RE: Ames - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
RE: Ames
by

Most numbers I’m seeing/hearing suggest that turnout was around 14,000 — much lower than 1999. But in ’99, only John McCain (who wasn’t going to compete in the caucuses) bypassed the straw poll. George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Elizabeth Dole, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, and former Vice President Dan Quayle were among the participants — and even then the turnout wasn’t considered earthshattering.

Without three of the four top tier candidates, this year Ames has the feel of a contest to be the least marginal also-ran. Sort of like Ramesh Ponnuru’s 1999 account of the jockeying between Forbes and Gary Bauer during that cycle. (In the end, Alan Keyes outdistanced both.) Though this year’s straw poll will be at least of a bit of a boost for whoever makes it into the top three with Romney.

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