(E.Nordstrom of FederalJack) The official number of votes counted in the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll is 16,892. The general breakdown of the total is as follows:
4823 – Michelle Bachmann
4671 – Ron Paul
2293 – Pawlenty
1657 – Santorum
1456 – Cain
718 – Perry
567 – Romney
385 – Gingrich
69 – Huntsman
35 – McCotter
Ok, so let’s add up the votes (4823 + 4671 + 2293 + 1657 + 1456 + 718 + 567 + 385 + 69 +35 = 16,674). But wait a minute, the total votes counted were 16,892 right? So, of the total votes counted in the Iowa Straw Poll amounting to 16,892. The ten candidates listed above garnered 16,674. Well that leaves 218 votes unaccounted for.
So where did the remaining 218 votes go?
MSNBC has reported that the 218 is actually only 162 votes that are a “scattering” of ballots for candidates receiving less than one percent of the votes. Ok, fine, so who are these candidates? In addition, if as MSNBC is reporting it is only 162 and not 218, then where did the other 56 votes go? Hey! Let’s confuse the public even more!
Let’s move on shall we?
FOX News and most other news outlets seem to have solved this mystery. Instead of accuracy in reporting, they simply resort to saying, “Bachmann received 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast.” No need to count the votes, just say “nearly 17,000″.
To be very clear, Congressman Ron Paul and Senator Michele Bachmann only had 152 votes difference in the Straw Poll.
Bachmann wins by 152 votes, meanwhile 218 votes seem to be unaccounted for publicly. While I am sure there is a very good reason for the missing votes, this is precisely what causes distrust of government and the media.
One other mystery is why media outlets seem to erase Ron Paul from most headlines and instead replace him with Rick Perry.
Two good examples are the Washington Post who have an article posted entitled, “Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll as Perry jumps in” just below the title is a photo of Ron Paul.
Another one is from Salon with an article entitled, “Let the fight for the right begin” just below the title is a photo of Bachmann and Rick Perry, then below the photo the article begins with, “Technically, the margin of victory for Michele Bachmann at Saturday’s Iowa straw poll was slight, with second-place finisher Ron Paul falling just 152 votes (or 0.9 percentage points) short of her tally. But everyone knows that Paul is a niche candidate.”
In closing I suppose we have two mysteries.
1. Where are the 218 unaccounted for votes?
2. Why are media outlets replacing Ron Paul’s second place victory with Rick Perry?
I am sure you all have answers, feel free to comment in.
I like the tone of FederalJack there, healthy skepticism without going off the conspiratorial deep end.
We also note that in 1995, there were shenanigans at the Iowa Straw Poll. Representatives from each candidate are supposed to be allowed to view the vote counting. In 1995, representatives from all but 2 candidates were barred from witnessing the vote count! I’m quite curious to know how it went down yesterday in Iowa.