Winning in Iowa might not be the ‘kiss of death’ for a Republican presidential candidate, but it will certainly give the winner bad breath. The Republican party in Iowa is dominated by ultra-right wing, Bible-thumping, white zealots who have a 5-minute loyalty to whoever panders to them the most. A GOP presidential candidate in Iowa is like being in a dancer in a strip club. The patron’s affection is dependent on how far the dancer will go for them.
Mitt Romney has avoided that strip club and the national polls have shown it’s been a smart move. Now, despite his efforts to lose Iowa, he finds himself in the lead with only days left before the caucuses. The latest CNN poll shows Romney is now leading, not so much because he is moving ahead, but because Newt Gingrich is moving backward…fast. This can only be bad news for Romney who really needs to lose Iowa in order to appear to be a legitimate candidate to the rest of the nation.
Iowa has tarnished the reputation of many Republican candidates. Remember who won Iowa in 2008? Mike Huckabee, who then promptly faded into the political wallpaper. During the last 30 years, when there was not an incumbent GOP candidate, Iowa Republicans have selected the next President only once (George Bush in 2000.)
Mitt Romney has 25% support in Iowa in the CNN poll, which is up 5% as Gingrich fell by 19% in three weeks. Romney’s best hope is that Ron Paul will continue to surge forward (up 5% to 22%) and overtake him. The penny on the rail is Rick Santorum. He gained the most from Gingrich’s holiday free fall and picked up 11%. Had some of that support gone to Paul, Romney wouldn’t have to sweat the next few days.
Romney could do one thing that would assure him a loss in Iowa and his eventual Republican nomination. He could announce that Evangelicals are pushing America into a Taliban-like society and they should be stopped before gangs of Christians are walking the streets looking for someone to stone to death. That would give him his Iowa loss and likely gain him the White House.
This article first published as
Bad News For Romney: He Might Win Iowa