Was Mitt’s Iowa victory worth $800 a vote?
The major event in the campaign for the GOP nomination for next year’s White House was the so-called Ames Straw Poll that took place at the weekend. This is a gathering of Iowa Republicans where voting takes place on which candidate attendees would like to see win the nomination at the Iowa caucus in January – the first of the fifty states to complete its process to decide which to back.
Mitt Romney – currently third favourite at 7/2 had poured millions and put a massive amount of effort into coming top in this initial test. In fact one estimate put the cost of each of the 4516 votes (33%) that he picked up at more than $800.
These sums don’t worry Romney for according to latest reports he is by far the wealthiest of any of the contenders and in 2006 alone is said to have had an income of $15m.
The problem with the Ames victory is that none of the other front runners – Rudi Giuliani, John McCain or former senator and movie star Fred Thompson – decided to run.
Romney’s performance was seen by many as a disappointment – and the second placed Ames candidate, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, was regarded as having made the biggest impact after getting 18% of the vote when he had only had a minuscule fraction of Romney’s budget available.
The longer this goes on the more it’s looking like a Giuliani-Clinton contest.