Internet Straw Polls Analysis

Michael Weddle
6 min readJan 10, 2019

Straw poll. … Sometimes polls conducted without ordinary voting controls in place (i.e., on an honor system, such as in online polls) are also called “straw polls”. The idiom may allude to a straw (thin plant stalk) held up to see in what direction the wind blows, in this case, the wind of group opinion.

EDIT UPDATE: After Tulsi Gabbard stated she’s running I created a new straw poll to include her name — it’s a brand new straw poll as of 1/12/19

2016 Election Background:

During the 2016 presidential election Bernie Sanders blew nearly everybody away when it came to internet straw polling. His numbers were extraordinary. Given he was also filling professional sports stadiums and large civil centers all across the country, including in the south and the rust belt, one very much experienced a feeling of “movement sweeping our nation” by supporting Bernie.

However, as any honest close political observer would acknowledge, the DNC-led Democratic Primary was not on the up and up (see Wikileaks and numerous social media eye-witness accounts). Many political watchers, including myself, describe it outright as “rigged!” It was. It was rigged so that Hillary Clinton would become the nominee, and the corporate media played a role to which it will never admit.

It’s important to also point out the Republicans also had some “rigging” going on. The GOP-induced Crosscheck voter elimination system was in play in nearly all of the 30 GOP politically-controlled states. This included Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, very important states given the electoral college factor.

Essentially what happened was the Clinton Campaign had extremely strong media connections. Her political operatives knew she was a risky candidate from the start, given all kinds of controversy. So their job was to provide her with the easiest defeatable opponent. Tragically, they miscalculated that opponent as Donald Trump. Hence, Trump, from the start, got billions of dollars worth of free publicity with Hillary getting the second most. Meanwhile, a media blackout was imposed on Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders.

Below, is a Facebook post I wrote on November 15, 2015. It vividly describes the fate as to what would come:–2015-at-12–42-pm-558dc14ce39f

So the past is behind us and the 2020 Presidential election is now on the table.

Today’s Straw Polls:

[NOTE: Every internet straw poll I see I always try to vote twice in order to make sure the poll is fair and legitimate.]

Aside from the smaller polls, which individuals can make themselves on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve discovered three straw polls presently now in play on the Internet:

I discovered this one about a week ago. This polling firm has a 10-year internet history and its home port is Hamburg, Germany. What’s great about this poll is it only lets you vote once! This is important.

Daily Kos Straw Poll:

Bernie Sanders poll Daily Kos straw poll numbers left Hillary Clinton in the dust throughout the 2016 Democratic primary season. The ownership of the Daily Kos is very closely tied to inside-the-beltway Democratic politicians. It strongly supported HRC in 2016. The publisher was not happy to see Sanders win with overwhelming numbers.

Based on an analysis of reading The Daily Kos political content it’s clear the paper is not in the corner of Bernie Sanders and it supports nominating a more centrist Democratic candidate … under the tag, of course, of “progressive.” The more critical thinkers would conclude “faux progressive.”

I’m on Twitter and Facebook daily and continually observing politics. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, came the Inauguration Daily Kos straw poll. Without much widespread fanfare on the internet, I discovered the poll’s existence only after its two-week conclusion. It showed a result of Liz Warren with 22%, Beto, Harris and Biden in the upper mid-teen range and Bernie lagging at 11%. Apparently, they intend to report the straw poll results every two weeks.

The pro-Warren/Beto/Biden/Harris results and the lagging Sanders results were also widely reported throughout America’s main media. Clearly, this is an effort to weaken the potential of a second strong Sanders candidacy.

So based on this discovery, I got my vote in and then published the existence of the Kos poll onto Bernie Sanders Facebook sites, of which there are lots. Some sites include membership/likes totally over 50,000 and one site is nearly at 150,000. After doing this, I interestingly watched the Sanders numbers. They did not increase where logically they should have increased.

Worse, I also discovered I was able to vote twice in the Daily Kos poll!

Right off the bat, I must report I’m super suspect of The Daily Kos 2020 Presidential Straw Poll. Let’s hope this news organization improves its ability to conduct better and more widely publicized polling throughout the current campaign season. Straw Poll:

This organization conducted its first ever membership-wide straw poll and announced its results on December 12, 2018. The poll’s findings saw the plurality of members undecided at Someone Else/Don’t Know/Other (28.8%); Beto O’Rourke (15.6%); Joe Biden (14.9%); Bernie Sanders (13.1%); Kamala Harris (10%); and Elizabeth Warren (6.4%).

This poll was also widely published in main media mostly with a headline sporting Beto on top. I couldn’t determine when Move-On will conduct its next membership-wide straw poll.

This poll was also conducted before Warren made her pre-New Year’s Day announcement, so this could account for some of the disparity in the numbers between the Kos and Move-On polls. But it’s noteworthy to note she barely registers in the Hamburg straw poll which has been running 24/7 this past week, after her announcement.

About Me:

I’ve followed politics closely since the day I met Jonathan Daniels, one of the Civil Rights workers who was murdered in the south. He was a seminarian clergyman who answered Martin Luther King’s call to help form the Movement for Freedom. I later entered the military as a non-combatant conscientious object and eventually was discharged as a full conscientious objector. I became very politicized due to the war and worked very hard with active duty soldiers and Vietnam Veterans to end it.

When the housing crunch hit from the effects of Reagan-Bush I got so mad I gave up playing my guitar — which I had just taught myself how to play — in order to become a state representative in New Hampshire’s legislature. After serving two terms I left establishment politics in order to become a Harvard Square street musician and I’ve been a songwriter ever since. In the early ’90s I was the organizer of two drug policy conferences held at the Harvard Law School, calling for an end to the drug war and that our drug problem be dealt with medically rather than criminally.

I recently have been designated by the internet writing forum as a Top 2016 Election Writer. I also placed #3 out of 220,000 contestants in CNN’s 2016 Political Prediction Market contest. CNN pointed out no prizes would be won, except for bragging rights. Well, here’s mine — lol!

So I follow the political process very closely. I do not watch television or listen to any radio. All of my information is gleaned from internet research and references.

Here is how I get my news:



Michael Weddle

Founder of Boston’s Climate Change Band; former NH State Representative; Created Internet’s 1st Anti-War Debate; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!