As for the Republican candidates people have actually heard of, most of them have sounded strong. (Note: These are my impressions from watching on TV and the web, I’m not live from Ames.) Mitt Romney emphasized his “three legged stool” conservatism while talking about his bipartisan record of accomplishment in Massachusetts. Tom Tancredo gave an anti-illegal immigration stemwinder and won rousing applause for saying that the Iraq rules of engagement under his administration would be “We win, you lose.”
Ron Paul balanced his maverick role in the race with Republican red meat on life, small goverment, and the Second Amendment. I didn’t hear it, but according to Byron York, Mike Huckabee had a weird analogy between voting for poorly funded candidates and “Never Again” regarding the Holocaust.
Key questions: How many of the Paul supporters there are eligible to vote in the straw poll? How close can Brownback & co. get to Mitt Romney?