Less Hawkish in the Hawkeye State?

The Ames Straw Poll, which actually has some predictive value, gave noninterventionists some reasons to smile. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas placed second with 28 percent, just behind Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota (29 percent). After finishing third with 14 percent, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who may well have been the most neoconservative candidate in the race, quit. Sadly, he was immediately replaced by his “less boring clone,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who achieved 4 percent with write-in votes.

The two worst of the other candidates, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, finished with 10 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Among the moderately atrocious, businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also combined for 12 percent. Not-entirely-wretched former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman got 1 percent. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson did not participate.

As I noted last week, Bachmann has infuriated some of the right people by being less than reflexively bellicose. Whether her deviation on Libya reflects mere opportunism or nascent realism is hard to say, though her reported coziness with Frank Gaffney makes me shudder. Still, if we place Bachmann in the center of this nonet, with Paul, Huntsman, Romney, and Cain to the less-Gaffneyesque side and Gingrich, Santorum, Pawlenty, and Perry to the other, we get 41 percent for the former set and 30 percent for the latter. In the 2007 straw poll, Paul was the only candidate who wasn’t running on a Bush-Cheney foreign policy, and he received only 9 percent of the vote. The winner that year, Mitt Romney 1.0, was much more belligerent than either Mitt Romney 2.0 or Michele Bachmann has been so far. Maybe even the Republican base is inching our way.

  • cmar6

    Preach your anti-war sermon to the Islamofascists. When preached only to the U.S., it is a formula for disarmament and defeat.

    • BadReligion

      Perhaps you should spend some more time on antiwar.com, among other places. Here are some starters:

      Why was the U.S. attacked, and not Sweden?
      How could anyone, especially irregular groups of terrorists, "defeat" the U.S., and why would they want to?

    • 123

      cmar you are what is wrong with America. We have no business telling other people how to run there countrys. I am tired of footing the bill for it. And judging by our troops support for Ron Paul, they are tired of risking there lives for an endless war. So if you really cared about American lives then you would listen to our troops and help bring them home. But i guess it's easier to safely sit in America and spew hatred like an ignorant beast. You should be ashamed of your hatred toward your fellow man, and maybe find someone to talk to about your short comings.

    • kev

      endless war and economic ruin are the keys to victory then?

  • Bob Bogus

    It's good to see Poorplenty gone but Gov Rick Gardasil is certainly a cause for alarm.

    • Bill

      Newty will probably be next. Another neocon Republocon will bite the dust.

      Unfortunately, there are Pawlenty more where he came from….

      Sorry, that was really bad.

  • Barb

    And Paul probably won. See the Straw Poll Mystery @ http://www.federaljack.com/?p=96347 and Iowa Straw Poll Stolen from Ron Paul @ http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2011/08/cons

    At least the media has finally admitted they are ignoring him on purpose… http://www.zerohedge.com/news/media-admits-ignori

  • Bill

    So Pawlenty is out?

    Great. But unfortunately there are pawlenty more neocon Republican candidates.

    Sorry, that was bad.