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August 12, 2007
It's Romney in Iowa
Mitt Romney walked away with the top spot at the Ames Straw Poll held on the campus of Iowa State University.
The win boosted the former Massachusetts governor’s standing as the party’s frontrunner in Iowa, although attendance at this first show of Iowa campaign strength appeared to fall short of expectations.Here are the vote totals:
1. Mitt Romney 4,516 31.6%
2. Mike Huckabee 2,587 18.1%
3. Sam Brownback 2,192 15.3%
4. Tom Tancredo 1,960 13.7%
5. Ron Paul 1,305 9.1%
6. Tommy Thompson 1,039 7.3%
7. Fred Thompson 203 1.4%
8. Rudy Giuliani* 183 1.3%
9. Duncan Hunter 174 1.2%
10. John McCain* 101 0.7%
11. John Cox 41 0.3%
Romney had the most to lose if he hadn't won big. He spent lavishly, hiring out several hundred buses to bring his supporters to the event. He is certainly breathing easier this morning.
With Fred Thompson an undeclared candidate and both John McCain and Rudy Giuliani bypassing the event, Romney had a clear field to run among the front runners. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee had been surging in recent weeks and his second place finish was a mild surprise.
Sam Brownback's third place showing came about as a result of his tireless courting of social conservatives. His campaign spent the last two weeks attacking Mitt Romney's flip flop on abortion through targeted telephone calls.
With the latest poll showing him 10 points in front of his rivals in Iowa, Romney seems poised to carry through to a victory in the Iowa caucuses. Whether that will give him the momentum he needs to roll into New Hampshire and win there remains to be seen. It is possible that both Giuliani and McCain will bypass Iowa in order to deny Romney all of that momentum and set the stage for a crucial test for the candidates in New Hampshire.