The caucus season in Iowa will start earlier than ever. GAME ON!
Although the Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 6, 2012, Steve Grubbs, the Davenport political consultant who is former chairman of the state GOP said, “You don’t want to be any later than May.” It takes a year to organize the state. There are approximately 100,000 to 125,000 Iowans who attend caucuses.
I’ve been making a list and checking it twice (‘˜gonna’ find out who’s naughty and nice) to see whom the Republicans may run. Just so the rest of you know, Newt Gingrich has been raising money for a very long time and has (supposedly) raised more than almost all of the other candidates combined. (Can you say President Newt?) But Romney has considerable personal wealth to pull against, as does another little-mentioned candidate, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Straw polling may (or may not) help make the presumptive Republican candidate become clear. A GOP Straw poll fundraiser is held in August, before the caucuses. In Iowa last time, McCain didn’t campaign here, but he still won the nomination. [Iowans liked and voted for Mike Huckabee, who still has an organization left over from his last run, because McCain skipped Iowa.]
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has come calling in the Hawkeye state. Rick Santorum (former Pennsylvania Senator) is said to be interested. Haley Barbour, Mike Pence, John Thune, Ron Paul — .all are mentioned. The race is considered wide-open, with preliminary nods to those who have run before and, therefore, have a head start in organizing.
Among that number count Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. When Iowans were asked by CNN who their 2012 favorites were as they left the mid-term election polls on November 2nd, Romney and Huckabee tied at 21%, Palin had 18%, and Gingrich got 7%. A good 20% of voters said they would support someone completely new and different.
Republican Party Chairman of Iowa Matt Strawn said, in an interview, “I imagine we’ll see some decisions in fairly short order.” He added, regarding those who might skip Iowa and head for New Hampshire that it would be “incredibly difficult” for an Iowa caucus-skipper to win the nomination this year. (Let’s not forget the Rudy Giuiliani Florida strategy and how well that played out — or Fred Thompson’s half-hearted trot towards the White House (see previous AC article.)]
Said Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn of 2012’s election cycle, “I imagine we’ll see some decisions in fairly short order.” Steve Grubbs, Davenport political consultant and former chairman of the GOP in the state said, “We will definitely see some campaigns with boots on the ground in January, 2011.”
(SOURCES: November 7, 2010, Quad City Times; Matt Strawn, GOP Party Chairman; Steve Grubbs, Davenport political consultant; CNN post-midterm poll of voters in Iowa.)