Marc Ambinder has the results:
- Romney 31.5%
- Huckabee 18.1%
- Brownback 15%
- Tancredo in 13.7%
- Ron Paul with 9%
The rest were single digits.
My read is that social conservatives are split, and immigration is really important. The fact that Huckabee + Brownback is greater than Romney will be noticed. At best, you can argue that conservatives are leaning Romney. Thompson will get in and take votes from Romney, whose support is soft.
We are moving in to a weird situation with the conservative votes getting split many different ways. At the same time, Cox, Hunter, Thompson, etc. all need to get out. Ron Paul doesn’t really get a bump.
The interesting dynamic going forward will be whether Brownback and Huckabee go after each other or they go after Romney. Or Fred Thompson…
Giuliani (and to a lesser extent McCain) has got to be thrilled. With no clear opponent coming out of this, although Romney is the strongest, he can go forward, while the conservatives in the race still have to figure out how to cut up the field for themselves.
In other news, the Dems are pointing out that the Romney campaign was soliciting Democratic campaign staffers to vote for Romney.
UPDATE: A reader compares Romney to Bush 1999 and finds that Bush had 50 fewer buses but 4k more votes. One way to read this is is that Romney’s votes were all machine votes, not undecideds coming. The argument against is that the turnout is low, so the only people who showed up were delivered on buses, etc.
UPDATE II: Patrick Ruffini points out how disappointing this was for Romney:
Mitt Romney wins, but by just a shade more than George W. Bush did in 1999 when facing Steve Forbes, who threw millions at the straw poll, and against a far more formidable Ames field overall.