Iowa Straw Poll Will Likely Winnow GOP Hopefuls
Although the Ames straw poll tomorrow is Iowa is little more than a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party, and campaigns are busing in their voters and paying their $35 fee to vote, and giving them free entertainment, meals or other gifts, it will still help to winnow down the GOP hopefuls somewhat and could force a few to leave the race after a poor showing. Mitt Romney has invested the most in the Iowa effort, and should see a positive PR bounce from the newsmedia after his big expected win tomorrow.
But for marginal candidates like Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter and Tommy Thompson, it could spell near curtains to their campaigns. Mike Huckabee, Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul and John Cox all need a good showing to survive their lower tier campaign efforts as long shot entries in the GOP nomination sweepstakes.
National poll leader, Rudolph Giuliani will skip the poll. And John McCain even refered to the straw poll as a mere "scam". And in the end, Fred Thompson probably won't get off the fence and actually run because it would involve an effort that he is not willing to put in to run for office.
The Iowa straw poll looks sort of like a causas or primary, but certainly is not. It should be meaningless, especially when the campaigns pay to vote, but will still receive more media attention than this event really deserves.