Posted by Curt on 9 June, 2011 at 6:12 pm. 3 comments already!


Mr. Romney’s campaign said he would still compete in Iowa’s caucuses, now slated for February, 2012. But the former Massachusetts governor’s absence from the Aug. 13 straw poll will likely diminish his chances, some Iowa officials say, while raising the odds that whoever wins the poll will be best positioned to claim the status as Mr. Romney’s top rival for the nomination…

According to 2008 election-day surveys, 60% of Iowa caucus-goers called themselves evangelical or born-again Christians. In the New Hampshire primary, the figure was 23%. In the general election that year, about a quarter of voters in both parties were evangelical Christians.

Moreover, the straw poll presents a risk to Mr. Romney: Expectations that he win likely would be high, due to his broad name recognition and status as the putative GOP front-runner. But a weak finish in the straw poll could diminish him…

Romney advisers insist he won’t skip Iowa entirely. He plans to participate in a debate just before the straw poll that has been sanctioned by the Republican National Committee. But by missing the straw poll, Mr. Romney may alienate some Iowans. “It definitely impacts your ability to compete in the caucuses,” said Doug Gross, the chairman of Mr. Romney’s 2008 campaign in Iowa. “Iowa Republicans take this very personally.”

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