UPDATED WITH STRAW POLL RESULTS BELOW
First, a big shout out and thank you to candidate Marc Savitt for mentioning The Bull Elephant as one of his daily sources for news!
Several hundred people came to Sterling last night for the 10th district debate. Barbara Comstock seemed to be the big winner with a performance much improved over the previous debate in Winchester. Talking with people after the debate everyone agreed that Barbara did a very good job, more passionate this time and not playing it so safe. She made some excellent points about all the coalitions she is involved with. We know our party can’t win without coalitions and Barbara has a record of establishing many and varied coalitions.
Bob Marshall also gave a good performance, and many expressed to me how impressed they were with his intelligence, strength, and convictions. Everyone knows Bob Marshall will have no problem standing up to anyone in the Congress or the White House. We also learned that Bob Marshall can win against all odds, even in a district carried by Obama.
Stephen Hollingshead showed once again his deep knowledge of history and economics. He knows what the debt is doing to our nation and wants the spending to stop so that it doesn’t ruin the future for his children and our’s. Barbara Comstock mentioned her concern about the future for our children. “Will your children live as well as you do,” Barbara asked.
At the end of the debate observers continued to ask the question, “Why is Rob Wasinger in this race?” Each candidate was given 2 and 1/2 minutes for an introductory speech, and every candidate stood to speak—except Wasinger. He didn’t bother to stand, or move to the podium. He remained seated, leaning into his microphone. He said next to nothing that any other republican wouldn’t have said. I have no idea why he’s in the race and will be shocked if he doesn’t come in dead last.
After the debate the people I spoke with said one of two things, either “This race is between Comstock and Marshall” or “This race is between Comstock and Hollingshead.” People thought Savitt connected more than he had in the past and showed his sense of humor. People like Howie but were not impressed with his debating skills. Howie’s motto is ‘It’s time to take a stand” against what’s happening in Washington, while Hollingshead wants to tell Washington to just “Stop It!” and get out of our lives.
Tonight there were some questions that I call ‘Miss America Questions,’ such as “Who is your favorite President and why?” All of the candidates, except Hollingshead, predictably chose Ronald Reagan. Hollingshead had the best response. He chose our first President, George Washington, and Ronald Reagan’s favorite, President Calvin Coolidge, because of the latter president’s fiscal restraint, which we desperately need now.
Barbara Comstock had interesting answers when asked what she would do to help elect the candidate who wins the nomination. She said she would do what she has done to help every republican candidate, knocking doors, making calls, and cutting checks. She said no one on the stage other than she and Howie had ever given money to any republican candidate in the 10th district. I checked, and she’s right. The other candidates have not given money to any of our candidates, ever. That information can be found here.
The Young Republicans organized and ran last night’s debate. They also conducted an interesting straw poll asking people to rank the candidates before the debate and after. The results should be very interesting and will be posted here on The Bull Elephant as soon as I get them.
So much happens at these debates, it’s impossible to easily summarize everything. I urge all voters to attend a debate and make your own judgments about the candidates. There’s another opportunity on Sunday, April 13th at 2:00 pm at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, where Chris Plante of WMAL will host a debate sponsored by several conservative groups. Details here.
UPDATE: Straw Poll Results Released
Prior to the debate:
The Elusive Wasinger: 1%
After the debate:
The Elusive Wasinger: 4%
H/T to Justin at JHPolitics.