B y Dan King

It was a good week for the Republican Party at the Washington County Fair.

Each election year, the Washington County Tea Party Patriots conduct a straw poll at their booth, asking those who stop by who they plan to vote for. This year’s poll was for both the presidential election and the senate election. The Republican nominee won each by a large margin.

On the presidential side Republican nominee Donald Trump won with 528 votes (84 percent); Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton received 45 votes (7 percent); Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson took 38 votes (6 percent); and Green Party nominee Jill Stein received 20 votes (3 percent).

“It’s a Republican County and an area where a lot of people agree with what Trump is saying,” said George Demas, who manned the table a couple of nights.

Dana Haff, another member, said: “I worked the booth two nights and I can tell you that the people walking past that I pulled in were completely random. The results were overwhelming and opposite of the main stream media.”

The four presidential candidates included in the poll are the only four that are projected to be on enough ballots to mathematically win the presidency come November. Trump, Clinton and Johnson are expected to be on the ballot in all 50 states. Stein is currently on the ballot in 38 states, and can be written in on three other ballots. She has hit snags in a few other states, however.

“On Thursday Johnson was ahead of Clinton, but on Friday they were tied,” Haff added. “I think the Democrat booth saw the daily tallies and encouraged their people to come over and outvote Johnson.”

When the Tea Party conducted its straw poll at last year’s fair, during the primary election, Trump was victorious with 232 votes. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pulled in 112 votes, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson had 90 votes, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had 78 votes, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio rounded out the top five with 58 votes.

Demas pointed out that numbers this year were actually down from last year’s poll.

“The crowd was much more enthusiastic last year,” he said. “A lot of people are tired of the campaign and feel like it’s dragged out too long.”

In this year’s poll, in the senate race Republican nominee Wendy Long won with 377 votes. Democratic incumbent Chuck Schumer received 66 votes, and one person wrote in “R. Paul,” presumably either Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul or his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul. When the November election rolls around there will be three candidates on the ballot: Long, Schumer and Libertarian nominee Alex Merced.

Demas said over the two days he manned the table, there was a decent number of people who went across party lines and voted for Trump and Schumer.

“My guess is that they’re democrats who, for whatever reason, aren’t happy with Clinton,” he said.



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