SEMINOLE, FLORIDA – A curious thing happened to an online poll for Florida’s U.S. Senate race on the Bay News 9 website Thursday, which has sparked the ire of a vocal group of voters. The poll originally included candidates Marco Rubio (R), Kendrick Meek (D), Charlie Crist (NPA), Alexander Snitker (L), and a choice for “other.”
But some time around mid day yesterday, Bay News 9 made a change to the poll. They removed Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Alexander Snitker’s name from the poll and replaced it with a second “other” selection. By mid afternoon, Snitker supporters were flooding the station with calls to ask why the poll was altered.
What is most interesting about Bay News 9’s decision to modify the in-progress poll is that Snitker was in third place with 14% of the vote at the time of the switch, beating Democrat challenger Kendrick Meek by four points. At last check, the poll results showed the first “other” (formerly Alex Snitker) at 15%, while the second “other” was at 3%.
Snitker’s campaign manager Kelley Lobean was not surprised by the poll manipulation. “The media has systematically tried to erase Alex from this race,” said Lobean. “But glaring examples like this just energize Alex, as well as our campaign staff and supporters.”
Campaign media director Adrian Wyllie also feels that this pattern may be intentional. “Every once in a while, the media throws us a bone,” said Wyllie. “But when they see the overwhelming positive support that Alex gets, their attitude always changes from amused condescension to panic. All of a sudden, they stop seeing a ‘cute little third-party candidate’ and see a viable contender, which for some reason frightens them.”
When contacted by phone, the Bay News 9 assignment desk had no comment about the change to the poll. Calls to the news director and internet director for comment were not returned.
Snitker is first Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Florida history, and his platform focuses on a Constitutionally-limited federal government and individual liberties and states’ rights.
For high resolution screen captures of the change made to this online poll, visit: http://snitker2010.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/bn9poll-composite.jpg.