Saturday, January 13, 2018
Messer Polled Smartly
Messer Polled Smartly
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
January 13, 2018
In Tony Cook’s January 12, 2018 Indianapolis Star article “Messer accused of rigging straw poll,” the sounds of sour grapes and lost opportunities could be heard from several of the six Republicans vying to be the next US Senator from Indiana.
This was actually a smart move on the part of US Rep. Luke Messer and his campaign to cover the cost of college students wishing to attend and participate in the straw poll. Why should anyone pay to participate in the straw poll - especially students? The purpose of paying to play, as it were, is simply to raise funds for the state GOP - a common practice by both major parties nationwide.
Paying the students’ fees simply encourages them to become more engaged in the political process. It does not guarantee a vote for the candidate actually paying the fee. It also sounds like sour grapes on the part of US Rep. Todd Rokita for not motivating his base. That was demonstrative by the final tally, as Messer won handily, 147 to 82 over Rokita, or 45 percent to 25 percent of the 326 votes cast in a six-man field.
Messer clearly has a more motivated base and an ever-growing ground game that hopefully will propel him to garner the GOP nomination in the May 8 primary, and ultimately winning the the US Senate seat in November.
Mark Braun ironically noted that “the straw poll results should be the result of a free and open process.” Sounds like an indictment against the event itself, that had a $30 price tag attached to it for college students - not a small price for students on a budget. And, quite frankly, with an attendance figure of more than 500 people, college students or not, more than a few balked at the ticket price for casting a ballot in the straw poll.
Braun, mostly self-financing his campaign, finished a distant third in the poll with 36 votes, or 11 percent. Rounding out the bottom half of the polling were Mark Hurt, with 29 votes, or nine percent; Andrew Takami, with 20 votes, or six percent; and Andrew Horning with 12 votes, or just under four percent. Apparently so insignificant are the candidacies of the bottom three, that their names were not mentioned until the last paragraph of a 26 paragraph story.
Braun’s effort appears to be a vanity campaign in what is largely a Messer versus Rokita race, in which I am proud to support Messer. Having met several of the candidates, including Messer, I can attest that he is a genuine family man, pro-life, fiscally conservative, a solid supporter of Israel, and listens to the people, regardless of the district in which they reside. I look forward to casting my vote for free in the May 8 primary.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.