Report on the 2003 MoveOn.org Political Action Primary
TOP LINE RESULTS
On June 24th and 25th, 2003 we held an online vote to help our members express their preferences among the current field of Democratic candidates. This vote also served to determine if there was consensus among MoveOn members for a candidate endorsement for the 2004 presidential contest. MoveOn.org Political Action had announced that any candidate from the field of nine that garnered more than 50% of the vote would receive our endorsement.
In just a little over 48 hours, 317,647 members voted, making this vote larger than both the New Hampshire Democratic primary and Iowa caucuses combined. Here are the vote totals and percentages, when voters are asked to choose one candidate:
The numbers speak for themselves. Since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, MoveOn.org Political Action will not currently endorse any candidate. We are not surprised that candidates who've invested in internet grassroots organizing have done well in this vote, and hope that all candidates will work to broaden their bases of support, even this early in the election cycle.
"ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT" FOR MANY CANDIDATES
In addition to the pure choice vote, in our second ballot question we asked members to indicate all candidates they would enthusiastically support.
28.47% of those who responded to this question said they would enthusiastically support ANY Democratic candidate. In addition to this base, here's what our members said about which candidates they would enthusiastically support:
We are encouraged by this sense of unity and the broad support for Democratic leaders.
MOVEON MEMBERS ARE WILLING TO STEP UP
In the third section of the ballot, we asked MoveOn members if they're ready to participate actively in campaigns. 77,192 voters asked us to share contact information with the candidate of their choice. 49,132 voters pledged to support a campaign financially. 54,370 voters pledged to volunteer for a campaign. Once each ballot was submitted, MoveOn PAC presented each voter with a link to their chosen candidate's website and donation web page. MoveOn voters are already providing real support to campaigns.
TRUST BUT VERIFY
This kind of voting process is very new and we've taken extraordinary steps to insure its robustness and integrity. The voting itself was controlled through the limitation of one vote per email address -- an email ballot could only be used for one vote. In addition, we subjected the votes to several tests based on whether multiple votes were submitted through a single machine, whether an unusual number of votes came from a certain domain, or whether single voters participated through several email addresses. Finally, we contracted for a followup telephone survey, through a respected, independent polling firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Reseach . This survey, which we've called our "exit poll" was run to bring independent verification of the voting percentages. As you see below, the exit poll numbers reflect the actual voting results very closely, well within the projected three percent margin of error:
The telephone survey also served as an independent check that the phone numbers given in our ballet verification were valid.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Reseach concluded, "The results for each candidate in the online primary are remarkably close to the results in the telephone survey. The consistency between the online vote results and the telephone survey results confirms the integrity of the online vote. "
(Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Reseach does not serve as a pollster for any Democratic Presidential Candidate.)
We've been overwhelmed with the excitement surrounding this election process, and feel very satisfied with the results. All campaigns engaged our members and together we're building a broad, active base of the support for the eventual Democratic nominee.
TOP WRITE IN CANDIDATES
Paid for by MoveOn.org Political Action, P.O. Box 9218, Berkeley, CA 94709. Website: www.moveonpac.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
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