The top three finishers in the Iowa Republican Party straw poll are on talk shows today. We’ll be back later with a report on what they said. Meanwhile, here’s our own cost-benefit analysis of how they did yesterday at the Ames event:
â€¢ Third-place finisher Sam Brownback says he spent about $325,000 to win his 2,192 votes. That’s $148.27 for each vote.
â€¢ Second-place finisher Mike Huckabee spent about $150,000 and received 2,587 votes. That’s $57.98 per vote.
â€¢ Winner Mitt Romney has not said how much he spent. The reporting in this Washington Post article suggests at least $2 million and possibly more than twice that much. Assuming $2 million for 4,516 votes, that’s $442.87 per vote. But it could top $1,000.
Huckabee spending about $58 per vote is a steal compared to Romney’s $442. The question is, was Romney’s time and money worth anything in the long run? Sure, it has garnered him some short-term publicity among the major media and has created content for cable news, anyone’s win would have.
I don’t blame Romney, he is working this as a strategy. Start small and take the baby steps approach to presidential campaigns. Clearly it shows Romney’s organizational strength and will lead to the drop out of 2nd tier candidates like Brownback and possibly Tancredo.
A few months from now we’ll know if this was money well spent or not. This is now part of Romney’s 2008 presidential resume and gives him a little edge over Giuliani coming up in the caucuses and primaries.