Ames Straw Poll
(snark and bias included) (link to LA Times results)
Pawlenty - hung out in Iowa for a month kissing babies and promising the moon, and spending most of the money in his warchest for third place. He came off as weak and whining in the debates and I think he's lucky to get 2,300 votes (rounded up). Maybe it means that people will continue to send him money -- maybe not. I know that he wants to be the next POTUS and that he thinks that he's cool, but he's not. Maybe he could be the Mouse that Roared if elected, but he won't be elected and that's that.
Paul - is accused of bussing people in to vote for him. If he did, good for him. The 4,700 votes (rounded up) mean that Libertarians will continue to send him money for another few months until he's throttled in the first series of genuine primary elections (beyond the straw poll at the Iowa State Fair). I am not anti-Libertarian per se. Their (and Ron Paul's) limited (and naive) view of foreign policy in a world where we are in the very center of a global economy, mystifies me. Though I am generally anti-war (Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC said 'War is a Racket' and he was right), there is such a thing as trade. Trade becomes 'war by other means' all too often. Ron Paul doesn't pack the gear to be leader of the free world. He's lucky to keep getting elected to Congress where he almost always votes the way I'd vote if I was in Congress. Maybe I should run for Congress?
Santorum - can't get elected to anything in his own state. But he'd like to be President and seems to be willing to hold his finger to the breeze, decide which way the wind is blowing and to say things intended to please the Iowa State Fair attendees (and us). But he didn't do well despite spending a month in Iowa and most of his money. How much did he spend for 1,657 votes broken down in dollars per vote? Just curious.
Bachmann - won and lost. She lost because Gov. Rick Perry announced that he's running on the same day that she won, which means the end of most of the cash for Bachmann. I think that she worked for her 4823 votes. She's a solid conservative but in my (not so) humble opinion, it would be nice to see her actually run something. Being a tax attorney and in Congress isn't enough to qualify you to be President. She may be in it to win it - but I'm curious to see how she'll do in the first primary vote next year.
Cain - ended up with 8% of the votes (1456 votes). I think that's more or less where he is in the pack. I would love to have Herman Cain over to my house for dinner. I think he's a delightful guy and that his heart is in the right place. I simply don't believe that he has the staying power this time around. I don't believe that the money will follow his candidacy.
Romney - showed up, gave his speech and pulled in 567 votes. Rick Perry didn't show up, didn't speak, wasn't on the ballot and edged him with 718 votes. One could say that Iowa voters were underwhelmed with front-runner Mitt. They liked him in 2008 and he came in first in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll - not so much this time. However I don't think that he mingled much or kissed many babies (or asses) in Iowa.
Gingrich - is not my choice for President, but his experience and polish shown through in the debate. He convinced 385 State Fair attendees to cast their ballot for him. A win (imho) in the debate and a loss in the polling. The Party won't back him. The Tea Party considers him a RINO and he'd be a poor President. He's hanging out for the sake of ego. I think he needs to write another historical novel or something. His name will get him a juicy publishing contract. But it won't get him elected President.
Huntsman - in his first time at the podium on the Presidential trail, he sounded halting, unsure and weak. He got 69 votes. I'm surprised that he did that well, but he may have flown in relatives from Utah to puff his numbers. That's just speculation on my part. I don't know for sure. Obama likes him. That puts me off him.
McCotter - scraped 35 votes together. He's running for President, though I don't think there are any more than 35 people in the entire country who know it. He spent $18,000 for campaign space (plus expenses) and it means that he's out roughly $600 per vote. If he simply handed out six, hundred-dollar bills to each voter who would cast one for him, he would have done better.
Palin? - is leaving her options open. I personally doubt that she'll run for President (ego not withstanding). She's simply trying to keep a chip in the big game. I get it, I don't blame her. She wants to be a power broker at the convention - and beyond. Fox has not canceled her contract, which means that she told them that she's not running. But when you put a camera on her during her bus tour, she loves to play mind games with the press.
Perry - managed more votes than Romney even though he had not announced for President at the time and didn't show up to the Fox News Debate. Because he beat Romney, Gingrich, Huntsman, and McCotter, I have to mention him here. My sense is that the big campaign money is his to loose. Romney has been running for President for over a year now, doing the rubber chicken circuit, etc. Perry has been busy running Texas and by all accounts, he's done a good job. Texas is one of the few states in the nation that are doing well. Perry-Ryan or Perry-Rubio would be difficult tickets to beat. Obama is up late at night worrying about Romney, but I think that he has more to worry about with Rick Perry.