt. Anyone on that list has been contacted two or three times. At this point in the game, the last thing we need to do is to list somebody by accident.”

OK…I’ll buy that, everyone makes mistakes.

As for the polling accusation, as far as I am concerned, whether or not Team Romney might have had some effect on the legitimacy of the polling data is concerning to me for only one reason; (seeing as how very few people in this stage of the game besides us politicos are paying attention to this stuff)  he is still polling third in the state behind McCain and Giuliani

This does not bode well for Team Romney as they try to position their candidate as “top tier” whether it is by legitimate grassroots support or by and Astroturf campaign.

Either way you look at it, it seems that they are failing.


March 15, 2007 - Posted by | Michigan Politics, News from the News

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