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robatsu
08-24-2007, 10:12 PM
I left work a little early, showed up at the GOP booth in the Exhibition Hall around 4:00 pm, manned the booth as RP Campaign Rep (each campaign is allowed 1 rep) until closing at 10 pm. Here are my observations (some blurry cellphone pix are here (http://www.cellblock.com/watch.htm?id=QmjidFFHMaaQYEalLPRG)):

First, this poll is very informal and unscientific, so to speak. Fill out your ballot and stick it into a cardboard box. Pretty much working on the honor system. There won't be daily tallies, just all counted up at the end.

The booth is small, only 10x10, Maryland GOP being pretty much flat busted. I was the only person representing a specific candidate, the other people that came and went during the evening (a total of around 7) were Baltimore County or Montgomery County party people. Nice bunch.

The fair in general was a little slow, opening day, friday evening, they are looking for the big rush tomorrow. During the time I was there, maybe about a 100 or so people voted. My estimate, based upon what people said, was RP votes running at about 20-30 percent. Most of the other people were for Giuliani or Thompson. A couple of stray votes for McCain from forlorn guys who seemed like they were just waiting for the deer season to start. A couple of comments about Newt, who wasn't on the ballot, but could be written in. No sign of life at all for Romney, Huckabee, Brownback, Tancredo, Cox or Hunter.

The RP voters were mostly people on a mission - they were looking for the booth, knew what they were there for. Most of the other voters were just walk up people, hey, want to vote in our straw poll, etc. We had a couple of clearly organized groups of U of MD students show up for RP. Actually, I'm pretty sure that just about everyone under 30 who voted voted for RP. This makes an impression on party people (more on this later).

Andrew Panken showed up at the end of the evening with a little more campaign materials. I had brought some slimjims, he had some bumper stickers and flyers. A couple of boxes of this stuff is under the table if supplies run out on top of the tables.

Harold Forney showed up with the RP panel truck at the end of the evening. This is going to be parked tomorrow in the parking lot across from the South Gate and is a focal point for people wanting to get involved in organized activities.

Some other anecdotes:

First, I spent most of my time reaching out to party people. I think that it is important for RP supporters to understand that deckplate party people are not part of some nefarious conspiracy. Most of these people are deeply disappointed in what has happened to GOP and at core are small government, personal initiative, shining city on a hill types. Maybe they can't put their finger on what went wrong, but they don't talk about Bush or Iraq, so I didn't either (actually, I spent most of my time listening). When I did talk about RP, it was mostly limited government stuff, which all Repubs agree upon, with an occasional foray into true conservatism. I left the necon, fed, letters of marque, etc, stuff at home, not to hide it, but just not to be overwhelming. When I got there, I was sort of the odd man out, just a little bit, everyone was nice, but by the time I left, I was getting invitations to County Central Committe meetings and so forth.

So listening is good, with a gentle nudge here and there. Again, most local party people are not part of any neocon cabal, but intuitive Republicans yearning for the days of Reagan.

Which brings up the youth factor. The amount of young people for Paul is not lost on party people, who fret about bring young people under the GOP banner. We talked about that alot, and the similarities it had to Reagan, whose greatest support was among people who were old enough to be voting for the first time. The people that did that are now the backbone of these local parties, as they are late 40's and they see in these young people some of themselves 25 years ago. That is, if you don't try to shove it down their throats.

For instance, young, handsome MD State Trooper, chatting away at booth for about 20 minutes - I wasn't even talking to him. One of the party people ask him, hey, btw, who do you think you support for prez? Without batting an eye, he says, "Oh, Ron Paul is the only guy", and then goes on talking about how all his buddies who are still in the military (he was recently discharged from USMC) had turned him on to RP.

We had a number of moments like that at the booth, and my opinion is that this honest upswell, the youth, the enthusiasm, and the ability of RP supporters to get people out to support events does make an impression on honest Republicans. Not all, but some, and it helps if we are welcoming to them, plus convince them that we really are Republicans too. A little self-deprecating humor worked for me, a few remarks about our RP cult and tinfoil hats sort of warmed things up for me and some of the party guys.

Wearing a Ron Paul shirt draws comments from people; I'm convinced that one of the most effective actions for this event is simply walking around the fair with a RP tshirt on. You will have people notice, not every 2 minutes, but enough that it is a pattern and enough of those don't know there is a Straw Poll until you tell them and how to participate.

Just as an aside, I was walking past the Jews for Jesus booth a couple of booths down from GOP booth. One of the Jews for Jesus calls out to me, "Oh, Ron Paul, give me 5 good reasons", which I promptly rattled off. He agreed with me, surprisingly, but unsurprisingly opined that we didn't have a chance. I said, well, you don't know unless you try, and anyhow, we are on an unsustainable path as a nation, so change is either going to come from ourselves or from external agency. He agreed, but asked if it were possible to make the RP changes without marching on DC in an armed revolt. I said, don't know until you try, and we can't just stand by and do nothing. A nice exchange, but left me shaking my head at the irony of a Jew for Jesus admonishing me about long-shot campaigns.

Well, seems like it is off to a good start. I'm going to be back up tomorrow, again, anyone wanting to coordinate contact Andrew Panken or Nathan Estey. It is a big fair, lots of potential voters, chance for us to make an impression on the party and do good for RP campaign.

MsDoodahs
08-24-2007, 10:22 PM
Excellent report, thank you for sharing it, and thank you so much for doing this!

Wyurm
08-24-2007, 10:28 PM
Thank you very much for sharing, and I am looking forward to seeing how things go tomorrow.

remaxjon
08-24-2007, 10:31 PM
I left work a little early, showed up at the GOP booth in the Exhibition Hall around 4:00 pm, manned the booth as RP Campaign Rep (each campaign is allowed 1 rep) until closing at 10 pm. Here are my observations (some blurry cellphone pix are here (http://www.cellblock.com/watch.htm?id=QmjidFFHMaaQYEalLPRG)):

First, this poll is very informal and unscientific, so to speak. Fill out your ballot and stick it into a cardboard box. Pretty much working on the honor system. There won't be daily tallies, just all counted up at the end.

The booth is small, only 10x10, Maryland GOP being pretty much flat busted. I was the only person representing a specific candidate, the other people that came and went during the evening (a total of around 7) were Baltimore County or Montgomery County party people. Nice bunch.

The fair in general was a little slow, opening day, friday evening, they are looking for the big rush tomorrow. During the time I was there, maybe about a 100 or so people voted. My estimate, based upon what people said, was RP votes running at about 20-30 percent. Most of the other people were for Giuliani or Thompson. A couple of stray votes for McCain from forlorn guys who seemed like they were just waiting for the deer season to start. A couple of comments about Newt, who wasn't on the ballot, but could be written in. No sign of life at all for Romney, Huckabee, Brownback, Tancredo, Cox or Hunter.

The RP voters were mostly people on a mission - they were looking for the booth, knew what they were there for. Most of the other voters were just walk up people, hey, want to vote in our straw poll, etc. We had a couple of clearly organized groups of U of MD students show up for RP. Actually, I'm pretty sure that just about everyone under 30 who voted voted for RP. This makes an impression on party people (more on this later).

Andrew Panken showed up at the end of the evening with a little more campaign materials. I had brought some slimjims, he had some bumper stickers and flyers. A couple of boxes of this stuff is under the table if supplies run out on top of the tables.

Harold Forney showed up with the RP panel truck at the end of the evening. This is going to be parked tomorrow in the parking lot across from the South Gate and is a focal point for people wanting to get involved in organized activities.

Some other anecdotes:

First, I spent most of my time reaching out to party people. I think that it is important for RP supporters to understand that deckplate party people are not part of some nefarious conspiracy. Most of these people are deeply disappointed in what has happened to GOP and at core are small government, personal initiative, shining city on a hill types. Maybe they can't put their finger on what went wrong, but they don't talk about Bush or Iraq, so I didn't either (actually, I spent most of my time listening). When I did talk about RP, it was mostly limited government stuff, which all Repubs agree upon, with an occasional foray into true conservatism. I left the necon, fed, letters of marque, etc, stuff at home, not to hide it, but just not to be overwhelming. When I got there, I was sort of the odd man out, just a little bit, everyone was nice, but by the time I left, I was getting invitations to County Central Committe meetings and so forth.

So listening is good, with a gentle nudge here and there. Again, most local party people are not part of any neocon cabal, but intuitive Republicans yearning for the days of Reagan.

Which brings up the youth factor. The amount of young people for Paul is not lost on party people, who fret about bring young people under the GOP banner. We talked about that alot, and the similarities it had to Reagan, whose greatest support was among people who were old enough to be voting for the first time. The people that did that are now the backbone of these local parties, as they are late 40's and they see in these young people some of themselves 25 years ago. That is, if you don't try to shove it down their throats.

For instance, young, handsome MD State Trooper, chatting away at booth for about 20 minutes - I wasn't even talking to him. One of the party people ask him, hey, btw, who do you think you support for prez? Without batting an eye, he says, "Oh, Ron Paul is the only guy", and then goes on talking about how all his buddies who are still in the military (he was recently discharged from USMC) had turned him on to RP.

We had a number of moments like that at the booth, and my opinion is that this honest upswell, the youth, the enthusiasm, and the ability of RP supporters to get people out to support events does make an impression on honest Republicans. Not all, but some, and it helps if we are welcoming to them, plus convince them that we really are Republicans too. A little self-deprecating humor worked for me, a few remarks about our RP cult and tinfoil hats sort of warmed things up for me and some of the party guys.

Wearing a Ron Paul shirt draws comments from people; I'm convinced that one of the most effective actions for this event is simply walking around the fair with a RP tshirt on. You will have people notice, not every 2 minutes, but enough that it is a pattern and enough of those don't know there is a Straw Poll until you tell them and how to participate.

Just as an aside, I was walking past the Jews for Jesus booth a couple of booths down from GOP booth. One of the Jews for Jesus calls out to me, "Oh, Ron Paul, give me 5 good reasons", which I promptly rattled off. He agreed with me, surprisingly, but unsurprisingly opined that we didn't have a chance. I said, well, you don't know unless you try, and anyhow, we are on an unsustainable path as a nation, so change is either going to come from ourselves or from external agency. He agreed, but asked if it were possible to make the RP changes without marching on DC in an armed revolt. I said, don't know until you try, and we can't just stand by and do nothing. A nice exchange, but left me shaking my head at the irony of a Jew for Jesus admonishing me about long-shot campaigns.

Well, seems like it is off to a good start. I'm going to be back up tomorrow, again, anyone wanting to coordinate contact Andrew Panken or Nathan Estey. It is a big fair, lots of potential voters, chance for us to make an impression on the party and do good for RP campaign.


Let everyone know that if they are running low on campaign material I can print up just about anything they need. My office is in MD and I'm crazy busy at work right now so I don't know if I'll be able to hand deliver anything until I head up on the 3rd but if someone wants to pick some stuff up just let me know.

Scott K
08-24-2007, 10:42 PM
Keep up the reports. Thanks a lot! :)

MicroBalrog
08-24-2007, 11:02 PM
Thank you for your hard work.

From what you feel at the polls, do you think Ron Paul is going to win?

robatsu
08-24-2007, 11:14 PM
Thank you for your hard work.

From what you feel at the polls, do you think Ron Paul is going to win?

We got work to do, but there is the opportunity for that work to have good effect. Some of the other candidates, you get the impression that there is nothing to be done, just road kill (Brownback, Huckabee, e.g). It is not going to win by itself, though, and without continuing and increasing our involvement and hard work, we will lose. But we have a chance, I guess, is my opinion at this point. I had some discussions about this w/the party loyalists, and really, I think everyone's opinion is that this race is pretty wide open right now and almost anything could happen.

robatsu
08-24-2007, 11:17 PM
Thank you for your hard work.

From what you feel at the polls, do you think Ron Paul is going to win?

The other thing to keep in mind is that the RP winning is not the only fruit of this campaign. Even if RP loses, but we put in a good showing in primaries, and we don't piss off everyone in the party, we've become a powerful faction in the party whose needs must be addressed. Goldwater did this in 64, which, although he lost, ultimately led to Reagan winning and taking over the Repub party.

jpa
08-24-2007, 11:24 PM
Your post motivated me to go to the SV GOP picnic tommorrow. Keep up the great work.

austinphish
08-24-2007, 11:34 PM
Jews for Jesus? The internet never fails to introduce me to some new crazy shit.

Good work Robatsu - your technique with party faithful sounds very effective.

inibo
08-25-2007, 12:00 AM
Jews for Jesus? The internet never fails to introduce me to some new crazy shit.

Good work Robatsu - your technique with party faithful sounds very effective.

As another Marylander I want to reiterate the GOP in Maryland is very weak (meaning starving for money). I've had similar experiences with local GOP folks. They might not want to admit it out loud, but I think they kind of like the attention they are getting from us.

BTW, I think the folks in Arlington will be pleased with the copy of rabatsu's report that is now sitting in Don Rasmussen's inbox.

LizF
08-25-2007, 02:27 AM
Thanks for posting this robatsu. What an enjoyable and informative report!

You also did well to remind us of the importance of reaching out to the GOP--and not antagonizing or avoiding them. You set an excellent example today. :)

itsnobody
08-25-2007, 04:50 AM
Thanks for the information robatsu, if we get 100 votes per day that means there will be around 1,000 votes total (the State fair runs for 10 days)

MicroBalrog
08-25-2007, 08:30 AM
The other thing to keep in mind is that the RP winning is not the only fruit of this campaign. Even if RP loses, but we put in a good showing in primaries, and we don't piss off everyone in the party, we've become a powerful faction in the party whose needs must be addressed. Goldwater did this in 64, which, although he lost, ultimately led to Reagan winning and taking over the Repub party.

Oh you misunderstand. I don't mean 'win the race', which is of course not something either of us can know at this point, but 'win the straw poll'.

robatsu
08-25-2007, 06:49 PM
It is not a given that he is going to win. I'd think it is probable that he is in the top three.

I worked the fair again today. While there was a steady trickle of RP people, it was sort of underwhelming. Where is the vaunted RP grassroots? We really need you out here in Maryland.

Really, anyone within driving distance of Maryland, sacrifice your RPF time for the next week or two, and get on down and support/vote. This is important - we are making an impression on the Maryland party apparatus - I spent all day charming the Anne Arundel Repubs, schmoozing about mutual friends from Navy days, and in general convincing them we are normal people and more importantly, normal Republicans.

Two of these people, independently, said to me that they basically agreed with everything RP espouses. You know why? It is basic limited government Republicanism, basic conservatism. We can win this thing and make a huge impact on Md repubs, but we need support/bodies. Plenty of other threads to figure out how to hook up, or check out Catonsville, Md meetup group. Try to contact Andrew Panken or Nathan Estey.

We need people for manning the booth, which is fun, even after 6 hours today, when my relief showed up, I was sort of disappointed to leave. We need people for sign waving, sign planting, balloon handing out, and of course, voting. Today, we had a flyover, which really surprised the state Repubs, they are just astounded that we can get anyone to do anything, although it is pretty meagre so far by RP standards.

Maryland needs you NOW folks. Not next month, etc. We are not going to get second chances at these things.

MicroBalrog
08-25-2007, 06:54 PM
Where is the vaunted RP grassroots? We really need you out here in Maryland.

Quoted and highlighted for importance.


Did anyone contact the Meetup groups in Maryland?

robatsu
08-25-2007, 06:57 PM
Did anyone contact the Meetup groups in Maryland?

Of course, but I can only contact three a day, so I did anne arundel, montgomery county and Catonsville. Please propagate as much as you can.

itsnobody
08-25-2007, 07:03 PM
Don't worry, this is just Day 2/10...we still have some time

MicroBalrog
08-25-2007, 07:27 PM
I've PMed some Meetup organizers on Meetup.com, but those who are actually in the US can call and stuff like that.

specsaregood
08-25-2007, 07:48 PM
I'm on my way down tomorrow.

MicroBalrog
08-25-2007, 09:41 PM
I received the following email from a guy called Andrew Panken, via Meetups:


One of our members, who has staffed the straw poll twice for at least 4-8 hours each time has stated Ron Paul is doing quite well. We should be looking at least 1st-3rd place and possibly a clear win, if we can get more motivated and push it. There is plenty of literature to pass out. Just need volunteers to do it?

CurtisLow
08-26-2007, 01:21 AM
Thank you for all your hard work. Great report!