For starters, congratulations to Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo for incredible finishes in the Iowa Straw Poll! Mike's 2nd place finishing was needed to give his candidacy the legitimacy it deserves in the main stream... of course the contest is being downplayed because Rudy-the-Elite and Sinking-Ship-McCain were not participating.
What this does show is that of the "other" candidates, who spent about 1/10th of what Mitt Romney spent, we could bring in very strong support.
The results are as follows:
1. Mitt Romney –32 percent
2. Mike Huckabee – 18 percent
3. Sam Brownback – 15 percent
4. Tom Tancredo – 14 percent
5. Ron Paul – 9 percent
6. Tommy Thompson — 7 percent
7. Fred Thompson – 1 percent
8. Rudolph W. Giuliani – 1 percent
9. Duncan Hunter – 1 percent
10. John McCain (less than 1 percent)
11. John Cox (less than 1 percent)
The vote totals for the top three:
Mr. Romney — 4,516 votes;
Mr. Huckabee — 2,587;
Mr. Brownback – 2,192
What does this mean to the field of GOP candidates?
As I predicted after the Iowa Debates one week ago, Tommy Thompson was one of the first to take the fall and withdraw from the race. His campaign was convinced that they would have a strong second place finish in Ames... but after a poor 6th place showing he made good on his promise to leave the race - leaving us with his blunt candor: "I'm outta the race"
Of course my prediction was that Duncan Hunter would be the first to go, and with a 9th place finish tallying less votes than Rudy and Fred Thompson (about 150 total votes), I am sure that it was a waiting game to see how the other less than favorable candidates reacted. Within the next few days, I would expect to see Mr. Hunter also withdraw.
Mike Huckabee's stellar 2nd place finish has motivated his base to move forward and continue to push past the other candidates, joining the front-runners.
What is troubling is that the numbers that Brownback was able to muster have done more to motivate his base as well... so the "Holy Warrior" will most likely fight on, bringing his bag of dirty tricks along with him.
And the biggest winner of the poll was Congressman Tom Tancredo, with a 4th place finish. I am on the Team Tancredo mailing list, and the campaign is buzzing with excitement over the finish... I don't blame them! I wonder how many more debates Tom will spend in the wings of the stage? Well, with the field dwindling before the next debate, maybe he will be put to the side... But his strong message on border security and ensuring that America is a safe, English speaking, American-first nationalist place to live will continue on.
The funny thing is that I think that McCain's finish about where it would have been in Iowa even if he HAD spent some of his blown $25 million there... with his constant snubbing of Iowa, I am confused as to why they even let him into the state!
As for the results, farewell Sir Thompson. Your candidness will be missed. And may I be the first to say to you, Sir Hunter, thank you for support of the military, and best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
Here is to the new, leaner list of GOP Candidates...