Sunday, August 12, 2007

Iowa Straw Poll Part II: Return On Investment

In absolute terms Governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa Straw poll. It took him over $400, and maybe $1,000, per vote to do it though. Mike Huckabee got less votes, but his did not cost him as much either, only $58 a vote. In fact, he did not even put as much into it as his other main rival in Iowa, Senator Sam Brownback. "Brownback spent a lot more on organization ($148 per vote), time and effort, but Mike Huckabee has just turned out to be a better candidate," said David Yepsen, a columnist for the Des Moines Register (according to nwanewsonline).

Brownback is talking like he wants to stay in the race, but the Iowa straw poll proved to be a poor return on investment. Of course, the next two finishers spent even less. The Ron Paul campaign only bought 500 tickets, and those mostly went to workers, many of whom were out of state and could not vote. It is not known how many Tancredo bought, but it is likely the same or less than Paul. It is likely their votes cost even less per vote than Mike Huckabee's.

The other way to measure investment is time spent. Brownback made 32 trips to the state. Huckabee made 19. Tancredo and Paul made one or at most two trips to the state. Iowa is all wrong for Paul because a good deal of the vote is decided by people who vote by which candidate wants to tax other people the most in order to overpay them to grow corn. Look for New Hampshire to be a better fit for Paul.

There is another disappointing finisher in the race- the poll itself. It attracted a much smaller crowd than last time and only about half the votes as last time. I would say energy is down for Republican candidates in Iowa and across the nation.

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