As expected, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa Straw Poll with 31% of the vote. An 18.1% was good for second place and that went to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
The big loser is former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson who managed a meager 7.3%.
A lot will be made that only a little over 14,000 participated in the straw poll, but that is really to be expected. The Republicans have had the White House for seven years and despite the poll numbers going up for President Bush, we are dealing with an unpopular president and the war situation in Iraq, which is all interconnected.
But intensity in this case counts and the Romney people showed it. Had the other two big contenders actually participated, it may have been marginally different. But, Mr. Romney would have still won.
I really think that this is going to be really important at caucus time and in the general election. The mood of the nation will be better as news from the Iraq front in the War Against Islamofascist Terror improves further.
This is also further proof that the tide may not show in national polls, but Mr. Romney's numbers will go up. Way up. And, it may change the mood of the longest unannounced candidate in history, former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. He should have been in Aames, but because he was not, do not look for Mr. Thompson, if he enters the GOP race, to do any serious campaigning in Iowa.
A big win for Mitt Romney, a big loss for Tommy Thompson and a win for the Iowa Republican Party.