Former MA Governor Mitt Romney finished first in this weekend's straw poll in Iowa-- an expected victory. Romney, who received 32% of the vote, was trailed by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who got 18% and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas with 15%. Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo came in fourth with 14% and former WI Governor Tommy Thompson came in with 7%. Thompson later dropped out of the presidential race; he had said earlier that he would do so if he did not finish in the top two.
Notably missing from the fray were Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain, who both opted to not participate in the straw poll and instead have chosen to focus their efforts on the early primary states. The results of the straw poll are not binding, meaning essentially that they count only as a measure of public opinion. Each ticket to "vote" in the poll costs $35-- a pricey expense that campaigns and candidates are able to pay for and distribute to their supporters. Governor Romney has spent the most of any other candidate in the state of Iowa, including funds of advertising and getting supporters to participate in Saturday's poll. He is currently leading in polls in Iowa but trails Giuliani and Fred Thompson on the national scale and in polls specified to other early primary states, such as South Carolina and California.
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