A big thanks to everyone that participated in this First Annual HARRY balloting. In 24 hours, over 4000 readers cast their ballots for the best and worst of the 2010 political season. So, who’s the Hot Air Readership Republican of the Year?

Like any good awards ceremony, we’ll start off with the minor categories.

Hot Air Story of the Year

Beating out its nearest competitor by more than a three-to-one margin, the blog post Video: Chris Christie destroys reporter for calling him confrontational takes home the inaugural HASY Trophy, snatching up 40% of the vote in the six-way race. This year’s runner-up is “Dingell: It will take a while for ObamaCare to ‘control the people’.” Rounding out the top 3 — “Dem congressman: If Guam gets too overpopulated, it might tip over.” (Be sure to search the Archives yourself for some of the other oldie-but-goodies.)

Favorite Topic of the Year

What pushed readers’ buttons? It looks like anything and everything Chris Christie was welcome content, with posts relating to the current New Jersey governor capturing the only majority answer for the question (51%). Christie was more popular than posts on The economy and even Sarah Palin. Following Opinion pieces and Campaign coverage, Ed’s Obamateurisms clearly struck the right chord with visitors to Hot Air, rounding out the clearly popular categories. Not so popular? Posts about Christine O’Donnell, Robots, and Religion.

Preferred Vice Presidential Candidate of Hot Air Readers

Taking the prize for Best Politician Hopefully in a Supporting Role, Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio topped the vice presidential list by a squeaker over crowd favorite Chris Christie, 564 votes to 523 votes. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came in a close third with 517 votes. Taking fourth, fifth, and sixth were Congressman Paul Ryan, former Governor Sarah Palin, and Florida Congressman-elect Allen West, in that order. (Note Palin and West; we’ll get back to them in a moment.)

And now, performance art.

Moving on.

In the category of Least Liked Topic We Specifically Polled Anyway, readers by a resounding 67% to 16% favored Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle in their 2010 Delaware primary match-up. As for supporting a rematch with her as the nominee in 2014, readers were… less enthusiastic.

Hot Air readers are decidedly opposed to Republican candidates for President attending Politico’s Spring debate, generally preferring that the candidates refrain from participating in such an event until the end of the year.

So, back to the candidates themselves: When they cast their votes, what qualities were Hot Air readers looking for in their preferred candidate for President?

Preferred Presidential Candidate of Hot Air Readers

And the winner for Best Politician in a Hopefully Leading Role is Sarah Palin, beating Chris Christie handily and in a substantial reversal from the last poll we took at Hot Air on the topic. Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, and Mitt Romney round out the list at three, four and five.

Worth noting here is that while the “most popular President-VP ticket” would seem to be Palin-Rubio based on the results, that pairing was not the most common pairing explicitly given by Hot Air readers.

I’ve prepared a chart to help explain this. Down the left hand column is the preferred President of readers, with the highlighted box signaling which VP candidate was paired with him or her most frequently. So, Palin supporters chose Allen West most often as their VP choice. In contrast, the most popular pairing where Rubio was the VP on a ticket was when Chris Christie was the choice for President. Interesting stuff to me.

A look back at those we lost this year

Assuming there were that many, of course. Personally, I think the following groups won more Republican seats than they “lost,” but Hot Air readers have a decidedly more mixed, and basically negative, opinion of these organizations: the NRCC and NRSC.

Readers may not have liked these organizations, but they did like at least one person. A lot. In fact, so much so that this person is…

The Hot Air Readership Republican of the Year

And the HARRY goes to…

Sarah Palin. It wasn’t particularly close, either. Lots of voters commented that while they couldn’t vote for her for President, she was undoubtedly the biggest Republican mover and shaker of 2010. When I argued last year that the then-former governor Palin ought to “run for Congress” in 2010, I believed that she would play an enormously important role in winning back Republican seats. I noted at the time,

[W]hile Palin’s resignation certainly risks her own personal ambitions for higher office, it also opens up her hand to do the some of the free-wheeling, unfiltered campaigning she couldn’t do last year, with the prime beneficiary the center-right cause. If Palin wants to strengthen her political future, I can’t think of a better way to do it.

Obviously, not all of the 63 seats I predicted Republicans would take were directly a result of her interventions, but Palin drove much of the political conversation over the last 18 months. That’s not an easy feat for a typical politician, but Sarah Palin is not your typical politician. Whatever you think of the Mama Grizzly, you have got to respect her tenaciousness.

She got my vote, and clearly a lot — and I mean a lot — of Hot Air readers cast their ballots likewise.

That concludes this First Annual HARRY Awards ceremony. Hope you enjoyed it. I’m on Twitter. And I’ll leave you with this diddy as a parting tribute to the most endangered among us:

Until next post.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.