Monday, August 13, 2007

Straw Poll Reveals Weak Republican Field


If the Ames straw poll in Iowa revealed anything over the weekend, it was the weakness of the Republican field. From the Des Moines Register:
Only 14,302 people voted in the poll, far fewer than the 23,685 who cast ballots in the last big straw poll in 1999.
That's a sign Republicans are not happy with their choices. At least they aren't excited enough to brave the summer heat to vote for them.
Mitt Romney spent more than $2 million in television ads, but still received only 4,516 votes, which means his campaign spent at least $443 in ad money for each vote he received. That doesn't even take into account the cost of the free T-shirts, air-conditioned tents, buses for supporters, and months worth of salaries for 60 "super-volunteers" to "talk him up."
USA Today did more math. In comparison to Romney's costs (which actually may top $1,000 per vote when all costs are factored in):
* Third-place finisher Sam Brownback says he spent about $325,000 to win his 2,192 votes. That's $148.27 for each vote.

* Second-place finisher Mike Huckabee spent about $150,000 and received 2,587 votes. That's $57.98 per vote.
Even though Republicans tried much harder to turn out people at the Ames straw poll, there were 40% less voters at Ames this year. How hard did they try?
In '99 Bush brought in 70 buses and earned 7,418 votes.
In '99 the Forbes campaign had 109 buses and received 4,921 votes.
In comparison, Romney had 125 buses shipping people to Ames, and garnered only 4,516 votes while Sam Brownback had 100 buses and garnered only 2,192 votes.

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