Ames Straw Poll Results
August 14, 2011 by USA Post
Ames Straw Poll Results, Ed: The fun of the straw poll in Ames came to an end this afternoon as the vote count shows that 16,892 votes were cast, and Michele Bachmann (4823) won a narrow victory over Ron Paul (4671) – less than 200 votes difference.
Tim Pawlenty finished a distant third place (2293), followed by Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. Bachmann gets a win, but not by much – and since the reports had distributed 6,000 tickets for the event, not exactly a great endorsement.
Rick Perry got 718 write-in votes without showing up at all.
Of course, the big question is not what this means, but if that means anything. The survey consisting favorite, Mitt Romney, did not contest the straw poll, although it was presented for discussion and made some local campaigns this week.
Perry input to the race means the questionable # 2 candidates from the race did not compete either. These two facts mean that the winner could be fighting for third place everywhere but Iowa, and perhaps here even after a couple of weeks have passed.
That makes no sense these results, however. The candidates who competed in the poll had a chance to put their organizations for testing. The results will be used to argue for eliminating some of the field before the great debate to come. As we begin to move closer to reality in Iowa caucus in January, the number of Republicans on the stage of discussions should be reduced so that we can get a better view of the challenges more feasible.
Tina: It is true that this opinion poll, it probably means less than Bachmann would have us believe. When we booked our tickets to be in Ames this weekend, I thought he was probably in the most noteworthy in the nation. Perry did not know then you would choose the same day – but a different place – to announce his candidacy.
When we entered the Iowa State campus to pick up our credentials Wednesday, foot it felt like game day – and that was before the candidates build tents and set up their grills. We really felt like a back door today. Given that, I better understand why some people do not take too seriously the poll – vote buying and bribing supporters pulled pork, pizza, hot dogs, frozen beef and snow storms is not exactly equivalent to the candidates that represent their deepest views of an easily digestible form. The sand filled speeches consisted mostly of talking finely honed purpose of collecting applause. However, it is a fun way to pick a president – this approach in policy sales.
But I’m not trying to blame for everything that Ames is “wrong” with the campaign process and I’m not saying (as Newt Gingrich tried very hard to say about Wednesday’s stage) that the way the candidates run their campaigns, we do not says nothing about what kind of leaders do. Overall, it was a fun, fun weekend – and the campaigns tell us a significant amount about the candidate’s ability to build a vision, build a team, organize, etc, etc, and since the campaign process is what it is, the poll certainly matters in terms of building momentum. This year, turnout was especially high (second highest in the history of the survey, we are listening), so the winner of the straw poll can take from it an extra boost in confidence. But what matters most, of course, is how Bachmann moves forward from here.
Ed: Pawlenty won third place in Iowa the minimum here, but got less than half the votes of the two before him. That will not be a ringing endorsement to his campaign to continue. With the arrival of Perry, his argument for executive supercompetent not differ more, and go head to head with Bachmann did not help his numbers, either. Rick Santorum will vanish soon, as it will have difficulty raising money from here on, as Pawlenty could, too.
It may be a cliché to say this, but you know that almost helps tie? Mitt Romney, Rick Perry.
Tina: Romney and Perry seem to know too. Perry with courage and transparency scheduled to begin his speech in New Hampshire to match exactly with the announcement of the results of the Iowa straw polls. Bachmann did not win by a margin large enough to dominate the headlines tonight or tomorrow – and Perry, who will be able to compete with it in the space of the tea party in a way Romney has not, has attracted the attention of media outside of Iowa and into South Carolina.
Romney, meanwhile, knows better than anyone in the field of how little a victory Ames straw poll might mean. He poured huge resources into (and won) the 2007 survey, but still lost Iowa to Huckabee in second place finisher, Mike. The words of greeting Romney immediately tweeted Bachmann betray the confidence of a favorite constant: “Congratulations to Michele Bachmann for the Republican Party win elections in Iowa straw. We crossroads in the election campaign.”
But it’s hard to think that this benefits and Perry Romney alike. Romney clearly not concerned with Bachmann, but probably should start thinking a little Perry, if not already done so. Perry, after all, attracted more votes than Romney had – and Perry was not even on the ballot.
Ed: Rick Santorum only ventured into the drawing room to give a reaction to the results of the straw poll. Jake Tapper did an interview with Santorum, who probably have this in it, but I heard Santorum Tapper, “I will be a factor in the caucus.” It sounds as if he is not thinking of leaving – at least for now.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that the survey reported having write-ins 1% or more of the total, about 169 votes. Rick Perry was the only declared candidate to get enough to report. There were 162 “scattered” informed votes. This means that Sarah Palin, who appeared in the state of Iowa just yesterday, could not have received more than 162 write-ins, and Perry managed to do well despite the abuse allegedly provided to the people of Iowa
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