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Mitt Romney Wins Iowa Straw Poll; Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter Fall Short

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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney met expectations by easily winning the GOP Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday, garnering 31.5 percent of the vote. Romney was expected to win because of his strong showing in early scientific polls and due to the no-shows at the Straw Poll of three other top candidates: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Fred Thompson. The Straw Poll is not scientific, as attendees must pay a fee to vote, though candidates publicly claim it to be a good measure of 'grassroots support.'

Romney, the other six Republican candidates, plus Illinois attorney John Cox (who has not been allowed to participate in any of the debates thus far) were each allowed to give 15 minute speeches to the Straw Poll attendees in Ames, Iowa.

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson came in just sixth place, winning 7.3 percent of the vote—far short of his own stated expectations. In the preceding weeks Thompson claimed he needed to finish in the top 2 at the Straw Poll to remain competitive heading into the fall. Despite the absence of Giuliani, McCain, and Fred Thompson, California Congressman Duncan Hunter only received the support of 1.2 percent of the attendees—approximately the same level of support he receives in scientific polling that does include those candidates.

Mike Huckabee (18.1 percent), Sam Brownback (15.3 percent), and Tom Tancredo (13.7 percent) all had strong showings that should keep them in the race well into the fall. Ron Paul (9.1 percent) had a raucous band of supporters, and his fifth place showing will not likely deter his campaign—Paul has proven to be one of the better fundraisers in the GOP field, despite polling in the low single digits in all scientific polls both nationally and in Iowa.

The key question in the coming weeks is whether or not the absence of Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and McCain at the Straw Poll will negatively impact their candidacies statewide, and, if so, whether Huckabee, Brownback, or Tancredo can capitalize and close the gap between themselves and the 'top tier.'

The final results of the 200y Iowa Straw Poll are:

Mitt Romney -- 4,516 votes (31.5%)
Mike Huckabee -- 2,587 votes (18.1%)
Sam Brownback -- 2,192 votes (15.3%)
Tom Tancredo -- 1,961 votes (13.7%)
Ron Paul -- 1,305 votes (9.1%)
Tommy Thompson -- 1,039 votes (7.3%)
Fred Thompson -- 203 votes (1.4%)
Rudy Giuliani -- 183 votes (1.3%)
Duncan Hunter -- 174 votes (1.2%)
John McCain -- 101 votes (1%)
John Cox -- 41 votes (0.1%)

14,302 total ballots were cast.

Previous post: Iowa Leaning Democratic for '08 Presidential Election
Next post: Tommy Thompson Ends Presidential Bid

2 Comments


  • Nevermind the 5 boys… Has ANYONE in the Romney family EVER served in the United States Military?

  • No idea about it

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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