Lots of us know Romney has put in a big effort in Iowa but I think the magnitude is sometimes not appreciated. According to his campaign, he has made 17 trips, spent 43 days, and held 53 “Ask Mitt Anythings”, 9 townhalls, and a total of 310 events. None of the other contenders, certainly none of the others on the Ames ballot, comes close. When combined with the “spare no expense” approach to the Ames straw poll voting there is simply no doubt that he will win and win by a very, vey significant margin. Without Thompson, Giuliani or McCain I think it’s reasonable to assume he’ll get over 45% of the votes. What will it mean? Critics and rivals will say not much since others didn’t compete and Iowa’s caucus may now conflict with Christmas shopping. I look at it this way: straw polls are tests of organization. If he mapped out a game plan, executed it and had the money to pull it off it shows he has a formidable organization. The test is whether he can translate that into other states where other candidates’ operations and investments more closely approximate his. But I do stand by my favorite axiom in presidential politics: it’s more about organization than anything else.
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