As we've mentioned before, Fred Karger, the longtime Republican consultant who's running a long-shot campaign for the GOP nomination in order to bring attention to the rights of his fellow members of the LGBT community, has been invited to participate in the May debate in South Carolina, but is having a hard time surmounting the obstacles to entry that are in his way. Because of this, he's been unable to officially "accept" the invitation. In a letter to the debate's organizers, Karger makes his case:
First, thank you all very much for my invitation to the May 5, 2011 South Carolina Republican Presidential Debate in Greenville. I was honored to be invited, but your criteria were apparently designed to keep me off of the stage at the Peace Center next Thursday night.
One of the matters he brings up is that "in order to be in the South Carolina debate, 'one must have garnered at least an average of 1% in five national polls based on most recent polling.'" That's been an obstacle for Karger, mainly because the campaign season is still in its nascent stages, and polling is all over the map. Per Karger:
A random sample of national polls show the difficulty pollsters are having in the current Republican primary cycle. Each poll includes a wide array of different names, many of whom have not indicated the slightest interest in running for President in 2012. Poll results are skewed dramatically, and many candidates and potential candidates are often left off these "traditional polls" completely.
Buddy Roemer and I have been left off nearly every national poll. Neither of us meets your requirement of "garnering 1% in five national polls," because he and I have not been in five national polls. Yet Buddy Roemer is scheduled to be in Thursday's debate, and I am not.
If this is the case, than Roemer should clearly not be billed as a participant. (I wouldn't be surprised if a sustained effort to poll on Roemer failed to yield the necessary one percent, as Roemer has been off the radar completely in the past few weeks.)
Karger goes on to point out that he's taken home some wins in straw polls and the like. One of the best things he has going for him is that he won the Saint Anselm College Republicans straw poll, beating out Mitt Romney. But I did a double take when I saw the list of polling success he cited:
I have, however, been included in numerous online and straw polls. The reach of these polls is far greater, they are not limited to a small sample of landline participants, they include more younger people and overall better reflect voter opinion.
I won the St. Anselm New Hampshire Straw Poll on March 31, 2011. Voters from eight different states participated. New Hampshire's WMUR TV reported on my win over Mitt Romney, Donald Trump, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum: CLICK HERE
Below are polls that have included me, two of which I won:
1. White House 2012 Poll April 18, 2011 Fred Karger: 2%
2. Huffington Post Poll April 15, 2011 Fred Karger: 12%* (3rd of 17)
3. Huffington Post Poll April 1, 2011 Fred Karger 16%* (2nd of 17)
4. St Anselm College Straw Poll March 31, 2011 Fred Karger: 25%
5. SodaHead Opinions March 12, 2011 Fred Karger: 78%
See those two "Huffington Post Polls?" Those refer to our week-end 2012 Speculatron Round-Up Slideshow, and the results compiled by people who vote on particular slides. Which is great! Fred Karger understands how important our 2012 Speculatron Round-Up is! I almost do not have the heart to tell him that there is absolutely no polling science whatsoever being applied to the slideshow. Elyse and I are just curious about whether or not people would vote on slides if we gave them the chance. I'm not sure we've even assigned any qualitative parameters to the polls. We just sort of wanted to give people the option to click on things, if they wanted.
What I'm trying to say is that where most polls have a "margin of error," our poll sort of has a "margin of relevance." So, if you've been voting for Fred Karger in our poll because you're interested in him becoming President, good for you! But if you actually want to help him make the debate, you should probably contact the South Carolina GOP and tell them to let him in. But thanks for reading!
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Justin Elliott reminds us of the time before Birtherism, when the GOP actually wanted to have a presidential candidate who wasn't born in the United States, but rather socialist Europe, with its bicycles and long vacations and government handouts and funny hats and other stuff like that. [War Room @ Salon]