With the announcement of the Ames Straw Poll results, I drew the following conclusions:
- Bye-bye T-Paw
- Perry as a last-minute write in bests a weak Mitt
- Combination of Bachmann and Paul strength will generate more questions about the wisdom of doing a straw poll at all
- Newt, with 385 votes, needs to drop out
- Santorum is in danger with a fourth place finish in a state where evangelicals matter so much
- Romney supporters argue that this will help Mitt by pitting Perry against Bachmann for the evangelical/Tea Party vote
- Ron Paul is about to become a MAJOR headache for the GOP
– Howard Fineman
|@ DavidChalian : Bachmann victory speech: “Now, it’s on to all 50 states.”|
Paul Campaign chairman Jesse Benton issued the following statement after the straw poll results were announced:
“Dr. Paul is surging in this race, and today’s results show the strength of his grassroots support and top notch organization.
“These straw poll results, our growing poll numbers and our strong fundraising shows that our message is resonating with Iowans and Americans everywhere.
“Our message was the same in 2007 as it is in now in 2011, but this time we have quadrupled our support. That means our message is spreading, our support is surging, and people are taking notice.
“We are uniting a coalition of longtime supporters, fiscal conservatives, constitutional conservatives, independents, tea party and anti-big government activists to take on the Washington establishment.
“Today, Ron Paul has emerged as a top tier candidate and is a serious contender to win the Republican nomination and the Presidency.”
The Pawlenty campaign issued the following statement on the Ames Straw Poll Results:
Congratulations to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her victory in today’s straw poll. We made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position for the caucuses, but we have a lot more work to do. This is a long process to restore America — we are just beginning and I’m looking forward to a great campaign.
Michele Bachmann emerged the winner of the Iowa straw poll. More information to come.
The number we know for sure is how many people voted: 17,000, according to the state party. That’s the second highest amount of straw poll votes since they held the first one in 1979. The highest number of votes was in 1999, when George W. Bush and Steve Forbes duked it out — Bush won — and drew a total of 23,685 votes.
Here are the estimates of vote totals for each candidate:
Michele Bachmann appears to have blown the doors off this thing, with reports of at least 6,000 votes. Ron Paul aides tell me they passed out 4,700 or 4,800 tickets. And there are reports of more than 3,000 tickets passed out by Pawlenty.
Again, these are not official numbers, but if they are right, then Bachmann is the big winner today, and Pawlenty has some very hard questions to answer about whether his campaign has any future at all.
– Jon Ward