The Iowa Presidential straw poll in Ames is all about expectations. In 2007, Mitt Romney was expected to run away with it. He won, but not before Mike Huckabee produced a surprisingly strong second place showing. This upset put him on the map and was the beginning of his move from a second-tier candidate to a contender who ended up winning the Iowa Caucus the following January.
One of the key reasons he was able to pull off his strong showing was the help he received from the Americans for Fair Taxation; however, it now sounds like they are re-thinking whether this was a wise decision. According to reports, they are debating whether or not to repeat the strategy at next week’s straw poll.
“They weren’t sure that was money well spent,” AFT organizer Doug Frederickson tells Politico. In 2007, they spent around $150,000 bringing in supporters to vote for Huckabee in the straw poll.
This year, they plan to offer modest support for Herman Cain who is a FairTax advocate, but most of their budgeted $20,000 will be spent on a pre-debate tailgate party on Thursday night and on their own booth and volunteers at the straw poll.
Speaking on Huckabee and the straw poll, The Iowa Republican reports that he will be broadcasting his show live from the straw poll. It will be broadcast at 7 CST just after the results are announced at 6 CST, so it is highly likely he will be interviewing some of the candidates. His political action committee, HuckPAC, will have a booth and some grassroots supporters are whispering about a write-in campaign, but doubt that he will be able to get much steam.