I will be the first to admit I'm not an expert on what the results in the Iowa Straw Poll really mean. I've scoured the internet looking for commentary on it and can't find much that is helpful. Overall, I can't muster much excitement about the outcome. Romney won which was predicted by all, but what does it really mean? He spent a ton of money and time there and Rudy, Fred and McCain didn't. His main competitors weren't even really a part of the competition.
The other excitement is over the fact that Huckabee came in 2nd. I guess this was a little of an upset but again, what does it really mean? Many have been talking recently that Huckabee is the best debater and people really seem to like him. I'll be honest, I don't. He is a Southern Baptist Preacher so I should love him but there is something about him that doesn't sit right with me. I have this uneasiness about him and creep factor, kind of like a dislike for a used car salesman, I can't really put my finger on it. It is just a gut feeling of dislike.
Here are the official results of the poll:
1. Mitt Romney - 4516 votes, 31%My first question is, who is John Cox? Second, Ron Paul had his nutjob cult workers out in full force and still only came in 5th. Third, the fact that Paul did better than Fred, Rudy and Duncan really shows that this poll was meaningless.
2. Mike Huckabee - 2587 votes, 18.1%
3. Sam Brownback - 2192 votes, 15.3%
4. Tom Tancredo - 1961 votes, 13.7%
5. Ron Paul - 1305 votes, 9.1%
6. Tommy Thompson - 1,009 votes, 7.3%
7. Fred Thompson - 231 votes
8. Rudy Giuliani - 183 votes
9. Duncan Hunter - 174 votes
10. John McCain - 101 votes
11. John Cox - 41 votes
Bottom Line: Patrick Ruffini makes this point which I think says it all, "About 85% wouldn't have shown up without a campaign paying their way".
How Much the Candidates Spent Per Vote at the Straw Poll
Past Straw Poll Results:
Wikipedia--Ames Straw Poll
More reaction to the Straw poll:
Race 4 2008