Mitt Romney wins Iowa Straw Poll

Via Cyclone Conservative:

Results are certified by State Auditor David Vaudt and Chairman Ray Hoffmann:

Mitt Romney 4516 31.5%
Mike Huckabee 2587 18.1%
Sam Brownback 2192 15.3%
Tom Tancredo 1961 13.7%
Ron Paul 1305 9.1%
Tommy Thompson 1039 7.3%
Fred Thompson 203 1.4%
Rudy Giuliani 183 1.3%
Duncan Hunter 174 1.2%
John McCain 101 1.0%
John Cox 41 0.1%

14,302 Total Votes
26,000 Total Tickets Sold

So what does this mean? Not all that much in the whole scheme of things. Keep in mind that Romney took a heavy strategy of pouring tons of money and time into Iowa to specifically win this early straw poll.

Also keep in mind that Giuliani is still winning in the national polls yet he came in below Fred Thompson.

Some instant analysis from The Presidential Tote Board:

Turnout was off by about a third from 1999, in part, no doubt, because Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Fred Thompson did not participate. Still, Romney won, about as expected, so his momentum continues. Still, the story for the next few weeks will be Huckabee, who will now be given a chance to extend his campaign — especially given Fred Thompson’s rather lackadaisical entry into the race.

In the long run, as bogus as a straw poll like this may be, it will have the beneficial effect for the Republicans of limiting the field and the debates this fall to the serious candidates. So the field at some point in the near future should be Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and one last candidate waiting in the wings — Newt Gingrich.

I generally concur. Although I think it remains to be seen whether or not Newt is genuinely waiting in the wings.