While most were projecting a Romney victory at the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa (including myself), I’m not sure that anyone expected such a large victory. Personally, I was thinking a modest mid-twenties showing would show Mitt’s organizational strength, but 31.5% is practically a landslide!
Obviously, Giuliani and McCain were punished for their failure to show up. I’d stop short of predicting that the primary will reflect these results because I still think many Iowans will support Giuliani. McCain made the biggest strategic mistake in not going to Ames. With his failing numbers and money nationwide, you might as well take him off the ballot in January. He needed something like Ames to keep his campaign alive. His failure to show up at the straw poll has perpetuated his downward trend into a political oblivion.
Some are saying that Romney’s victory is vastly overrated, but on the same coin, they prop up Huckabee and Brownback for coming in second and third by roughly 2000 votes less! But the way I see it is that if Romney garnered nearly double what his closest opponents did, wouldn’t that in turn make them irrelevant also? So basically, if you lose to a “loser,” didn’t you still lose? Correct me if I’m wrong…
Tancredo did fair in Ames, but who really cares? He’s almost as irrelevant as say….
Tommy Thompson? I’m glad he’s gone. Sometimes you’ve just got to cut the fat, I guess.
Duncan Hunter should quit immediately. If Tommy Thompson can quit with over 1000 votes, Hunter should follow suit due to his paltry showing.
Who is this John Cox and what was he doing on the ballot?
Then there’s that Ron Paul fellow. It appears that his grassroots cult of a following couldn’t carry him to a victory over Tancredo. However, this is one of the few respectable polls in which he managed to defeat Giuliani, McCain, and Fred Thompson. He should savor this moment.
It’s interesting that Fred Thompson was on the ballot, but his lack of campaigning and his failure to enter the race made him slightly more relevant than Duncan Hunter and the absent Giuliani and McCain. If Fred’s going to run, he’d better enter as soon as possible. The American public are tiring of his “non-official” status. If he avoids the debating process altogether, he’s nothing short of a coward.
I enjoy seeing the field thin out. If we get down to a Giuliani-McCain-Romney-F. Thompson-Huckabee-Brownback-Paul field, things will be much more interesting.
The only thing I think we can take from this is that Romney will prevail in Iowa in January. The fact that he earned virtually double his nearest opponents and the fact that his other major opponents nationwide failed to even show up simply shows that Romney is the frontrunner in the state of Iowa.