Newt Gingrich finished the Iowa caucuses a distant fourth (13%) to Ron Paul (21%) in a disappointing and humiliating defeat at the hands of Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney (25% each), who finished the race virtually tied for first place.
A crushed and deflated Gingrich thanked his supporters in Iowa, telling them both how much he appreciated their tireless efforts, and how the pair came within a narrow but wide margin of putting Gingrich somewhere but not at the top of the state polling.
But with 96% of the votes tallied Gingrich had to admit that “the electoral system in this country is broken and in need of repair. First I can’t qualify for the ballot in my home state of Virginia. Now I didn’t easily defeat that big-mouthed Mormon pansy Mitt Romney in Iowa. Something is seriously wrong!”
Gingrich went on to characterize American voters as “a bunch of fickle bitches! When I am crowned President for Life I’m going to take some names and do some house cleaning – and I mean permanently!”
Just a few weeks ago Gingrich was leading in national polls and arrogantly claimed when he is President he will ignore the Supreme Court and the Bill of Rights, create a “second CIA” as a secret police force to spy on and interrogate persons in the United States (contrary to the CIA’s mandate NOT to engage in domestic espionage), and how he would redecorate the White House with some “new lampshades – a sort of leather-look, if you know what I mean.”
While such comments endeared Gingrich to the quickly fading “Tea Party” ultra-fascist wing of the Republican party, he lost support with the almost-equally craven fundamentalist Christian element of the GOP. Those voters, especially prominent in Iowa, turned to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who said as President he would appoint only fetuses to the Supreme Court and “get that ‘reproductive rights’ bullshit cut-out of our national body of laws!”
Texas Governor Rick Perry placed fifth in Iowa with only 10% of the vote. He announced he will return to his home state to “re-assess” his campaign, meaning he isn’t quite ready to but will ultimately officially quit. This is quite a downturn for the once high-riding candidate who held a lead in national polls until his inability to speak, think, or even count on his fingers became evident to voters.
Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann garnered only 5% of the Iowa vote, but most analysts think she is so bat-shit crazy she won’t drop-out of the race until sometime in 2013.
Some guy from Utah got 1% – no one knows who he is.
A grand total of 121,459 votes were cast in the somewhat informal and statistically irrelevant caucuses. In fact so few convention delegates are selected in Iowa it’s surprising anyone pays any attention at all.
This is not a joke: Michele Bachmann paid for 6,000 tickets to the Iowa Straw Poll that she then gave away to supporters and other attendees. And 4,823 of those people returned the favor by casting their ballots for her.
In contrast Ron Paul gave away very few tickets yet came-in second by only 152 votes. Yet the media is strangely mute about Paul’s very existence let alone his performance in Iowa. That’s because the media want a three-way between Bachmann, Romney, and Perry – it will be good for ratings.
Paying for votes at the Straw Poll is as old as the poll itself – the first was held in 1979 when George “Daddy” Bush bought the win – only to later lose the nomination to Straw Poll loser Ronald Reagan.
Statistically the Straw Poll is not a good predictor of anything, because it has only been held six times. Based on that small sample it seems to be a good predictor of the outcome of the Iowa caucuses, but also a good predictor of who won’t win the presidency. But all this is up for grabs as the numbers are actually insignificant.
So what is the Iowa Straw Poll actually about? It’s about PR – it’s a way to buy media attention. Or if you’re Tim Pawlenty it’s a good way to discover you don’t have the stomach for national politics.