Iowa Straw Poll: Votes Per Visit

Chris's post at Open Left on the number of visits each candidate has made to the various early states inspired me to compare the number of votes each Republican competing in the straw poll on Saturday actually received with the number of trips they've actually made to Iowa. The results show a somewhat different picture than merely the finishing order.

                 Votes     Visits   V/V 

Ron Paul          1305      15      87 Mitt Romney       4516      90      50 Mike Huckabee     2587      71      36 Tom Tancredo      1960      67      29 Sam Brownback     2192      115     19 Tommy Thompson    1039      143     7 Duncan Hunter     174       24      7

Ron Paul got the most votes per visit of any candidate, showing clearly that a. pounding the flesh is not the only way to move Iowa voters and b. the online movement that has sprung up around Paul's candidacy can translate to offline real world metrics. While certainly Paul would have liked to have gotten higher than 5th place, this puts his finish in some perspective, although it's unclear whether he'll gain any appreciable momentum from his 5th place finish since the expectations going into Saturday were high. This also seems to indicate that Huckabee's finish was a strong second and Brownback's a weak third. Brownback just did not get the return on his investment of time in the state. Chuck Todd brings us yet another measure of the strength of Huckabee's second place:

In terms of surprises at a straw poll that Romney was destined to win, Huckabee was it. He actually received more votes than he bought, a noble feat in the straw poll. Huckabee's campaign tells First Read they didn't rent one bus...
While this is an imperfect measure since it's not clear how long each visit lasted and how many events were held, it's an interesting way to look at Saturday's results. Brownback may say he's sticking in this thing but despite finishing just behind Huckabee, I'd argue they're actually in different tiers in Iowa. It will be interesting to see if the next statewide poll reflects that.

Update [2007-8-13 16:18:30 by Todd Beeton]: Well, the Huckabee campaign may not have had buses but that doesn't mean a good portion of his supporters weren't bused in (h/t mcjoan):

From Iowa Independent:

Voters bused to the Ames Straw Poll by Americans for Fair Taxation helped give a boost to suprise second-place poll winner Mike Huckabee, according to both a spokesman for the group and Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman. Asked about things that might have made the difference for Huckabee, who did not bus voters to the poll and purchased about 1,850 tickets for supporters, Saltsman said, "We talked a lot about the fair tax." The group, better known as, bused about 500 voting Iowans and 1,000 other supporters to the Straw Poll today, according to national director of grassroots Mike Rose.
Eye on 08 has more.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, iowa straw poll, Republican primary (all tags)



Re: Iowa Straw Poll: Votes Per Visit

Am I right in saying that Huckabee is basically broke at the moment? He seems to be among the most politically talented of their candidates, but it seems like he's going to need a lot more things to fall into place to make a real run at the nomination.

That being said, all of their other candidates are fatally flawed in one measure or another, so I guess there's room for an opening if Huckabee can take the social conservatives away from Romney and keep them from going to Thompson. He also seems to be the only person in the other primary who has come close to articulating any sort of vision of what the country should look like. The rest of their candidates are running like Hillary--drawing attention to their record but saying very little in terms of vision and policy

by Max Fletcher 2007-08-13 11:17AM | 0 recs

Liberal blogs' obsession with Ron Paul is getting bizarre. What are we supposed to prove to cheer for Ron Paul's 'success' by some quirky metrics?

Are we desperate to draw a conclusion that there's an active 'anti-war' faction within GOP rank-and-file.

It looks like Ron Paul's not-so-stellar performance really disheartened many on the left who held high hope for him.

by areyouready 2007-08-13 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

Very very few people on the left are legitmately supporting Ron Paul for president.

You have more posts about Ron Paul than Ron Paul has liberal supporters.

by world dictator 2007-08-13 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

I know that. But many posters on the left are clearly cheering for his 'success' in order to 'prove' 'anti-war' sentiment is so prevalent, even among rank-and-file republicans.

They tried everything to 'prove' this. The vocal support of Ron Paul's out-of-state 'supporters' at Iowa straw poll was used as some sort of indicator that he would do very well.

This guy lost to craze - Tancredo, I just don't believe he has any traction among GOPers. This is the mirror image of people on the right wish for Gravel's success in order to prove ran-and-file democrats are not satisfied with their frontrunners.

It's pretty much a mirage.

by areyouready 2007-08-13 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

Honestly, if I were forced to pick a Republican, Ron Paul is pretty close to dead last, but then I tend to find libertarian ideology as more lothsome than neocons or religious conservatives.

Ron Paul is yet more proof that we should discount non-scientific internet measures of support that have been freeped by internet fanboys.

by Anthony de Jesus 2007-08-13 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

agreed, I even once went as far as saying I would rather have Bush than Ron Paul as president, because Ron Paul is an extremist right-winger who wants to completely destroy all functions of government, and literally wants to "drown it in a bathtub".

by KainIIIC 2007-08-13 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

Hey, I have to say I don't get it either.  I don't understand the appeal of Ron Paul and his supposedly bipartisan online support.  I appreciate his ability and willingness to disrupt the Republican campaign and argue anti-war points in the debates, but I don't want him to be president.  Nonetheless, apparently some (if not a lot as the above poster points out) lefties are supporting this guy.  What the hell?  

Maybe his appeal is he provides a simple and understandable world view.  Even so, it's not a particularly attractive world view.

by Reece 2007-08-13 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

No. I actually agree with 'world dictator', bloggers on the left do not necessarily support him. IMHO, many posters, just like you, want to use him to prove 'anti-war' sentiment is so prevalent across the board, even among rank-and-file GOPers.

That's why they want him to do very well in this straw poll to prove this theory. However, I wouldn't call it has proved anything when this guy could not even pass lunatic - Tancredo.

by areyouready 2007-08-13 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: bizarre

Bah, areyouready, did you read what I wrote?  I didn't say that I enjoyed the fact that he is proving there is antiwar sentiment on the right.  I said I enjoyed the fact that he is willing to disrupt the Republican campaign and especially their debates.  Look, primaries are thought to be a time for candidates to sell themselves to their base.  Without Ron Paul around, the other 10 candidates could get by with the standard Republican pro-war circle jerk.  With Ron Paul, they have to face anti-war arguments.  That's what I like.  sheesh

by Reece 2007-08-13 01:23PM | 0 recs
It is bizarre

have you checked out the speech he gave at the straw poll? The guy's a raving lunatic on some things.

Overturning Roe vs. Wade is just the beginning, he also seems to think we'd all be a lot safer if passengers on planes could carry guns. ll/article?AID=/20070811/NEWS09/70811013 /1001/NEWS

by okamichan13 2007-08-13 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa Straw Poll: Votes Per Visit

The bottom line for Huckabee is that he pulled off getting the "base" out to vote for him.  This should be a big reminder to us all that if the Republican base gets out and votes we could have another Republican President.  I don't know about anywhere else but where I live it's still Republicanville...

by krwheaton 2007-08-13 11:38AM | 0 recs
Tommy Thompson is out of the race

apparently. Thump....

by okamichan13 2007-08-13 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa Straw Poll: Votes Per Visit

Let's get to the guys who didn't show up:

Rudy Giuliani received 183 votes and made 23 visits scoring 9 votes per visit.

John McCain got 101 votes and made 26 visits, an average of 4 votes per visit.

The Des Moines Register lists no visits for Fred Thompson although I would guess this is more a function of his undeclared status than making no actual visits.

Will McCain be the second Republican to quit this race?

by David Kowalski 2007-08-13 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa Straw Poll: Votes Per Visit

Nope, Thomspson is making his first trip this weekend.

by danIA 2007-08-13 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Iowa Straw Poll: Votes Per Visit

Ron Paul is increasingly becoming nothing more than shock value, and in a few weeks he will lose that.  

I have to say that Tom Tancredo's speech was one of the angriest things I have ever heard from an American politician.  He really seemed one step away from Edward Norton's speech in American History X where he compares the border to a pinyata opening up.  

All and all it was a good reminder why I am no longer a Republican.

by ditka 2007-08-13 01:11PM | 0 recs
Seven votes per visit?

I almost feel sorry for Tommy Thompson.

Guy camped out in the neighboring state after a lifetime of successful politicking.  He shows up in Iowa 143 times this cycle, amost 50% more than number two.

Nabs 1039 votes for second to last place among active campaigners.

That's 7 votes per visit. Ouch.

by Trond Jacobsen 2007-08-13 02:06PM | 0 recs


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