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Straw Poll Results ... Still Waiting ... And Waiting

AMES, Iowa -- Supporters -- and reporters -- are waiting for the results of the GOP straw poll to be released. They were to be announced at 7 p.m. local time.

Mary Tiffany, a spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Iowa, says the delay is the result of a malfunction in one of the voting machines that has forced the recounting of roughly 1,500 votes.

Stay tuned.

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 11, 2007; 9:04 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Iowa Straw Poll: Brownback's Subtle Dig at Romney
Next: Straw Poll Results: A Win For Romney


Dear Chris,

I enjoy your column, but I am troubled by your silence on recent newsworthy claims by Mitt Romney that his sons' work for his campaign was equivalent to military service in Iraq and Rudy Guliani's blatant lying about his involvement in post-9/11 recovery operations at Ground Zero.

The absence of posts on these items raises the issue of balancing reporting on Democrats' gaffes and personal mis-steps with those made by Republicans.

In July you devoted an enitre column to "Looks and Politics" ( There you justified the media interest in John Edwards' haircut and Hillary Clinton's cleavage as necessary given the importance of appearance in politics. In "debunking" of aspersions cast on reporters who paid too much attention to Edwards' hair, you asked if "... the boyish good looks and down-home charm of Edwards -- occasionally referred to as the "Breck girl" during the 2004 campaign -- had absolutely nothing to do with his rapid political ascent?" You followed by stating that "Presidential elections are in many ways the most personal and intimate of all because a president -- unlike a state legislator, Congressman or Senator -- is almost certain to be a regular presence in American homes for at least four years."

If the latter claim is true then why not give equal time to seeming contradictions in Republican personal behavior? If it matters that Edwards pays too much for his haircuts and that Clinton wore a lowcut top, then should it not be an issue that Romney, who backs the war and who recently claimed that Barack Obama did not support our troops, thinks that service in a family member's political campaign equals service in Iraq? Even more damning is Guliani's false claim that he spent more time at Ground Zero than anyone else. He spent only 29 hours there!

Liberal critics say that the mainstream media gives Republicans a free pass on transgressions that, if committed by Democrats, get thorough scrutiny. For more on these claims see

Please say it ain't so.

Posted by: undisclosed angler | August 17, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

well now is the voting machines messing up anything new??? not!!! them machines can be tampered with and replace votes anytime someone wants them to be, it was exposed right on you tube not too long ago. hmmm quite a way to win an election don't you think? and when was democracy privatized, check the records, administration loves outside contracting, even unbid ones.

Posted by: darcy | August 14, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Rumors that the Ames Straw Poll result was delayed because the old software switched over half the votes to George W Bush have not been substantiated.

Posted by: suspiciousminds | August 13, 2007 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. I read that they wanted 20,000 voters, but got barely 14000. In my book, that's a 30% shortfall. Not anything to be proud of.

Posted by: acf | August 11, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The "We The People Foundation" filed a lawsuit against the straw poll Thursday afternoon.

Posted by: captain crab | August 11, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

The "We The People Foundation" filed a lawsuit against the straw poll Thursday afternoon.

Posted by: captain crab | August 11, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Eliza, Thanks. Where is where "nobody cares?"

I heard a rumor that Iowa caucuses will be moved ahead to January 5, which is a Saturday and makes sense.

After the caucuses Iowa turns into a political pumpkin too....

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 11, 2007 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: sara | August 11, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter, I like your site and I've bookmarked it for future reference. I'm not from Iowa but I've always been jealous of the early primary states because they get all the attention. Nobody cares about us..:-(

Posted by: eliza | August 11, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Eliza, I agree. If they can't get a 14,000 straw poll right.... I vote for a return to paper ballots!

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 11, 2007 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Why are we entrusting our democracy to a private firm, Diebold, with proprietary software and no paper trail???? Since when did we privatize democracy?

Posted by: eliza | August 11, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

BlueDog, I knew there was trouble when I heard that many buses were arriving half full.

While I agree with your comments, add to that plain old hot Iowa summer weather. A bus ride may have sounded better than the reality.

Brownback's tent was air conditioned, and to keep his supporters from wandering off (I'm not making this up) his campaign put temporary fencing around his tent area.

While Ron Paul had lots of suppoters on the grounds, many were from out-of-state and not eligible to vote. His wife who was taveling with him, took ill I think the day before... anyway she was hospitalized.

Huckabee evidently got the tent short straw. His planners didn't get him a large tent so they had to work with a series of small tents and his stage was a flat-bed truck.

Trancredo made a bigger splash than expected and might finish surprisingly high.

All in all.....

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 11, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Response to: (Truth Hunter | August 11, 2007 08:58 PM)

The low turnout isn't surprising. I suspect that the higher 1999 turnout was somewhat of a reactionary statement against Bill Clinton. Repubs also thought they had a chance of winning a general election, at that juncture. And they were probably more pleased about the candidates. Rommel and Guiliani aren't quite the iconic Republican candidates--probably perceived as "Yankee liberals" by most radical Republicans.

Posted by: BlueDog | August 11, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

The low turn out is probably due to the dissatisfaction with the candidates in general. Not to mention the national frontrunners do not even bother to participate. Maybe even they do not like themselves...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2007 9:10 PM | Report abuse

How ironic that electronic voting machines are working against Repubs. LOL! I suspect that Mitt Rommel will still win it - Guiliani is simply too progressive for Iowans.

Posted by: BlueDog | August 11, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

CNN just reported there is a problem with the electronic voting machines... how's that for irony.

And, the vote count is expected to be between 13,000 and 15,000, a far smaller turnout than when the last Straw Poll was held in 1999 when 23,000l votes were cast.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | August 11, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

For those wishing to know something about the delay, the NYT political blog, the Caucus, at, reports the following:

August 11, 2007, 8:10 pm
Straw Poll Results Expected Shortly

By Jeff Zeleny

AMES, Iowa - Sign-waving supporters of Republican presidential candidates crowded the floor of Hilton Coliseum here, awaiting the results of the Iowa Straw Poll. They were scheduled to be announced at 7 p.m., Iowa time.

Ray Hoffmann, chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, just announced that the tally is at least 15 minutes away. No explanation was given. Campaign officials say about 14,000 participated in the Straw Poll, which was open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Update: Mr. Hoffmann just walked onto the stage and announced that the results may not be disclosed until 8 p.m. Iowa time. So what's the delay? Sources say party officials encountered a few problems counting the ballots. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Iowa in DC | August 11, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

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