Iowa straw poll results

Nile M. writes:

Michele Bachmann won the straw poll. Although Ron Paul was in second place only 152 votes behind her. They basically tied. Rick Perry’s sixth place win is significant, as his votes were all write-in. The results:

1. Michele Bachmann (4823, 28.55%)
2. Ron Paul (4671, 27.65%)
3. Tim Pawlenty (2293, 13.57%)
4. Rick Santorum (1657, 9.81%)
5. Herman Cain(1456, 8.62%)
6. Rick Perry (718, 3.62%) write-in
7. Mitt Romney (567, 3.36%)
8. Newt Gingrich (385, 2.28%)
9. Jon Huntsman (69, 0.41%)
10. Congressman Thad McCotter (35, 0.21%)

Given the effort that Tim Pawlenty has placed in the State of Iowa for nearly a year, he is the obvious loser. [LA replies: isn’t Romney, touted as the front-runner, a much bigger loser?] Rick Santorum is looking to be this cycle’s Pat Robertson/ Gary Bauer. The fact that Rick Perry as a write-in candidate, bested Mitt Romney means that Romney potentially could fade in other states like New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida. The more Rick Perry catches on, the more the Mormon candidates will be marginalized. There’s a theory though that Perry’s recent “Prayer Rally” was a way to telegraph to the GOP grassroots that he’s the alternative to Romney and Huntsman.

One final insight: God help us if Ron Paul’s support translates into actual caucus votes this coming January. Up until now I’ve thought Paul was a fluke. Could the libertarian movement become more mainstream? I hope not.

LA replies:

I would say that Paul’s vote is a kind of cult vote that is going to go nowhere (I think he also did very well in the Iowa straw poll four years ago). Therefore it seems to me that Bachmann is the overwhelming winner here. She crushed everyone except Paul, who, in my view, doesn’t count.

Nile M. replies:

Romney didn’t actively participate in it, unlike in 2007 when he did. Romney seems to be shepherding his money this year. He won it in 2007, yet lost to Mike Huckabee in the caucuses.

- end of initial entry -

Ferg writes:

As I pointed out a few weeks ago when we exchanged emails about her, it is a mistake to underestimate her. She has pulled more upset victories than any other politician I know. God bless her. I wish her well. If hard work and determination mean anything she may just pull off more yet.

August 14

James R. writes:

You’re pretty much right about the Paul showing, though his supporters would say it’s a sign of intensity of support, rather than describing it as “cult-like.” I think it’s because they have decided these are the kinds of things they can focus on to get the attention of free media. It’s also why Paul always does very well in meaningless online polls (not statistical polling): his supporters always make sure to sign in and vote in high numbers on web polls like “who won Thursday’s debate.”

It is not really a measure of wide support. But can be a measure of depth of support—for any of these candidates. In a more general sense, a good showing in a straw poll can partly measure the ability of a campaign to mobilize a campaign infrastructure within a state, which can be vital in caucus states. But candidates “play” this in all sorts of ways; front-running candidates who think they won’t do sufficiently well to dominate the straw poll will deliberately put little effort into rounding up supporters for it, and downplay its significance.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 13, 2011 08:05 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):