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Romney Still Running in Iowa Straw Poll

At last some good news for the Republican Party of Iowa: Mitt Romney announced late today that he will stay in the Ames Straw poll. The statement from his campaign came just hours after Romney's main competition (so far) for the GOP nomination -- John McCain and Rudy Giuliani -- took themselves out.

"Our plan all along has been to play in the Iowa straw poll, and that hasn't changed," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. "Campaigns that have decided to abandon Ames are likely doing so out of a recognition that their organizations are outmatched and their message falls flat with Republican voters in Iowa."

Romney's campaign also released polling numbers suggesting that its candidate was soaring in Iowa and raising the possibility that his strong and building support were the main reason for the decisions by McCain and Giuliani.

The poll, which was conducted for Romney's campaign by Voter/Consumer Research from May 29-31, showed Romney far ahead of the field with 29 percent. Giuliani took 12 percent, compared with 10 percent each for former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.) and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) (who is not currently running). McCain was fifth with 9 percent and former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) took 7 percent.

In addition, roughly eight-in-ten GOP caucus-goers surveyed had a favorable impression of Romney while 10 percent had an unfavorable one.

"It is clear that the more voters find out about Gov. Romney, the more they like him," wrote Romney strategist Alex Gage. "By comparison, as voters become more knowledgeable about the candidates' positions, we see them moving away from Giuliani and McCain."

It's a smart strategy for Romney to paint the decisions by McCain and Giuliani as signs of weakness. Are they? We're not likely to ever know. But with Romney in it to win it (to borrow a phrase), he should pile up a huge victory in Ames this summer. What if anything that victory means remains to be seen.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 6, 2007; 9:07 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Hey Joseph Smith XL, if that is your real name, why can't everyone become a God? If you have children, wouldn't you want them to become like you? Or perhaps, become the best they can be? Is God really our Father? Is Jesus Christ really the Son of God? If all of us are children of God, why can't we "Follow Him" and become like him in every way? Or do you have some kind of an idea that "Following Him" is not becoming like him?

Posted by: David Aust | June 18, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Joseph Smith XL, if that is your real name, why can't everyone become a God? If you have children, wouldn't you want them to become like you? Or perhaps, become the best they can be? Is God really our Father? Is Jesus Christ really the Son of God? If all of us are children of God, why can't we "Follow Him" and become like him in every way? Or do you have some kind of an idea that "Following Him" is not becoming like him?

Posted by: David Aust | June 18, 2007 7:38 PM | Report abuse

The latest debate on CNN showed how calculated Romney is. The question re: LDS faith and whether Mitt was worried about evangelicals and other Christians who might pass on Romney.

His buzz term response- first, invoke the name of JFK, a Catholic.

Then, second warm and fuzzy term- "I believe in God"- hurrah!

He will continue to skirt the real questions about the convoluted, bizarre beliefs of the LDS cult. If he gets into details, he's done. He may believe in God, but, according to the LDS, we all can become a 'god'.

This is christianity???

Why does this matter? It has to deal with an individual's ability to sort through common sense as well as focus on the needs of OTHERS.

Would the populace vote for a politician if he/she has a decent voting record but believes the world is flat? If the entire universe revolves around Earth?

I might like Huckabee, but he also skirted around the issue of evolution vs. creationism. Its just too strong a defining point to allow ANOTHER fundamentalist type (like Bush) into the White House.

I'm glad the religion/ faith questions are being posted now to get both parties to realize this country was founded, AND MUST REMAIN, separated from faith. In the end, we must get focused on our economy, and ESTABLISHING A REAL FOREIGN POLICY that we and our children can support and respect.

Bush is leaving this country in major need of repair- we need a true leader, a true visionary. We don't need, and can't afford, another dunce like Bush who can supposedly determine the goodness of others by looking into their eyes.

Who is this person? Not Romney, Not Rudy. IMHO, the individual is yet to be found.

Posted by: Joseph Smith XL | June 12, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I feel as though I'm on a Democrat blog.
Are you people deaf and blind? Or what? All of this BS about flip/flop is "just a bumper sticker". Mitt Romney is NOT a Washington, D.C. mugwump or a professional, politicical parasite who always campaign to keep their egotistical power position. This type of politician will continue bleeding...WE THE PEOPLE! Has Senator Edward Kennedy taken over the Justice Department? He has to be powerful. He induced his cohorts to spend more BILLIONS than I can count to dig a tunnel under Boston that still does not work.

Posted by: FromTheTop | June 7, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Hwere's what I mean. Could a Democrat who is not pushing one candidate in their party comment on the strengths and weaknesses of their candidates, and could a Republican do the same for theirs. Perhaps even (shock, horror) something the other party is doing right. After all, the election of the next President of USA is too important to turn it simply into "My guy/gal is the only credible candidate, and all others in my party wont quite do the job, while the people in the other party are child-molesting devil worshippers" Its just not useful.

Posted by: Anthony, New Zealand | June 7, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Hi all.
Just some random comments from the other side of the world.
My main concern is that people like me come to these sites to get a gauge on what is happening in the US. What I see worries me. Rather than a place for informed debate, we get rantings from Pro-Democrats and Pro-Republicans. Does ANYONE post here with analysis rather than axes to grind or party political broadcasts to push? Who runs America from 2008 matters to the whole world, not just thsoe who live in the US. C'mon guys, give us some analysis!

Posted by: Anthony, New Zealand | June 7, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I see ignorant coward has shifted into high speed today with rants posted every four minutes again. this blog will be a waste of time today thanks to him. Get a life dude, you are such a loser.

17 out of 21 posts? even for you that is a new record. you are closing on sybbill now. did Kos kick you off again?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

n April, during the congressional debate over war funding, Gen. David Petraeus pushed back against a withdrawal timeline from Iraq "because we're only about two months into the surge," assuring Congress that he would be able to report on progress in September:

We're only about two months into the surge. We won't have all the forces on the ground until mid-June and I pointed that out to them, and noted that Ambassador Crocker and I would be doing an assessment in early September and provide that to our respective bosses at that time.

But now that the debate on timelines has passed, Petraeus is asking for even more time. Today in an interview with Lara Logan of CBS News, Petraeus tried to argue that the surge hasn't even started yet:

'We haven't started the surge yet. So let me have a few months.'

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Comparing the Iraq war to a "five-reel movie," U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker this morning announced his support for the concept of a long-term U.S. occupation. He told NPR that he doesn't "see an end in sight" in Iraq:

'Sometimes I think that in the U.S. we're looking at Iraq right now as though it were the last half of a three-reel movie. For Iraqis, it's a five-reel movie and they're still in the first half of it. I don't see an end, as it were, in sight.'

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, disclosed in an interview that the FBI asked him to preserve records as part of a widening investigation into Alaskan political corruption that has touched his son and ensnared one of his closest political confidants and financial backers.

Stevens, who is famous for bringing home federal earmarks for Alaska when he was Appropriations Committee chairman, was not previously known to be linked to the Justice Department's probe, which has uncovered evidence that more than $400,000 worth of bribes were given to state lawmakers in exchange for favorable energy legislation.

Investigators have used secret recording equipment, seized documents and cooperating witnesses to secure the indictments of four current and former state lawmakers, including the former state House speaker, shaking the core of Alaska's Republican Party.

Posted by: hehheh | June 7, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

someone writes
"Declaring that the immigration bill could "destroy the party," Tom Tancredo said on CNN, "it's certainly going to have major ramifications, we'll put it that way, for the party and it's sure as heck not going to help the country.""

Tom overstates. The immigration bill may be among the last handful of nails used to seal that coffin, but its hardly the only issue. Vice President Dick Cheney's manifest disrespect for the rule of law is having its own impact, the ramifications of which we have only seen the first glimpses.

Posted by: bsimon | June 7, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

The JFK pipeline plot appears to be the work of yet another gang that couldn't jihad straight. Its ring leader made a living exporting broken air-conditioner parts to Guyana. Talk about your boom market! There was no plan. There was no financing. It was yet another sting instigated by a They didn't have any explosives -- and yet government officials were quoted calling the amorphous plot "one of the most chilling plots imaginable" that almost "resulted in unfathomable damage, deaths, and destruction." And people wonder why the public has become cynical about how the 'war on terror' is being used for political purposes.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.): The case for Thompson, we have argued many times, is based on the fact that Republican voters disagree with Giuliani, dislike McCain and distrust Romney. Although he did not appear in the debate, Thompson did appear on Fox News's "Hannity and Colmes" afterward. While endorsing a reversal of Roe v. Wade, Thompson appeared ready to say that he did not approve of criminalizing abortion. Hannity stepped in and interrupted, saving him from a gaffe. Although he still trails in most polls, Thompson now leads in the futures markets, with Giuliani and Romney close behind and McCain a distant fourth place.

Posted by: Novak | June 7, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

GOP Debate: Last night's Republican debate was free of any major gaffes. But the reminders were constant of how and why each of the top three candidates is so unacceptable to Republican voters.

Posted by: Robert Novak | June 7, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

'Ironically, Jefferson's voting record made him one of the most conservative members of the Democratic caucus. He was the sixth-highest-ranked Democrat on the 2006 Club for Growth scorecard.'

see -- that's the problem. Jefferson is actually a conservative. We need to get rid of all of them in Congress -- they are nothing more than criminals. The whole 'comservative' movement is a thuggish, mafia-like organization.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Declaring that the immigration bill could "destroy the party," Tom Tancredo said on CNN, "it's certainly going to have major ramifications, we'll put it that way, for the party and it's sure as heck not going to help the country." Let us remind you, Tancredo's campaign is running an online petition, where signatories pledge to oppose the re-elections of Republican Senators who support the bill. And Tancredo is now scaling back visits to Iowa and New Hampshire in favor of visits to Republican-held districts, where he'll pressure incumbents to vote against the immigration legislation or else he'll work to defeat them in 2008.

Posted by: go tom | June 7, 2007 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Romney: Thompson Has "Hollywood Aura"
Speaking to a New Hampshire crowd, Mitt Romney said he would welcome the entrance of former Senator Fred Thompson to the race, saying he would bring a "Hollywood aura" to the campaign.

Posted by: teehee | June 7, 2007 9:27 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The military buildup in Iraq has a high-profile skeptic in the Bush administration: the Army general President Bush has chosen to manage that war and the one in Afghanistan.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute questioned Bush's strategy of sending thousands more troops into Iraq, a position he was expected to discuss Thursday at his confirmation hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

In a written response to questions by the Senate panel, Lute confirmed news reports that he had voiced doubts during a White House-led policy review before Bush announcement January 10 that 21,500 more combat troops would go to Baghdad and Anbar province.

"During the review, I registered concerns that a military 'surge' would likely have only temporary and localized effects unless it were accompanied by counterpart 'surges' by the Iraqi government and the other, nonmilitary agencies of the U.S. government," Lute wrote in a document obtained by The Associated Press.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

In a 2006 transportation bill, Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska, inserted a $10 million earmark to extend a road in Florida. Young is already infamous for putting money aside to fund Alaska's "bridge to nowhere," but this earmark is particularly perplexing since, well, Florida is a little far away from his district. The Republican congressman who represents the district where Coconut Road is located said he didn't ask for the funds, and, in fact, country officials have voted not to use the money. So, who wants the road? A developer who raised money for Young and owns several thousand acres of property along Coconut Road, which, naturally, would increase in value if the extension is built. Proving his classiness, when Young "was approached near the House floor by a reporter, [he] responded with an obscene gesture," writes the NYT.

Posted by: yet more republican corruption and filth | June 7, 2007 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with word that federal prosecutors are investigating whether the Kuwaiti company that is building the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad tricked and abused foreign employees who were brought into Iraq to work on the $592 million project. First Kuwaiti General Trading & Contracting was barred from using Iraqi workers out of security concerns, so the company hired cheap labor from countries such as Bangladesh and Egypt. The company allegedly told employees they would be working in Dubai, and then confiscated their passports when they reached Baghdad so they couldn't leave.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

But the greatest love of all is the love that is most freely given. I therefore name Fred Barnes, Bush's most enthusiastic defender in the press, the Last Bush Loyalist.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Things have gotten so bad for President Bush that the June 6 Washington Post quotes an unidentified White House adviser suggesting that if Bush were to pardon I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the consequences would be minimal because Bush's current political difficulties are already as bad as they can get. "You can't hang a man twice for the same crime," says this anonymous source. A separate Post piece, by Dan Balz, published the same day, pronounced Bush the "unexpected loser" in the June 5 Republican debate, noting that "on issue after issue" the candidates "shredded the president's performance over the past four years." Bush's approval rating, at 35 percent, remains in the same toilet it's been flailing in for most of the past year.
Two years ago, when I inaugurated a series of Chatterbox columns under the rubric "Bush Abandonment Watch," the desertions were coming so fast and furious that over the course of one month I ended up writing nine columns on the topic. More recently, I've been writing about outright betrayal among the Bush faithful, but even those folks have become too numerous to keep track of. As an election year approaches, the relevant question is becoming not "who's going to jump ship?" but rather "who's not going to jump ship?" Already the Bush faithful have winnowed down to the fiercely devoted. An informal effort to identify the members of this fight-to-the-finish Republican Guard yields the following names:
Andy Card
Alberto Gonzales
Don Evans
Harriet Miers
Karl Rove
Karen Hughes
Fred Barnes
Mary Matalin
Laura Bush
Barbara Bush

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Love the Hair. Too bad there's not a functioning brain under it.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 7, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Of course, the big risk for Romney would be if Huckabee or one of the other second-tier candidates could beat him or even come close. Romney has very little to gain and a lot to lose in this straw poll.

Posted by: Eric | June 7, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Iowa. Mitt and I are very tired - been on the bus for the last six hours, so just one or two questions and then he has to wash me before bed - Yes, with the black sweater... Grey? Well, I'm glad you asked. Yes, but still in the "distinguished" category for now, and it's changing pretty slowly - what? No, doesn't hurt. It feels kind of like dry skin. Itches, a little. Yes, over there... No, no hats, not usually. They cramp me up... Well, for sporting events, when he wants to look like 'one of the guys.' OK, last question, please. You, in back? ... Uh - I don't know how to answer that. I'm flattered, I guess, but I'm not the candidate. No, never crossed my mind, at least not for a few years... and even then, I'd probably want to stay in a consulting role. Yes, of course with Mitt! Either Mitt, or someone who was willing to stand next to him for a year, year and a half or so... No, that's all we have time for tonight. We'll see all of you, and your hair, at the next availability... No, sweetie, I'm sorry, I can't give you an autograph. I can get Mitt to sign it for you - wait! Miss... oh, never mind.

Posted by: Mitt Romney's Hair | June 6, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Romney is a grade-A, self-obsessed weenie.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Viguerie Continues To Dog GOP Candidates

A longtime conservative activist continues to be disappointed by all 10 Republican candidates running for their party's 2008 presidential nomination.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Romney? What a fraud. He is so fake with his shiny-as-a-mirror hair and rehearsed answers. He is not a real conservative and he has no record of protecting our civil liberties.
If you want a real conservative who thinks YOU are capable of running YOUR own life, vote for Ron Paul!

Posted by: Ken Smitley | June 6, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

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