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Saturday, August 11, 2007
posted by Jeff Fuller | 9:05 PM | permalink
Gov Mitt Romney won the 2007 Ames straw poll!!

He did so handily and this is the largest "margin of victory" ever in the Ames Straw Poll (Bush beat Forbes by ~10% in '99 and Gramm and Dole tied in '95).


1. Mitt Romney 32%
2. Mike Huckabee 18%
3. Sam Brownback 15%
4. Tom Tancredo 14%
5. Ron Paul 9%
6. Tommy Thompson 7%

Then . . . the "also rans":
7. Fred Thompson 1%
8. Rudy Giuliani 1%

9. Duncan Hunter 1%
10. John McCain 0.7%
11. John Cox 0.5%

Now, this strong win for Romney was expected and was "spun" pre-emptively by rivals as Romney "buying this victory" or "paying for votes".

First off, no Romney supporters were paid to come to the straw poll (campaign staff excluded of course . . . but Romney has less than 100 Iowans on staff who could vote . . . so that doesn't explain where the votes came from.)

Also, what person would "jump at the great deal" of giving up an entire Saturday during peak vacation season, getting up before 7AM, waiting on a bus to take a 2-4 hr bus ride EACH WAY on a very hot and sweltering day (the heat index was far over 100 degrees), all for a T-shirt, a $35 entry ticket, some music, and a meal? You see, short of unknown $100 bills slipped into everyone else's pockets but mine, there is no way for Romney or any other candidate to "pay for votes" at the Ames Straw Poll. You have to have actual Iowans who are actually motivated enough for your candidacy to go through a long and difficult day.

The "Cry Babies" will keep cryin' but don't shed no tear for them.

Jeff Fuller
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Expect to see lots of spin about why Romney should have done a lot better. For instance, look at Liz Mair's posts at

It must have been hard to let Romney buy your tickets and meal with all that yummy money he got donated from all those companies making Huge profits from the war in Iraq.
Yeah that must have took all of motivated, lol.
He bought 10,000 tickets for everyone... so why did only 4,516 show? Lack of actually motivated?

By Anonymous Wondering, at August 12, 2007 at 12:31 AM  

Dear "Wondering," I'm wondering why you can't seem to form a cogent sentence, or a lucid line of reasoning. Hey, are you a Brownback supporter?

Sorry, but Liz Mair is an unsufferable fool who supported posterchild RINO Lincoln Chafee over a real conservative who could have actually kept the GOP in control of the senate. I have no use for her. That's funny that she's posting with Sullivan after her gopprogress blog died. They so deserve each other. A miserable pair.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 12, 2007 at 12:50 AM  

look mom, i just donated more the republican party than i've ever done in my life.

but i've made it very clear that support rocky anderson and his impeachment precedings against bush.

doh! i was supposed to save that last bit for the general election

THEDUDE... What the HELL are you smoking???

Those who try to downplay Romney's win (largest margin of victory in history) are fools. As Tancredo said, McCain and Rudy dropped because is was CLEAR that they were going to lose. Plus, McCain didn't even have the money to rent a bus. Romney cut back spending because the victory was certain.

When I see a guy like The Dude (still supporting McCain's imploded campaign) talk trash about Romney's campaign decisions, I have to chuckle.

I was at the Straw Poll yesterday, and it was incredible. I have a hard time believing there were only 4500 of us yellow-shirted supporters there--I wonder how many were turned away from voting? There were two of us in my bus (35 folks) who were turned away. One had a CA drivers license and one forgot to bring ID. Another friend of mine had a US passport (not IA issued, so it didn't count), and got turned away. I know my bus captain didn't call and remind to bring IDs, but that would have been really good to do. I was impressed that they used the bus rides as a chance to show Mitt videos--very good use of time, and got a lot of discussions going. I was amazed at how many "undecided" Mitt supporters were on my bus--I am pretty sure they voted for him, but on the way home we were still fielding and resolving concerns.

As to the Cry Babies about buying votes, ever since I have followed the straw poll, you have had front runners competing at a level that included a lot of spending, including paying for buses. If they want to pretend that that isn't the modern reality, that is fine. What I did see was a LOT of Ron Paul supporters going through the Mitt folks trying to sway votes. Excuse me, but if you (a) try to stop the voting with court action, (b) don't do the campaigning and fund-raising needed to get folks there for you, and then (c) try to poach someone else's bused-in supporters, then I would say you have a pretty hypocritical and poorly conceived campaign.

Mitt had it right when he made the comment a few weeks back that the Straw Poll is a test of organization. George Bush bused in supporters. Brownback and Huckabee only had to look at the past and know what to expect from a true front-runner. We can look at the results and say that it truly was a test of organization. Do you want someone who shows up looking for supporters, or someone running the country who knows how to get the job done, and doesn't underestimate the task at hand?

Last comment--I am really sad at the bridges Huckabee burnt when he started going negative on Mitt. I think he would have made a great vice presidential nominee.

Mitt Hits the Fan,

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