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Romney Wins Handily in Straw Poll

AMES, Iowa -- Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) drew 32 percent of the vote Saturday in the Iowa straw poll, conducted on the campus of Iowa State University.

"Today, the people of this great state sent a message to America, and that is that change begins in Iowa," Romney told about 200 supporters after the results were announced. "We're just getting started. We've got a long way to go. ... This message is rolling on."

Dan Balz and Michael D. Shear report on the straw poll and what it portends for the next phase of the GOP presidential campaign.

Shear and Chris Cillizza look at the delay that held up reporting the results for more than an hour, as well as the circus atmosphere at Iowa State.

And in The Fix, Cillizza suggests that the day's biggest winner may be the straw poll's runner-up, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee finished second with 18 percent, and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback ran third with 15 percent.

Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo finished fourth with 14 percent, followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 9 percent and former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson sixth at 7 percent.

Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and California Rep. Duncan Hunter each finished with 1 percent, and Chicago businessman John Cox got less than 1 percent.

By Post Editor  |  August 11, 2007; 10:22 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Primaries  
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Next: The GOP YouTube Debate Is Back On


two things happened in iowa. first of all, apparently those voting in iowa can be bought by big money(i.e. he who spends the most money wins). secondly, iowans seem to be as sick of the war as the rest of us. those who have consistently stuck their foot in the mouth concerning the u.s. involvement fared poorly. hats off to the iowans for that much at least. where the iraq war is concerned, what will hillary learn from the results?

Posted by: wa_idaho_lonewolf | August 13, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Romney wins the straw poll because he truly is the most qualified candidate to ever run for president.

As for Guiliani and McCain the quitters, what a slap in the face to Iowans that was. The straw poll was designed to help the Iowan Republican party as much as the candidates. You have just insured a Romney win in the Caucuses. He's going to clean your clocks.

Posted by: scotash | August 13, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination and will go on to slam down Tammy W. Clinton on his way to the presidency. He is what Americans want and need as president-a winner. He makes good things happen, and although there is hard work behind the wonderful results, it all seems easy and in the natural order of things. We will refuse the other candidates because we are sick of cheating spouses, kids vilifying their presidential parents,and are not about to accept the weird want-to-be first partners of several of the current crop of candidates.Those who cannot find fault with candidate Romney point towards re-evaluations by him as faults, but they cannot point to bad results of his governance.We can point to Ms. Clinton's expensive flop of a proposed health bill, her sick marriage to a man who long ago told her that he wanted out and has gone on to act out in very sordid ways- and then, as president, lied to all of America! Let us not forget the impeachment and why we wanted a change from our stained White House...Yes, it is time for a candidate that stands for our ideals. And we are going to need a winner because our country will be dealing with an economic crisis and complex situations around the world needing good solutions. Romney will win because it is his destiny to lead this great nation.He has just begun to win the path to the presidency-do not waste your valuable time on the also-rans-your ideal candidate will welcome your efforts.

Posted by: usa1citizen | August 13, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Mitt Romney would be a great candidate for the Republicans to run in 2008. Please do it! Slam Dunk for Hillary, Obama, or Edwards.

Posted by: dkummer1 | August 12, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul's supporters just won't give up and neither will he. The word is to increase his appeal, a name change is planned to "Paul Ron."

Posted by: filoporquequilo | August 12, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Romney's only qualification for the job is that he is the most cynical, manipulative candidate in the running. Every position he had as a candidate for Mass. governor has now, a few short years later, been reversed. Since Jeb Bush couldn't run because the current reigning Bush has completely ruined the brand name, this guy is the closest thing to a "Bush"- someone who believes in nothing and is willing to take any position necessary to please whomsoever the constituency is at hand, or whoever is paying his way. Is America doomed to churn out guys like this, one election after the other? The only talent they have is for mass trickery. "Leaders" like this are the reason many around the world reject the validity of the democratic system.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | August 12, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

11,000 people who were paid to come carry signs for a group of candidates who have no chance for the party's nomination doesn't exactly equate to "crucial" to me. The turnout was WAY lower than expected because the main Republican candidates decided to bypass the event for strategical reasons.

Giuliani didn't participate in this event because he knows that it is most important for him to win the big states like Florida, California, et al. These states have many more moderate Republican voters (as well as many more people obviously) and these are the states that will most likely be open to a candidate with moderate social values at this point.

An Iowa win for Romney would do even less for him than McCain's win in New Hampshire in 2000. Republican's are all coming to realize that the party's only chance for a win in 2008 is uniting behind Giuliani who is ahead or within the margin of error in national polling against the top Democratic candidate.

In the end, Romney is wasting a HELL of a lot of his own money for a campaign that has little chance of finishing better than 3rd.

Posted by: gthstonesman | August 12, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The Iowa straw poll results indicate what a phony that state has become as a bellweather to launch a successful political career for those presidential candidates who bother to participate in its money-hungry grubbing activities to grab some headlines any way it can get them.

Posted by: vicsoir | August 12, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

How curious that some Republicans here are complaining that Romney is effective and gets the job done. Isn't that what he is supposed to be doing? Aren't they supposed to be looking for the candidate that exhibits the best qualifications for president -- and making that judgement from his life's work, the organization he builds and the effectiveness of his campaign? These things all are indicative of a candidate's ability to lead. These show his aptitude for the job he is applying for -- President of the United States. Look, I think it's sad that their favorite guy (often Ron Paul) doesn't seem to have the aptitude. It doesn't mean Paul is not a good man -- he's just doesn't seem to have the skills required for this particular job. If he did, he would have built a powerhouse campaign. Paul could certainly serve this nation elsewhere -- and likely more effectively. Let's not set up Ron Paul to fail at something he's not best qualified for. His considerable talents lie elsewhere.

It's just too weird to be criticizing Romney for making the best showing. If he has money to spend, it's because he built a successful organization and people want to contribute to him. If he has his own money to spend, it's because he earned it. If he has concentrated his efforts in places where the polling starts, well, maybe that's wise. If he has a strong and solid family, well, maybe he put the time and effort into it that he thought they deserved.

Criticizing Romney for his strengths is just too weird.

Posted by: carolm62 | August 12, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This was a great win by Mitt Romney who is probably the most qualified candidate to ever run for President of the USA.
Mitt won the Iowa straw vote with 31.5% of the vote in 1999 George Bush won by a slightly smaller percentage at 31.3%. Mitt's margin of victory was even greater than Bush's in 1999. There Mitt's margin of victory was 13.4% and Bush's was 10.5%.
Mitt also was impressive in that his average polling number in Iowa to date is at 24.8% according to Real Clear So taking nearly 32% of the vote shows that conservative Iowans like Mitt Romney's message and where he stands on the issues. Mitt worked hard for this win and Americans like it when public officials work hard, he deserved to win. The fact that Rudy, John, and Fred were scare to compete with Mitt is going to send a message to all Americans that their organization and passion to win and compete in all States is lagging.
The Romney's would make a great First Family and I believe if Americans liked Ronald Reagan they are going to love Mitt Romney!

Posted by: bridgeway | August 12, 2007 7:15 AM | Report abuse

"Longshot" candidates Paul and Kucinich (Dem) are the only ones capable of telling the truth to the American people. The mainstream and most of the 2nd tier runners are all "dough", all "show", and no GO. A sad reflection of the world in which we exist.

Posted by: BillORight | August 12, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

judging by the fact that the 3 national front runners: giuliani, mccain and fred thompson each got 1% of the vote, i'm speculating that the iowa straw poll was a straw poll of paid campaign operatives. because romney has so many of these (with a budget of $1 million for this state expended so far) it makes sense that he should win.

no way he gets the nomination. no way the 100 million registered republicans across america give him anything close to 33% of their votes.

Posted by: nosubstituteforvictory | August 12, 2007 4:07 AM | Report abuse

Was it brownback or huckabee who intimidated the top tier out of Iowa? It sure wasn't ron paul now was it.

What is comical is how people will try to spin this Romney win. Cry about money if you want, but people show their support with their wallet.

What if someone told you a year ago that Romney would build a force so powerful in Iowa that he would scare mccain and rudy right out of the Iowa straw poll. I thought it was pelosi, ried and murtha who were about cut and run. You can't spin that.

You can't spin his intelligence. Cum laude, Harvard law school, baker's scholar, Harvard business school (does anyone have a clue how freaking smart you have to be to do that - simultaneously?) You would think republicans would be dying for intelligence and competence in the Whitehouse right now.

You can't spin his business success at Bain with Staples, Domino's, Sharper Image and 600 other companies. People that voted for Romney with their investment dollars received over 100% return each year - year after year. Don't you honestly wish you would have invested in him too? Results - not just promises. You would think republicans would be disparate for someone like that working on our economy and restore the values of fiscal conservatism. mccain wants to work on the US budget? He can't even manage his own campaign contributions for crying out loud.

You can't spin his family. I can't believe after fellatio in the oval office we are saying his family is "too perfect" to be real. Anyone who has raised a family knows you can't fake that. Its too hard and it takes too many years. In a country with a 50% divorce rate, to have all five sons happily married with successful careers is not something you can fake. Rudy can't even unite his own family yet he thinks he can unite our country - or worse yet, congress.

You can't spin his leadership. He took over the Olympics, deeply in dept, marred by bribes, scandal and even prostitution. All of which were about to embarrass our nation. He volunteered and refused to take a salary. The security concerns were enormous with the games having to roll on only 4 months after 9-11. He didn't just lead with his words while wandering around amidst the rubble - the guy got organized and galvanized over 20,000 volunteers and ran the first US Olympic history to turn a profit.

You can't spin the fact he gets things done. He inherited a $3 billion deficit in Mass. And turned it into a $750 Million surplus in 1 year with an 87% democratic congress - without raising taxes. You would think republicans would be drooling over this guy. He established a state scholarship fund that gives the top 25% of all high school students in Mass a full tuition scholarship to any state university - again with out raising taxes. He did not just talk, he got it done. He did not just talk about illegal immigration. He authorized his state law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws because the feds won't do it. He passed comprehensive heath care coverage for every person in his state - with out raising taxes. People want to poke holes in his plans while the people in their own state are uninsured. He also refused a salary as governor. This guy causes change and is a man of action - not just words.

Too many people look at this race like it an athletic contest where you root for your team regardless of how bad or untalented your team may be - all the while booing your opponent. I'm more concerned about my sons and the world they will grow up in. I need a guy that can get it done. I want a worker. I want a winner. And this guy is a winner. That's what the votes in Ames declared - and nobody can spin that.

Posted by: atanner68 | August 12, 2007 3:03 AM | Report abuse

That vaporous phantom of epic fictitiousness arises from the oubliette and once again stands before an invertebrate media that still refuses to see what a growing number of the American people already do. Ron Paul is real, he is here and he proving that media today is more bovine excrement fueled dragster ride to the fantasy fringe of a dead enterprise...the once proud fourth estate. Good job Ron Paul and to all those imaginary people and holograms that filled television screens with Ron Paul for President signs. I thank you and America thanks you. - Yours truly, the United States Constitution.

Posted by: thx2069 | August 11, 2007 11:44 PM | Report abuse

According to Congressman Paul, Romney spent nearly $2,000 per vote - while Paul spent $200 per vote. This shows what it took to get anyone to actually show up for Mitt.

Huckabee was the real winner today; with Brownback, Tancredo, and Paul showing surprising strength.

Now that it's over, this was an acceptable day for Romney - and a great day for the more conservative candidates.

Posted by: kyle | August 11, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

From the Boston Globe:

"Romney has outspent his straw poll opponents in Iowa to an almost comical degree, airing more than $1 million in radio and television ads in the state this year, mailing glossy brochures, placing thousands of phone calls, and paying dozens of local activists stipends of $500 to $1,000 a month to help build his organization."

Comical indeed.

Posted by: Terrorfied | August 11, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

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