I remember in 2007 the Texas GOP held a straw poll in Fort Worth. I snagged an invite to it by virtue of participating in past convention cycles, and made the trip. But by some strange series of events I got there too late to participate and was locked out. This certainly didn't leave a good impression.
This year the Republican Party of Texas debated repeating the event, and decided against it. That's probably a good thing, too, because in 2007 the poll was restricted to "party insiders" like me, and not at all representative of Republican primary voters. That's a problem, because you know who won the Texas straw poll in 2007? Duncan Hunter. Yeah, I know, I feel the same way.
Texas always gets the shaft. Think about it - Texas doesn't get to vote until Super Tuesday on March 6. By that time, several of the candidates will have left the race and Texans will get to choose from the
Like I said, Iowa, New Hampshire and a host of other states vote in caucuses or primaries before Texas does, and some candidates will likely drop out if they think their results in those states can't keep campaign money coming in. By the first week of February 2008, for instance, Mitt Romney was already out of the race. Now, I won't make any of the obvious snarky comments about that, but really; each candidate that drops out early in the race means fewer choices for states not named Iowa and New Hampshire.
But what can we do?
The SADDLE UP TEXAS STRAW POLL is what.
Several groups have banded together to put on a Texas Straw Poll that is open to more than just the "insiders." The goal is not to steer people towards one candidate or another, or promote only the Texas candidates Perry and Paul, or to promote a "tea party" candidate; but to host a poll that more likely reflects the actual Republican primary voters.
The event is scheduled for January 12-14, just DAYS after the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary. Candidates who might be short on cash after those races won't necessarily have to quit the race after those two states anymore. A good showing in a Texas straw poll could breathe new life into a campaign that has been demoralized by trying to court voters who live in a very small portion of the country.
In addition, for the first time, Texans could have a significant impact on the presidential race. Texans deserve this; what state has a stronger economy than Texas? What state has created more jobs? What state gained more electoral votes after the 2010 Census? Texas leads the nation in so many ways. Why shouldn't Texans be leading politically as well? Not necessarily Texas politicians, but Texas VOTERS?
Texans deserve a voice, and we want to help them have it.
There are no huge sponsors behind Saddle Up Texas. No Koch funding, no GOP mega-fundraisers, no massive checkbooks. It's just conservative folks looking to give Texans an opportunity they've never had - a chance to make a difference.
Join us - check out our WEBSITE, LIKE it on FACEBOOK, FOLLOW it on TWITTER, get your tickets (only $45 until Dec 10, which includes admission to all three days) spread the word and make your plans to help us make Texas history!