The results are in! Romney wins, but not nearly by the margin many had predicted. After all the money he spent on the straw poll, he only got 31.5% of the total.
The real suprise of the poll was the strength of the Huckabee number. Huckabee, former governor of this state, got over 18% of the votes. This is much more than expected. It should help him raise more money, his Achilles' heel, and could label him as the true conservative alternative to the left-of-Republican center frontrunners. In edging out Brownback, he could really send that campaign, his chief rival for evangelical votes, into a tailspin. Or not...after all, even though it was a mild surprise for Huck to beat Brownback, the true margin between them was a little less than 400 votes.
To highlight the Republican faithful's disappointment with their choices, it is worth mentioning that turnout at the Ames poll was sharply down from the last such event in 2000.
RCP: Win for Romney and Huckabee, neutral for Brownback, Tommy Thompson to withdraw. (Does it matter?)
Andrew Sullivan: Big Day for Huckabee
My predictions were close-ish:
Switch the 2 and the 3 and the 4 and the 5 and I was right...