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Monday, August 13, 2007

Iowa Straw Poll Results

Iowa Straw Poll Results

1. Mitt Romney: 4,516 votes
2. Mike Huckabee: 2,587 votes
3. Sam Brownback: 2,192 votes
4. Tom Tancredo: 1,961 votes
5. Ron Paul: 1,305 votes
6. Tommy Thompson: 1,039 votes
7. Fred Thompson: 203 votes
8. Rudy Giuliani: 183 votes
9. Duncan Hunter: 174 votes
10. John McCain: 101 votes
11. John Cox: 41 votes

Despite having no legal or binding impacts, the Iowa Straw Poll can affect a Republican field. It's a barometer of the candidates' standing thus far in their campaigns, and a legitimate precursor to the first caucus of the year, the Iowa Caucus, to take place in early January.

Here's a look at the impact these results have on the Republican candidates.

San Brownback - One of three candidates likely to be the next to drop out, Brownback's third place showing is worse than it looks. With Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and John McCain using no resources in Iowa, other candidates had the opportunity to show a strong second place to Mitt Romney. Thanks to the doubtful conservative credentials of the top tiered Republicans, the tried-and-true conservative constituency is still up for grabs. This was the chance for Brownback, a life-long conservative, to secure those voters, and he did not. Someone else did, which might have signified Brownback's last best shot to become a contender.

John Cox - In a party that has allowed a whopping ten candidates to appear in national debates, the fact that John Cox was not allowed goes to show you the legitimacy of his candidacy. And if that doesn't do it for you, mind the last place finish in the ISP.

Rudy Giuliani - Giuliani put no resources into Iowa, realizing he'd probably lose to Romney. Therefore, if he didn't try to win Iowa, the reason he didn't win was because he didn't try, not because Romney would have won even if he did. (Follow that?) Giuliani will still lead national polls, though Romney will close on that lead. It's interesting to note that, though Giuliani's 8th place finish without trying isn't a disappointment in itself for his campaign, the fact that unannounced candidate Fred Thompson beat him out, despite similarly putting no effort into the straw poll, can't be a good sign for things to come for America's Mayor.

Mike Huckabee - This was the biggest winner of the Iowa Straw Poll, despite the second place finish. If you ask this blogger, the Republican debates have been won by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Romney is a calculating, consistent (of late) debater and doesn't make a mistake, but still rattles some conservatives for past socially liberal statements. Huckabee, I feel, is the genuine article and means exactly what he says. As a governor and Baptist minister, he's developed an impressive ability to articulate issues and voters are responding. His second place showing was an enormous boost to a campaign that was stuck in neutral (which was better then other candidacies stuck in reverse). Now we wait to see if Huckabee can ride this momentum and become the conservative alternative to the top tier, and perhaps even join them in top tier status.

Duncan Hunter - He insists he's in this for the long haul, despite the hideous 174 vote showing. He's calling the ISP the beginning of a marathon and if he decides that having no money is not a death knell in a campaign, than technically he can stay in it until the convention. Still, the Hunter campaign is effectively over, and hopefully he comes to that realization soon. He's one of the three candidates likely to be the next to drop out.

John McCain - Tenth place, next to last to John Cox, with 101 votes. Sure, maybe he put no effort into winning the Iowa Straw Poll, but appearing that low on the results is yet another hit to a struggling candidacy. How much more embarrassment can this proud man take?

Ron Paul - He's still Ron Paul. His supporters are fervent and Democrats are pulling for him. Of course, main stream Republicans are terrified. This set of circumstances means that Paul will never be better than middle of the pack.

Mitt Romney - Romney's domination of the Iowa Straw Poll was completely expected, and therefore not nearly as big of a victory as the numbers show. With Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and McCain not even trying to win the ISP, Romney was supposed to trump the field while the second and third tier candidates jockeyed for a strong second place finish. Still, a win is a win, and Romney should see a slight bump in numbers across the country. The Iowa Straw Poll results are a great example of what Romney is trying to accomplish. His allocation of resources in Iowa and New Hampshire is already making him money elsewhere, as the media coverage of the ISP will attract voters and money across the country, despite him not spending any extra cash outside of those two locations. Once he wins the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire, primary, his national numbers will take off.

Tom Tancredo - He's one of the three candidates who might be the next to drop out, though Tancredo, as a one issue candidate, might stay in as long as possible. He does not expect to win the nomination. He expects to keep immigration on the table as a debate point as long as possible. Therefore, despite low, single-digit support across the country, and an unimpressive bank account, he could stay in for a while. The pleasing fourth place finish in the Iowa Straw Poll is a small boost, and he should last until the Iowa caucus itself.

Fred Thompson - He has yet to officially enter the race and put no resources into the ISP. Pay no attention to the low numbers. If you're curious about the Fred Thompson candidacy, check this out.

Tommy Thompson - The impact of the ISP was obvious. He dropped out.

1 comment:

darren said...

I think Huckabee's showing should lead to a deserved increase in your odds line. I put him at 10-1, right up there with Rudy and McCain. I really think he's the dark horse and poses a real threat to Romney. Romney's sure to take NH because of the proximity to MA, so I think now he'll be spending alot of time and $ in South Carolina. Huckabee is from Arkansas. I think he's got a great shot to steal Iowa/SC from Romney and make it a very interesting primary season.

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