What to make of state fair polling info

Friday, August 28, 2015

So here's what you've been waiting for, the very unofficial, unscientific results from Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate's Presidential Straw Poll conducted at the Iowa State Fair.

Based on 9,008 votes cast during the event, we have learned the following valuable information that I'm sure will have the each of the candidate's ground teams working to figure out how to take advantage of the numbers game.


--Food won with 47 percent of the vote, followed by livestock 17 percent, Butter Cow 14 percent, musical acts 10 percent and politicians' speeches 9 percent.

--Food was the No. 1 fair attraction for every candidate's supporters.

--Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush voters liked the Butter Cow more than livestock.

--Sanders, Lincoln Chafee and John Kasich voters were the only ones that preferred politicians' speeches over both the Butter Cow and livestock. However, Sanders had a substantially larger polling sample.


--Carrie Underwood won with 23 percent of the vote. Reba McEntire earned 17.3 percent followed closely by Alabama 17.1 percent, Casting Crowns 14.1 percent, Def Leppard 10.9 percent, YES and Toto 8.1 percent, and The Fray 5.3 percent.

--Although Carrie Underwood was the preferred Favorite Musical Act overall, and Trump was the high vote-getter among the presidential candidates, Trump supporters preferred Alabama and Reba McEntire to Carrie Underwood.

--Christian rock band Casting Crowns was a favorite among Ted Cruz and Ben Carson supporters. They were the No. 1 choice for Cruz backers and No. 2 choice for Carson backers. Carrie Underwood finished a narrow first for Carson supporters.

--Although they finished sixth overall, classic rock acts YES and Toto finished a close second to Carrie Underwood amongst Bernie Sanders' supporters; rock band The Fray, which finished seventh overall, placed third among Sanders' supporters.


--John Wayne was the overwhelming favorite with 32 percent of the vote. Johnny Carson scored 11.5 percent to edge professional golfer Zach Johnson at 11.4 percent. Norman Borlaug followed at 11.1 percent, Grant Wood 8.6 percent, Herbert Hoover 7.9 percent, Shawn Johnson 5.95 percent, Simon Estes 5.95 percent and Ashton Kutcher 5.2 percent.

*Side note: Simon Estes will be performing at the Clay County Fair for free. Come see the eighth most famous Iowan perform on Monday, Sept. 14, in the ballroom at the Clay County Regional Events Center.

--John Wayne was the top vote-getter overall by a significant margin and tops amongst every candidate except two. "The Duke" placed fourth among Bernie Sanders supporters, trailing Johnny Carson, Norman Borlaug and Ashton Kutcher.

*Side note: Ashton Kutcher? Seriously. Over John Wayne. Kudos to Mr. Mila Kunis and the former Mr. Demi Moore, but I'm guessing he would even be surprised by those results.

--John Wayne placed third among Hillary Clinton supporters, trailing by two votes behind Norman Borlaug and one vote behind Grant Wood.

--"The Duke" was a heavy favorite for those who back Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Scott Walker.

--Golfer Zach Johnson tied for first with John Wayne amongst Marco Rubio supporters.


--Donald Trump picked up 1,830 of the votes, earning 20 percent overall out of 23 candidates. Hillary Clinton was second overall, with 1,338 votes --15 percent.

Final totals for each party were:


--Lincoln Chafee, 0.74 percent; 20 votes

--Hillary Clinton, 49.19 percent; 1,338 votes

--Martin O'Malley, 4.67 percent; 127 votes

--Bernie Sanders, 44.74 percent; 1,217 votes

--Jim Webb, 0.66 percent; 18 votes


--Jeb Bush, 5.10 percent; 312 votes

--Ben Carson, 19.37 percent; 1,185 votes

--Chris Christie, 1.08 percent; 66 votes

--Ted Cruz, 8.88 percent; 543 votes

--Mark Everson, 0.13 percent; 8 votes

--Carly Fiorina, 7.50 percent; 459 votes

--Jim Gilmore, 0.02 percent; 1 vote

--Lindsey Graham, 0.64 percent; 39 votes

--Mike Huckabee, 3.07 percent; 188 votes

--Bobby Jindal, 3.68 percent; 225 votes

--John Kasich, 2.62 percent; 160 votes

--George Pataki, 0.38 percent; 23 votes

--Rand Paul, 2.98 percent; 182 votes

--Rick Perry, 2.24 percent; 137 votes

--Marco Rubio, 6.05 percent; 370 votes

--Rick Santorum, 1.06 percent; 65 votes

--Donald Trump, 29.92 percent; 1,830 votes

--Scott Walker, 5.30 percent; 324 votes

Does anybody else wonder why the two top vote getters among the GOP -- Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson -- bring with them no government office or elected experience. I don't think that's a coincidence.

I've heard from a lot of conservatives who aren't happy that Trump's leading in Iowa and nationally, and seem certain that he's going to fall. I too felt initially his success was more novelty than anything else. But as this goes on and he continues to speak his mind, more and more voters seem to be jumping on the bandwagon. I'm wondering if there's anything he can say that will cause him to lose favor with the voting base?

Only time will tell I suppose, and there's still a lot of time left.