Since Thursday of last week, visitors to the Virginia Conservative have had the opportunity to voice their support for Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. With the poll now closed and with 634 votes cast in total, Jeannemarie Davis emerged as the clear winner.
To give you some history, in the early hours of the poll, Susan Stimpson maintained a fairly sizable lead. However, as the first day continued, Davis overtook Stimpson and continued to hold dominance throughout the remaining time window. There were a few bursts of activity from Stewart supporters and a smaller influx from the Lingamfelter crowd, but nothing compared to the Davis surge.
The final results are as follows:
Jeannemarie Davis 262 votes or 41.32%
Susan Stimpson 121 votes or 19.09%
Corey Stewart 115 votes or 18.14%
Scott Lingamfelter 64 votes or 10.09%
Pete Snyder 42 votes or 6.62%
E. W. Jackson 26 votes or 4.1%
Steve Martin 4 votes or .063%
So what do these results mean? Does a victory or a loss on a Virginia Conservative poll necessarily translate into success or failure in May? Obviously, the answer is no. As anyone could vote in this poll, (regardless of whether he or she happens to be a delegate), the votes are not weighted or sorted by city or county, and a vast majority of delegates did not participate, the outcome is not useful for this purpose. You should know this fact already, but the poll is far removed from being anything remotely scientific.
In an amusing side note, on Saturday I spoke with Steven Thomas, the regional campaign representative for the Davis campaign, and asked if he knew of my poll. He mentioned that he had voted in it, but added that online polls didn’t carry too much weight. I told him that I agreed with his opinion, but also asked if he knew that his boss, Jeannemarie Davis, was winning at that time.
So, getting back to our previous question, what do these results mean then? Well, they are fairly useful tools for assessing the online capabilities of a campaign. Typically, when one of these polls pop up, the campaigns send out messages urging their supporters to go vote for their candidate. Assuming that they did so, these results would indicate that the Davis campaign was most proficient at this task. By comparison, I have seen little activity either here on the ground or online from Senator Martin’s campaign in over a month. Given his total of a mere four votes, this result mirrors this observation.
So what were my expectations? I’ll admit that when I created this poll, I expected one of two different outcomes. First, given the relative strength and tenacity of her supporters in the Shenandoah Valley, Susan Stimpson would win this poll. Although she performed well early and captured second place, Davis had more than twice the vote totals of any other candidate. Second, given the impressive online capabilities of the Pete Snyder campaign, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him win either. However, given his fifth place finish, either the Snyder campaign took little to no notice of this poll, or his support isn’t quite as robust as I had predicted. Now some people have accused Davis supporters of trolling, but I really hope that they have better things to do than resetting their cookies in order to vote multiple times.
Let me conclude by tipping my hat to the Davis campaign. Yes, they won this relatively minor poll, but, far more importantly, they continue to show that they are one of the most active lieutenant governor campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley. At just about every political gathering in this region either Davis or one of her staffers have been faithfully promoting her campaign. And, whether you agree or disagree with Jeannemarie’s positions, a strong and active campaign is a critical element in political success.
So, once again, I offer kudos to the Davis campaign.
As a final note, if you are looking for a more in-depth questionnaire on the 2013 RPV convention, I strongly encourage you to check out Willie Deutsch’s new poll. It should be exciting to see his results!