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Horner on target for IP endorsement

Horner on target for IP endorsement
By Eric Black

The Independence Party, which has a novel caucus process that includes in-person and on-line caucuses, released Monday the results of a straw poll taken by those who participated in the online caucuses about the IP field of gubernatorial candidates. The results:

  • Tom Horner: 50.09%                       
  • Other:          24.36%
  • Rob Hahn:    16.4%
  • John Uldrich    3.97%

Horner, of the Himle-Horner public affairs firm, has been considered the frontrunner since he expressed interest in the IP nomination and there’s nothing in these numbers to change that conventional wisdom. It’s hard to know how much to make of these numbers since a. the straw poll is non-binding. b. most of those who participated in the online caucuses didn’t vote in the straw poll. c. the preferences of the online caucusers have to be blended somehow with the preferences of the in-person caucusers. d. The IP, which strongly favors Instant Runoff Voting, also took for second and third preferences from the straw voters and will further refine the results after applying the instant runoff rules.

e. Then there’s that substantial number of straw poll voters who voted for “other.” Those are almost certainly voters who favored Joe Repya, who was in the IP endorsement race for a period of time during the online-caucus window but has since dropped out, and not on good terms with the party. Kari Johnson-Robinson, IP State Party Director, told that the party was honoring Repya’s request that his name not be used. Finally, there is the fact that both Horner and his nearest competitor in the straw poll, businessman Rob Hahn, have said they will run in the primary whether they get the endorsement or not.