MPA straw poll gauges support for Clinton, Sanders

MPA straw poll gauges support for Clinton, Sanders

In an email sent to the group’s members on Thursday, the Maine People’s Alliance announced the launch of a text message straw poll to gauge relative support for presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Any Mainer can participate by texting either Sanders or Clinton to 207-466-0096.

The opt-in survey is not a scientific poll, but MPA hopes it will capture some of the energy behind these candidates, each of whom are running campaigns based on progressive values shared by the organization, and will help to promote a civil discourse that will strengthen, rather than divide, the progressive moment.

“It’s not just to show where MPA members stand on the presidential race, but to show that progressives can disagree on candidates in a civil way and have a productive conversation about the future of our state and country,” said MPA communications director Mike Tipping in the email.

As part of an effort to promote that dialogue, two members of MPA took to microphones today to share their support for their candidates of choice. Their thoughts are included in this week’s Beacon podcast, which is also broadcast on WERU.

“I feel like the issues Bernie talks about really resound with what I really care about and what we’re working daily on as an organization, but I also support Bernie Sanders because I feel like I can trust him,” said MPA lead organizer Gen Lysen, who met Sanders at an anti-TPP press conference last year. “One of the first issues that he did work on as mayor of Burlington was affordable housing and I think that’s an issue that is very close to me and my heart and my organizing and my community in Lewiston.”

“I am firmly with her, as they say, I am excited to be caucusing for Hillary Clinton,” said Will Ikard, director of the Maine Small Business Coalition. “We’re not voting on a worldview, we’re voting on a President. Hillary Clinton has spent her entire life, even before as a member of the Carter administration, as first lady of the United States, as a United States Senator and then as Secretary of State, making positive change. Those changes are often more incremental than I would want and that I believe she would want. But the fact of the matter is that’s the system that we’ve got and she seems much more capable and much more interested in actually accomplishing things.”

The straw poll will run for the next two weeks, with results announced a few days before the Maine Democratic caucuses on March 6th.

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