The first test for most of the Republican presidential candidates is the Ames Straw Poll.
It marks not only the beginning for some, but the end for others. Doing well in Iowa sets a pace for the upcoming states. Which, is part of the Romney campaigns strategy.
Mitt Romney is not taking part of the straw poll because he is in New Hampshire. Why? He knew that his poll-rival, Rick Perry would be making his presidential bid announcement. Romney is no rookie to running for president. By getting his feet wet in ’08, he certainly knows that all your ducks don’t need to be thrown into Iowa.
For the 2008 straw poll, Romney won. But, he recognizes how close Rick Perry is trailing him in the national and some early state polls.
And, for Perry, polling well in Iowa doesn’t seem to be on the radar for Perry. However, for Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Hearman Cain and Tim Pawlenty, Iowa is BIG.
They must do good and have strong numbers. For if they don’t, it could mark the end. Not just the beginning.