Entries Tagged as 'Iowa'

Confirmed: The Ames Straw Poll is Useless

January 4th, 2012 at 8:33 am 9 Comments

We have just received yet another confirmation of the virtual uselessness of the Ames Straw Poll. The proud winner of the straw poll, and Michelle Bachmann came in sixth in the Iowa caucuses (and in fact finished dead last among all serious contestants–Jon Huntsman just ignored Iowa). Furthermore, she only managed to win just slightly more votes in the caucus than in the straw poll, even though the turnout was seven or eight times greater!

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Waiting Time in Iowa

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 9:33 am 27 Comments

I attended Romney’s closing rally last night in Des Moines. Very professionally done, introduction by Senator John Thune.

Three themes really stood  out:

* Romney opened with a statement about the danger from Iran. Without mention of Ron Paul, it astutely poked at the top vulnerability of the second-polling candidate here.

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The Straw Poll Scam

August 14th, 2011 at 12:10 pm 74 Comments

Why doesn’t the national Republican Party discourage the presidential hopefuls from participating in the Ames Straw Poll? While the benefits of this event to the Iowa GOP are perfectly clear, I don’t see any benefits to the party as a whole, and there may even be some harm.

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Can Bachmann Count?

August 11th, 2011 at 7:57 am 32 Comments

Will Iowa voters challenge Michele Bachmann to clarify her incoherent fiscal views? On the one hand, capsule she adamantly opposed raising the debt ceiling and is now demanding a balanced budget this year. On the other hand, thumb she voted for the Ryan Budget.

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Why Pawlenty Doubled Down on Ethanol

David Frum May 23rd, 2011 at 4:48 pm 33 Comments

It’s courageous, principled, and right for Tim Pawlenty to travel to Iowa to denounce ethanol and other farm subsidies. But I’m also left wondering: is this also a very good way to manage expectations if he comes second or third or worse in Iowa, where Pawlenty is currently polling in single digits?

Real Clear Politics’ average of polls ranks Romney first, Gingrich second, Palin third, and Pawlenty sixth, behind Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann.

Palin may not run, Gingrich may be imploding, but a Pawlenty finish behind Bachmann would be a staggering disaster for the Minnesota governor. A win is a win, but a good excuse can keep a campaign alive to fight another day in New Hampshire.

Bonus skill-testing question: since 1976, how many non-incumbent Republicans have won the Iowa caucuses and proceeded to win the party nomination? Answer: only one, George W. Bush.

So maybe it’s smart to blow them off and score integrity points for later.