The Des Moines Register
The runaway favorite of the western Iowa crowd at a Republican fundraising dinner Friday was Georgia Republican Herman Cain – the guy everyone was there to hear.
But even in absentia, Alaska’s Sarah Palin claimed a surprising second place in the Pottawattamie County GOP’s dollar poll, with 38 percent of the votes to Cain’s 55 percent.
“Of the approximately 230 people in attendance, 153 people voted,” said Jeff Jorgenson, the county party chairman. “Of course these results are not scientific, but I am going to say they accurately reflect the mood of the evening.”
Nineteen names were listed on the ballot, but only six got any votes, Jorgensen said in an e-mail this morning.
Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann earned 5 percent and three Republicans – Utah’s Jon Huntsman, Texas’ Ron Paul and Indiana’s Mitch Daniels – each took 1 percent.
Ignored were: Haley Barbour, John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Gary Johnson, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence, David Petraeus, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, John Thune and Donald Trump.
Romney is the presumed national frontrunner and makes his first visit to Iowa this year this Friday, while Barbour, Daniels, Huckabee, Pence, Petraeus, Thune and Trump have officially declared they’re not going to run.
Cain was the keynote speaker at the event in Council Bluffs last Friday evening, and gave the enthusiastic audience a sneak preview of his formal presidential candidacy announcement the following day.
Organize4Palin, a grassroots group not affiliated with Palin, has been active in Iowa since last fall, and has gained energy in western Iowa. Members of the group predict Palin will announce in July, but they don’t have any insider information.