Winners: Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul
Losers: Mitt Romney, Iowa Republican Party, Diebold, Tommy Thompson
Disappointing turnout (only 14,301 votes according to the Des Moines Register) means the spin tomorrow can only be dissatisfaction by the party regulars with those competing. Romney gets no bounce, only doing what was expected and showing he couldn't excite the party base. Iowa is now open for Rudy Giuliani to compete, and the case is made for Fred Thompson the party is just waiting for someone else - him. Huckabee get's to stay in the race as the candidate that's again almost good enough to make the top tier. Ron Paul gets boost from faulty machines; conspiracy theorists will go wild.
This will be the last year for the straw poll to be significant after tonight's low turnout and voting machine debacle. The cash cow didn't raise as much money this year and the party may have to spend some money this year if Paul decides to make a fuss. Diebold's voting machines flopped a relatively easy test. Look for paper ballots to make a comeback in the long term.
Tommy!, it's time to come home.
The Des Moines Register is reporting:
About 1,500 ballots needed to be recounted, said Mary Tiffany, a spokeswoman for Republican Party of Iowa.
Two machines caused the problem, said State Auditor David Vaudt. “What likely happened is someone submitted their ballot too quickly after the other,” he said. The ballots from those machines were hand counted, then re-fed into the system to recalculate the vote. A campaign poll-watcher said in one instance, a black box contained 500 paper ballots but the machine’s memory said it had scanned in 498.
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