Hawkeye State Delegation UncommittedWoah, those are harsh words. Some people don't pull punches, eh? The article continues later with:
By David M. Drucker Roll Call
January 10, 2007
Despite his status as the national frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) appears to have an uphill climb in the make-or-break caucus state of Iowa, where a majority of county Republican chairmen say he is far from the first choice of likely caucus voters.
The prevailing sentiment in recent interviews with 63 of Iowa's 99 GOP county chairmen was one of respect for McCain as a war hero and public servant but disdain for his politics - particularly his handling of President Bush's judicial nominees and his association with the issue of campaign finance reform. Disenchantment with his
candidacy reaches all corners of the state, including the pivotal Republican stronghold of northwest Iowa and vote-rich counties such as Polk, Linn and Scott.
There were some county chairmen who either voiced or predicted strong support for McCain in the January 2008 caucus, with a few more saying it is too early to anoint a frontrunner or rule anyone out. But most, even those who complimented the campaign organization the Arizona Senator and 2000 presidential candidate is assembling, said he is not conservative enough - he is too much of a "maverick," several county chairman said - to win.
"Personally, I have no use for him," said Andrea Roys, chairwoman of the Fayette County GOP in northeastern Iowa. "He tries to appeal to the media and make himself liked - and is a RINO Republican as far as I am concerned."
Romney Turning HeadsI'm looking for a good access to the article . . . but it seems to be by subscription. There's a lot of more stuff there focusing on McCain (for good or for ill) . . . but this is a pro-Romney blog and not a anti-McCain blog.
Of Iowa's 99 county GOP chairmen, 63 responded to interview requests, with 42 of those saying likely caucus-goers in their area are not inclined to support McCain. Fifteen chairmen said opinions on the Senator are mixed, with about half of them suggesting the Arizonan has significant hurdles to clear. A few of those who said their counties remain open to McCain stressed that it simply was too early to accurately gauge the feelings of likely caucus voters.
Only six county chairmen said enthusiasm for the Vietnam War veteran and four-term Senator was high.
When asked blindly which Republican presidential candidate is exciting the base, a majority of those who responded to that question with a name cited former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Because Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus is so important in the presidential nominating process, McCain's showing in the Hawkeye State could prove crucial to his 2008 chances. In 2000, the Senator skipped Iowa and proceeded to lose the nomination to then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
Several county GOP chairmen said they had either met Romney personally, that their county party had received a donation from his political action committee, or both. Kevin Madden, spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican's presidential exploratory committee, said winning Iowa is a key part of Romney's strategy to win the GOP nomination.
"Iowa is important, and I think that is demonstrated by our efforts there," Madden said.