Iowa Straw Poll Results and Analysisby Kevin Boyd
The Iowa Straw Poll results are in
1. Mitt Romney –32 percent
2. Mike Huckabee – 18 percent
3. Sam Brownback – 15 percent
4. Tom Tancredo – 14 percent
5. Ron Paul – 9 percent
6. Tommy Thompson — 7 percent
7. Fred Thompson – 1 percent
8. Rudolph W. Giuliani – 1 percent
9. Duncan Hunter – 1 percent
10. John McCain (less than 1 percent)
11. John Cox (less than 1 percent)
Now before I give my analysis, let me this out first. I do not have a candidate in this fight yet.
1) Mitt Romney is a joke. He had 100 buses, over 1,000 volunteers, and actually poured lots of money in this straw poll and he only got 32% against a field of almost exclusively second and third tier candidates. This is a pathetic showing by someone who is considered one of the first tier candidates. Romney needed at least 40% to avoid a weak performance and he failed. I think this is the beginning of the end for the Romney campaign.
2) Mike Huckabee’s campaign should be celebrating tonight. They won the battle for social conservative hearts and minds. Their 18% showing is impressive. They came in second. The straw poll speech was excellent and moving. Mike Huckabee, to many of the undecided Republican voters becomes a real alternative to Rudy McRomneySon. The only questions are, can Huckabee capitalize on his success tonight and will the Club for Growth step up their anti-Huckabee campaign as a result of tonight?
3) It’s the end of the road for Sam Brownback. He lost the battle for social conservatives to Huckabee and he’s a Midwestern candidate who lost a primary battle in the Midwest. He will lose what support he has over the next few weeks to Huckabee and the other contenders. He should leave the race in the next few weeks and return to the Senate.
4) Tom Tancredo should also be happy about his performance. His performance shows the passion that Republican voters have stopping illegal immigration. If he came off as less of a lunatic and less of a white supremacist, he would have a shot at the Republican nomination. If he decides to go the third party route, which I think he will, he will be a threat to the Republican candidate in November 2008.
5) Ron Paul should also be happy as well. 9% for a candidate who only started spending time in Iowa last weekend, airing ads the middle of this week, had no serious organization, and was mired in controversy caused by some of their more fringe supporters with bogus lawsuits is not bad. Ron Paul’s speech was one of the best, content wise, of the straw poll. He earned a lot of respect today from GOP conservative voters by deemphasizing his anti-war rhetoric and instead touching on small government and values issues. He will also pick up sympathy for the rude treatment his supporters received by Laura Ingraham. However, Ron Paul will lose some of this newfound sympathy and respect if his supporters decide to challenge the results. Good news, I don’t think they will. What the Paul campaign needs to do is start working with GOP leaders and organizations instead of treating them like the enemy and start encouraging their supporters to become more involved with the GOP and reach out to GOP voters and restrain their more fringe followers like the 9/11 “Truthers”, the anti-Semites,
6) Tommy Thompson’s finished.
7) Fred Thompson’s supporters attempted to replicate Ron Paul’s spontaneous volunteer effort by renting space for a tent. There simply isn’t much passionate support for Fred Thompson, unlike Ron Paul.
8) Giuliani wins nothing, loses nothing. He’s still the front runner and will still probably win the Republican nomination. Not participating in the straw poll was a good idea.
9) Duncan Hunter’s out of the race. Unfortunately, he’ll have more time to try and start a bipartisan trade war with China.
10) John McCain’s campaign is still dead.
11) Who is John Cox?