Mitt Romney To Skip Ames Iowa Straw Poll

Four years ago, Mitt Romney pulled off a fairly impressive victory at the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll that gave his campaign a significant boost, although he ended up losing the Iowa Caucuses five months later to Mike Huckabee. This time around, he’s rather surprisingly decided to skip Ames altogether:

Mitt Romney will skip a key early test for Republican presidential candidates by forgoing the Iowa straw poll in mid-August, a decision that could recast the contest in the nation’s first presidential nominating state.

The Iowa straw poll, held in Ames, is one of the landmark events of the nominating contest. Mr. Romney’s decision sends the clearest signal yet that he doesn’t want to wade deeply into the social issues that carry particular weight with Iowa Republicans and instead intends to present himself to voters nationally as a successful businessman who can improve the economy.

Back in January, there was talk that Romney may skip Iowa altogether, or at least run nothing more than a low-key campaign there. Considering that the state is dominated by social conservatives, that may be a wise choice on his part.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. TG Chicago says:

    Back in January, there was talk that Romney may skip Iowa altogether, or at least run nothing more than a low-key campaign there. Considering that the state is dominated by social conservatives, that may be a wise choice on his part.

    But… he came in a strong second last time. And Huckabee isn’t running this time. If he won Iowa, it would make his nomination win nearly inevitable.

    Three reasons I can conjure for him not running:

    1) He thinks he’s going to get slaughtered (the obvious one). I think if he campaigned, he wouldn’t. But maybe he has internal polling or something.

    2) He doesn’t want to get a worse turnout than in 2008. Even if he came in a respectable 2nd or 3rd, if he got fewer votes this time around than last, that would look bad.

    3) Maybe he actually doesn’t want to win Iowa. If he did, he would be, as I said, the presumptive nominee. And that means the press would inevitably sharpen their focus on his flaws since (a) they focus more sharply on all aspects of nominees and (b) let’s face it, the press would prefer a long nomination battle. Last cycle they got one great battle and one good one. This time they’re only going to get one, so they don’t want it to be a first round knockout. So they will be prone to write stories that pump up the competitors. Even if Romney still ends up winning, he might be hurt in the general.

  2. SJ Reidhead says:

    I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would participate in any straw poll the way the Ron Paul Bots are acting. Have you seen what they are up to in Iowa?

    There’s a heck of a lot of Ron Paul Bot manipulation already going on. The only way to stop it is for everyone to pull out of the straw polls, everywhere.

    They are a breeding ground for manipulating and cheating by the Bots.

    SJR
    The Pink Flamingo