Delegates to vote in straw poll at Democratic Convention - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Delegates to vote in straw poll at Democratic Convention

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MADISON (WKOW) -- State Democrats are gathering in Oshkosh at their party convention to try to figure out who may be the best candidate to run against Gov. Scott Walker.

Ten candidates are speaking to delegates to gain their support, via a straw poll -- an unofficial vote used to show popular opinion that can be used to help politicians know a majority.

The Democrats' convention is different than the one held by the Republican Party, where delegates voted and endorsed a candidate, Sen. Leah Vukmir.

With ten Democrats to choose from, many candidates know the voters will ultimately decide.

"These are fun things at conventions. It's another element of the convention that makes it fun for the delegates,” said Brandon Scholz, a governmental affairs professional with The Capitol Group. “Some of the candidates spend a lot of time beforehand to call and reach out and say 'hey vote for me.' Others just say " 'Whatever. We'll see how goes.' "

Gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout won the straw poll last year, but she said even with such a crowded field this year, the votes will be close. Vinehout said even if she wins the poll, it won't mean much to the rest of Wisconsin voters.

"Your talking about different populations,” said Vinehout.  

Other candidates are hoping to use the straw poll as a platform to encourage voters to choose them instead of another opponent.

“I think they're going to continue to do what they're doing, which is they're crisscrossing the state trying to raise money. Some of them are, some of them are not,” said Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now. “They're making calls and trying to get endorsements. The best thing that they can do is go out and make the case as to why they are the one who can beat Walker in November.”

Friday is the deadline for candidates to file to get on the ballot. Next week, the Election Commission will randomly pick the order in which the names will appear on the ballot.

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