Via Cillizza’s The Fix:
The Ames Straw poll is now just days away. And, while three of the four leading Republican contenders — John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson — have signaled they will not participate in the traditional early organizational test, they could have a significant impact on the ultimate outcome.
Why? Because, even thought they’re not attending the event their names will appear on the ballot. And, according to a new KCCI survey former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) leads in Iowa with 25 percent followed by Thompson at 14 percent, Giuliani at 13 percent and McCain at 10 percent.
The fact that the no-shows names appear on the ballot and that they appear to have significant chunks of support in the state lends itself to speculation that any (or all) of the campaigns are making quiet pushes in Iowa in hopes of making a surprise showing in the straw poll….
The reality is that any of the three non-participating campaigns would love a top five finish — whether or not they admit it or make a direct play for it. It would give them something for (nearly) nothing, a rare opportunity in politics….
Lovely. First, they run away from their own base and refuse to participate in the CNN YouTube debate after they’d already agreed to do it, because they are frightened of the spontaneity of the wingnuttiest among them. And now it’s behind-the-scenes manipulation by a merry band of no shows in an Iowa straw poll in which they are participating as phantom, non-participants. And elsewhere in the hinterlands, there is a desire for Floppy Fred to energize the pack with his mere red carpet dazzle…and not much else.
Yet another chickenshit contest for the GOP, with the Republican front-runners trying to winner take all for putting forth little to no effort. Haven’t we had enough of that with the Shrub years?
And I thought the Bushies were trying to save us from the scourge of flip flops…
(Photo of actual chickenshit contest via MyMissAdventure.)