No surprises in Iowa. Money won. Mitt Romney, the wealthiest in the Republican primary pack, spent millions to get 4,000 some votes.
One possible winner was Mike Huckabee. He said, "For all practical purposes, we won the Iowa straw poll," because he spent very little money and came in second. Then he went on to play what sounded like some pretty good rock and roll (what can I say, I'm a guitar player. He scored points with me for that. )
The big loser-- Tommy Thompson, who'd said he'd pull out if he didn't come in second. He ended up coming in last among those who worked the state hard.
When the Republican candidates get down to huckstering to the right wing hordes, you get to see the real right winger in them. It can be ugly and it can be funny. Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo-- they were a laugh, parrotting the old Republican talking points almost verbatim, as though that made them special. "I support the right to bear arms." "Tighten up them borders." Pitiful!!
At least Huckabee and Paul seem to have minds, and talk more like real people. Of course, their independence makes them less likely to garner the PAC money they'll need to compete with Romney's wealth and Giuliani's PAC money.
The worst? Tancredo is a nutcase. Of course he's probably desperate to get attention. He's a national embarassment-- talking about blowing up Mecca.
AP reported the results of the contest:
Romney scored 4,416 votes to outpace former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee who had 2,587 votes. Sen. Sam Brownback was third with 2,192 votes.
Announcement of the results were delayed for 90 minutes because a hand count was required on one of the 18 machines.
The biggest loser of the evening likely was former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who finished in 6th place with 1,039 votes. He had said repeatedly that if he did not finish in the top two his campaign was likely to end. He left the event before the results were announced.
In Milwaukee, his campaign said Thompson would make an announcement about his future within 48 hours.
The missing big names got only a handful of votes.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson got 203 votes. He was on the ballot, although he is not an officially declared candidate.- Advertisement -
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received 183 votes and Sen. John McCain got 101.
AP didn't even mention Ron Paul, who, among those contenders who actually showed up to campaign, came in last, with 9.1%-- about 1275 votes.
Now, the Iowa Republican party expected a 40,000 person turnout. They reported a 14,000 person turnout, but if you add up the numbers above, they total just over 12,000. Does that mean that "None of The Above" pulled better than Giuliani, MCCain and Thompson, with 1800+ votes?