State Sen. Ken Paxton of McKinney won a 2014 statewide grassroots straw poll in his bid for Republican nomination for Texas Attorney General, released Monday by Young Conservatives of Texas.
Paxton received 1,712 votes, giving him 30.7% of total votes cast and 46.4% when ‘No Preference’ was excluded from the results. Commissioner Barry Smitherman came in second with 22% of the vote, followed by Rep. Dan Branch in a distant third with 13.6% of the vote. 33.7% expressed no preference in the race, showing much of the electorate has not given this position much thought. 48.5% of Branch’s vote came from outside Texas.
A total of 5,568 online ballots were cast, making the YCT straw poll the largest held so far in the 2014 Texas election cycle. When narrowed down to just votes cast within Texas, that number goes down to 4,275.
“The grassroots can help their favorite conservative candidates gain much needed momentum by participating in straw polls,” said YCT State Chairman, Jeff Morris. “Straw polls help paint a picture of how the electorate feels in a particular race and give candidates credibility when fundraising and requesting speaking engagements.”
Unlike many online straw polls, the YCT straw poll allowed only one vote per IP address to decrease duplicate voting. Additionally, names on the ballot were randomized and voters were given the option of ‘No Preference’ when casting their ballots.
“I am glad we conducted our straw poll with a ‘No Preference’ option,” said YCT Executive Director, Jenna White. “If you look at the down ballot races, with the exception of Land Commissioner – which has a Bush on the ballot – most people at this point have no idea who they are going to support for these positions.”
“It was an honor to see candidates running for office at all levels pushing this straw poll on social media and through email,” continued State Chairman, Jeff Morris. “I think the only problem we ran into with the poll was a lack of compatibility on mobile. In the future, we will make sure the app we use for the straw poll can be accessed by cell phones.”