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place, politics and power in oregon

DSCC Fixes Straw Poll for Merkley, Who Wins in Landslide October 7, 2007

Filed under: Primary 2008,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 3:16 pm

After results of the straw poll conducted at the Oregon Democrats’ Summit in Sunriver today showed Jeff Merkley with almost double the votes of his opponent, Novick supporters and non-affiliated voters generally called ‘cahoots’ between the Merkley campaign and those evil D.C. insiders, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Apparently, the DSCC has flown in tens of Washington politicos posing as Merkley supporters in an effort to swing the early indicator towards Merkley, who is supposedly the favored candidate of beltway boys. Steve Novick detected this on his way down to the Summit, telling the Oregonian‘s Jeff Mapes that:straw poll

“I think that Oregon Democrats are going to hear that Washington insiders are trying to fix this race for Jeff Merkley and they’ll get mad and they’ll vote for me,” said Novick while on his way to this weekend’s Democratic conference in Sunriver.

Those Oregon Democrats either didn’t read the newspaper and thus failed to catch on to the rigging plot, or they were bound and gagged during the poll by DSCC ninjas while insider-sponsored doppelgangers voted for Jeff Merkley instead.

The voter fraud paid off, as Merkley outdid Novick by a margin of 103 to 50 in the poll originally designed only for Oregon Democrats. In a feat that would make the Daley family blush, the straw poll vote was clearly stacked.

The above could be one way to explain Jeff Merkley’s victory in the straw poll today. But the reality is that of the Oregon Democrats attending the party’s summit–which is a very good sample of the larger category of Oregon Democrats–Jeff Merkley received 2 votes for every Novick vote. If that doesn’t demonstrate early support from Oregon Democrats, who will choose their nominee in May, then I don’t know what does.

A good number of Oregon Democrats support Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate. And if today’s straw poll is any indication (which of course it is), that number is bigger than the number of Oregon Democrats that support Steve Novick.

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36 Responses to “DSCC Fixes Straw Poll for Merkley, Who Wins in Landslide”

  1. David English Says:

    It’s too bad the DSCC doesn’t just leave well enough alone and let the voters decide who will be the nominee. If this is true, then it just fuels the arguement that Merkley is a DPO hand picked candidate.

    I find it funny as much as the pro-Merkley people over at BO argue that this isn’t true, then something like this would happy.

    As I’ve said over and over again, I am undecided in terms of the primary, but this pushes me further from voting for Merkley.

  2. DW Says:

    It is the most absurd and ridiculous notion to believe that the DSCC wasted time and money sending ANYONE out to Oregon for an unscientific and meaningless straw poll vote. Novick sees the writing on the wall and is grasping for his own straws now to try and hang on to a rapidly dwindling US Senate campaign.

  3. Galen Says:

    Tao, if you’re gonna go all ironic on us all of a sudden, you need to take it all the way. Sprinkling earnest little editorials in the irony results in people like DW embarrassing themselves.

  4. taoiseach Says:

    My mistake. I should add a disclaimer to these posts:

    “WARNING: Multi-modal editorial style may result in misinterpretation and subsequent posting of embarrassing comments.”

    Of course, I reserve the right to speak in the first, second and third person, as well as any literary style that I may find appealing at any given moment.

  5. Pat Malach Says:

    What? That was supposed to be funny. OK. OK. Now I see it … if I squint my eyes and turn my head sideways.

    Double What!!!??? You mean the establishment candidate won a straw poll of the party establishment. Shocking! Simply shocking! Call channel 8 and get this on the 11 o’clock news.

    Tao, do you really think the Oregon Summit represents an accurate sample of ordinary Oregon Democratic voters? Seriously?

    The vast majority of work-a-day Oregon Democratic voters don’t even know what the Oregon Summit is, much less that it took place last weekend.

  6. taoiseach Says:

    Tao, do you really think the Oregon Summit represents an accurate sample of ordinary Oregon Democratic voters?

    Other than a poll of likely Democratic voters, there is no better sample of Oregon Democrats than Oregon Democrats themselves.

    Last time I checked, Oregon Democrats = Oregon Democrats.

  7. torridjoe Says:

    There are plenty of better samples of Oregon Democrats than those already holding legislative or statewide seats…or those bussed in by the Merkley campaign.

    I’m not sure what you were expecting, but it sure would have been surprising for a group made up largely of Democratic insiders to straw-poll for a Democratic insider.

    And you don’t honestly think that the DSCC’s involvement had no impact on the straw poll, do you?

  8. Andrew Says:

    “I’m not sure what you were expecting, but it sure would have been surprising for a group made up largely of Democratic insiders to straw-poll for a Democratic insider.” –Torrid Joe

    I’m sorry, but Steve is also a Democratic insider, even if he is less so than Merkley.

    From Steve’s biography on his website:

    Returning to Oregon, Steve worked as policy director for Tom Bruggere’s 1996 Senate bid. He then served as chief of staff to the Democrats in the State Senate from 1997 to 1999.

    In 2002, Steve was policy director for Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski in his successful campaign.

  9. taoiseach Says:

    I suppose to TorridJoe, Pat Malach and Galen–who are all non-Democrats–being a registered Democrat defines you as an ‘insider’.

  10. Galen Says:

    I suppose to TorridJoe, Pat Malach and Galen–who are all non-Democrats–being a registered Democrat defines you as an ‘insider’.

    Are you trying to be funny again?

  11. torridjoe Says:

    So, Andrew, the last time he was directly involved in party politics was 5 years ago–and he’s never actually been part of the club of elected officials. How does that make him an insider? The straw poll was held last night, not in 2002.

  12. torridjoe Says:

    …and that other post should have said NOT to straw-poll for an insider, obviously.

  13. {This post is being made by a card-carrying registered Oregon Democrat. Yes, my papers are all in order.}

    It does appear, from Jeff Merkley’s website, that the Merkley crew did bus people in. Not from DC, but volunteers and interns from the various colleges. I wouldn’t use the word “fix,” but it does seem like the deck wasn’t quite stacked evenly.

    Additionally, you’re taking Steve’s quote out of context. He’s referring to the May Primary, not the straw poll at the Dem Summit. The DSCC and Oregon Establishment Dems are working to create a sense of “inevitability” around the Merkley campaign.

    Third, folks at the Summit are not representative of those who are going to be voting in the May Primary. Most folks I talk to, and I spend a lot time talking to people about the Senate Primary, rarely are familiar with either Jeff Merkley or Steve Novick.

    Fourth, a sample of 153 in a straw poll, mostly policy/party geeks/wonks (not a pejorative, as I self-identify as one), does not represent the 768,000 or so registered Democrats (according to the Secretary of State )in Oregon. To suggest otherwise, even in “jest,” is either intellectually lazy or dishonest. Take your pick.

  14. (This post is being made by a card-carrying registered Oregon Democrat. Yes, my papers are all in order.)

    It does appear, from Jeff Merkley’s website, that the Merkley crew did bus people in. Not from DC, but volunteers and interns from the various colleges. I wouldn’t use the word “fix,” but it does seem like the deck wasn’t quite stacked evenly.

    Additionally, you’re taking Steve’s quote out of context. He’s referring to the May Primary, not the straw poll at the Dem Summit. The DSCC and Oregon Establishment Dems are working to create a sense of “inevitability” around the Merkley campaign.

    Third, folks at the Summit are not representative of those who are going to be voting in the May Primary. Most folks I talk to, and I spend a lot time talking to people about the Senate Primary, rarely are familiar with either Jeff Merkley or Steve Novick.

    Fourth, a sample of 153 in a straw poll, mostly policy/party geeks/wonks (not a pejorative, as I self-identify as one), does not represent the 768,000 or so registered Democrats (according to the Secretary of State )in Oregon. To suggest otherwise, even in “jest,” is either intellectually lazy or dishonest. Take your pick.

  15. (i’m having trouble leaving a comment, so my apologies if my comment comes in twice…)

  16. (This post is being made by a card-carrying registered Oregon Democrat. Yes, my papers are all in order.)

    It does appear, from Jeff Merkley’s website, that the Merkley crew did bus people in. Not from DC, but volunteers and interns from the various colleges. I wouldn’t use the word “fix,” but it does seem like the deck wasn’t quite stacked evenly.

    Additionally, you’re taking Steve’s quote out of context. He’s referring to the May Primary, not the straw poll at the Dem Summit. The DSCC and Oregon Establishment Dems are working to create a sense of “inevitability” around the Merkley campaign.

    Third, folks at the Summit are not representative of those who are going to be voting in the May Primary. Most folks I talk to, and I spend a lot time talking to people about the Senate Primary, rarely are familiar with either Jeff Merkley or Steve Novick.

    Fourth, a sample of 153 in a straw poll, mostly policy/party geeks/wonks (not a pejorative, as I self-identify as one), does not represent the 768,000 or so registered Democrats (according to the Secretary of State)in Oregon. To suggest otherwise, even in “jest,” is either intellectually lazy or dishonest. Take your pick.

  17. taoiseach Says:

    Are you trying to be funny again?

    Well, the humor in this case is pretty self-evident.

  18. bdunn Says:

    It does appear, from Jeff Merkley’s website, that the Merkley crew did bus people in. Not from DC, but volunteers and interns from the various colleges. I wouldn’t use the word “fix,” but it does seem like the deck wasn’t quite stacked evenly.

    Are you saying that Merkley brought in 54 interns and without the interns Novick would have won? Seriously how much of a difference do you think the interns made? Novick had interns there as well and he had to “bus” them all the way from Portland. Novick supporters really need to watch it when they throw accusations around of fixing or stacking elections. Did anyone consider that the straw poll might have been the result of people being turned off to Negative Novick bashing fellow Democrats?

    Next, since when was being able to get dedicated volunteers/interns a bad thing?

    Finally what matters about the straw poll is that the people there give money and volunteer, not its sample size. It shows that there will be a lot more of the party faithful knocking on doors for Jeff Merkley.

  19. Stephanie V Says:

    We did this in college elections. In those days we called it “packing the caucus.”

    It’s quite common in that context and this type of thing forms a part of Karl Rove’s legend from his days as President of the College Republicans.

    “Packing the caucus” is a blunt instrument but highly effective if the only thing you care about achieving is a victory in the caucus vote.

  20. Taoiseach Says:

    Well, the story above was meant as a parody, but if the Novick netters want to come out and officially accuse the Merkley campaign of straw poll fraud, well then I guess I should quit my comedy hobby and become an oracle.

  21. Tao, you should remember the first rule of the fraternity house: If you’re going to use sarcasm or irony, then you have to raise your hand — otherwise, the slow kids won’t get it.

    (Disclaimer: No, I wasn’t in a fraternity, but I had friends who were.)

  22. Stephanie V Says:

    Actually, Kari, the first rule is: BE FUNNY.

    The second rule is, and I know I have read this somewhere recently: DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE.

    (smooooch)

  23. Pat Malach Says:

    I suppose to TorridJoe, Pat Malach and Galen–who are all non-Democrats–being a registered Democrat defines you as an ‘insider’.

    Actually, I’m a registereted Democrat, too.

    So you were one-for-three, Tao.

    I think that’s also pretty symbolic of how in touch with reality this post and your website are.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Besides, we’ll need the votes of many, many left-leaning non-Democrats to beat Gordon Smith. So your exclusionary jack-booted which hunt is not only wrong, it’s exclusionary, self-defeating –and ultimately displays the attitude that drives so many from the party.

    I should quit my comedy hobby
    It started?

    Other than a poll of likely Democratic voters, there is no better sample of Oregon Democrats than Oregon Democrats themselves.

    Well, that’s just childish.

    A more accurate statment would be: there’s no better place to find the Oregon Democratic establishment than the Oregon Summit.

    You make the ultimate-insiders mistake of not being able to tell the difference between The party leaders who make up the establishment and the mass of voters who make up the Democratic party. It’s the consummate insider’s fatal flaw. And your comments indicate you have aterminal case.

  24. Pat Malach Says:

    By the way Tao, just in case you’re keeping track, you leveled false accusations against Galen and I in order to discount our opinions.

    The decent thing to do, of course, is to take responsibility for your actions and apologize.

  25. Galen Says:

    Just for the record, Tao’s guess was correct: I choose not to affiliate with a political party.

    I also choose not to affiliate with coercive and unfunny blogs. Ta ta.

  26. Pat Malach Says:

    Whoops! I confused Colin with Galen, but my point still stands. And Galen is correct that it must have been Tao’s guess. Unless she’s trolling Democratic voter rolls as part of her purge. And that’s just scary!

  27. taoiseach Says:

    Unless she’s trolling Democratic voter rolls as part of her purge. And that’s just scary!

    No, I just had a hunch that I didn’t belong to the same party as the producer of those awful (and awfully unfunny) cartoons at BlueOregon. That’s too bad to learn that.

  28. Chris Greiveldinger Says:

    Yikes. Novick supporters commenting here are awfully touchy folks. I’d expect a bit better sense of humor from people who are supporting a candidate who came out with this. The talk like a pirate bit was amusing, and I found this post amusing too.

  29. Pat Ryan Says:

    Welp,

    Here’s the entire context of the Novick comments as published by Mapes:

    Now the other Democrat in the race, Portland lawyer and activist Steve Novick is trying to kick up a little fuss by saying that Democratic voters don’t like “smart alecs” from inside the beltway meddling in their primary.

    “I think that Oregon Democrats are going to hear that Washington insiders are trying to fix this race for Jeff Merkley and they’ll get mad and they’ll vote for me,” said Novick while on his way to this weekend’s Democratic conference in Sunriver.

    This certainly belies the argument that Steve isn’t personally taking shots at Jeff………

    There’s also nothing here to indicate that Steve was “….referring to the May Primary, not the straw poll at the Dem Summit…..so unless Mr. Maloney is a mind reader…..

  30. Liz Says:

    As I understand it, this is a poll of Oregon Democrats who had the time and money to go to Sunriver for the weekend, and then the inclination to go to a party in another building than the meetings and maybe have a few drinks while voting in the straw poll.
    And this is a represntative sample how???

    Who did it choose for Gov. 2 years ago? Seems like there was a question of validity about that, too.

  31. Pat Malach Says:

    No, I just had a hunch that I didn’t belong to the same party as the producer of those awful (and awfully unfunny) cartoons at BlueOregon. That’s too bad to learn that.

    Wow! Tao, what a profile in courage moment for you. Didn’t have the nads to address any of the substance of my post or take responsibility for pulling an inaccuracy out of your ass and publishing it as fact.

    Looks like you juuuuuust barely could muster the courage to avoid the substance of my post and throw out an insult.

    Fortunately I know that you do not even come close to representing the many good people I know in the Democratic Party.

    Life’s too short to take seriously people who don’t deserve it. Have fun here.

  32. Pat Malach Says:

    OK, OK. Just one more time with feeling: You pulled an inaccuracy out of your ass and printed it as fact, and you don’t have the simple decency to take responsibility for it.

  33. Joe Vardner Says:

    Those dang ninjas, I knew something was up when a kitana throwing contest began. Maybe they’re the ones who cause the long time to the food table!

    This is obviously a joke article and no one was flown or bussed in. Yes, Merckley had twice as many college kids as the Novick camp at the summit (by that I mean 7 to 3). But if you think an extra four shirts on college kids in a crowd that probably has college grand-kids, then you have another thing coming (hopefully some polling and math classes).

    Reality is, the vast majority of people attending were from regional democratic groups, and they’re the ones who the straw poll represented. Also, face the hard facts that if Novick wants to win, he needs to win these people. Yes, it might be harder because they obvious favor Jeff.

    If you want to say Novick is trying to win the work-a-day democrats and not the county or regional officers, fine, go ahead. But you’re only in denial if you think he could win a primary and general election without being the energetic favorite of local organizers. This is a group Steve should have worked on over the weekend, and I barely saw him around all weekend between sessions, let alone work the room.

  34. Stephanie V Says:

    (#29)

    Pat Ryan says:

    There’s also nothing here to indicate that Steve was “….referring to the May Primary, not the straw poll at the Dem Summit…..so unless Mr. Maloney is a mind reader…..

    But Pat, in the very text of the article you quote, Mapes says:

    “Now the other Democrat in the race, Portland lawyer and activist Steve Novick is trying to kick up a little fuss by saying that Democratic voters don’t like “smart alecs” from inside the beltway meddling in their primary.”

    Then comes the quote from Novick that ends “get mad and vote for me.”

    There it is. If you actually read the article instead of trolling it for possible gotchas, you would have seen exactly what Mapes and Novick were talking about, and been able to place the quote in context.

  35. Straw poller Says:

    Who did it choose for Gov. 2 years ago? Seems like there was a question of validity about that, too.

    Well, oo one ever said it was an accurate sampling. FYI, the results of the 2005 straw poll put Kitzhaber in the Governor’s seat.

    And I don’t know what you mean about “question of validity,” but are you suggesting a rigged system?

  36. Taoiseach Says:

    @ Pat Malach:

    Wah. Get over it. If you’re a democrat, it’s a very recent conversion for you.

    I can go over to the Secretary of State’s office if you want to get technical about it, but I’m not apologizing.

    Why don’t go head back to your drawing board, where your mediocrity is at least unique to you.


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