“Like a kid who always does his homework and always raises his hand in class, Mitt Romney’s ambition and organization have both an upside and a downside,” writes the estimable Matt Lewis in a townhall.com post titled Is Romney Losing the Iowa Expectations Game?

At least that’s what I gleaned from my conversation today with Ed Failor, a top Iowa Republican activist.

Failor believes that when the post-Iowa stories are written, reporters and pundits will take into consideration the massive amount of money Romney has spent in building an organization that — for the first time ever — goes all the way down to the county level.

“If he is the Republican nominee, I support Mitt Romney.  But I just think he is the guy most at risk to take the biggest hit on Prom night, because he has spent so much more money than everyone else,” says Failor.

Failor believes people could be surprised by Mike Huckabee — or possibly even Rudy Giuliani.

But even if one of these men comes in second to Mitt Romney, the expectations are now set that Romney has spent so much time and energy in Iowa that the second-place finisher should still be far behind Romney.  In short, it’s not enough for Romney to win; he has to devastate his opponents.  That’s setting the bar pretty high.

By working so hard in Iowa, Romney may have inadvertently created a situation in which there is little upside to winning, and where finishing second would be devastating.

Conversely, let’s suppose Mike Huckabee spends a fraction of what Mitt Romney does in Iowa, yet finishes close behind Romney, in second place.  Huckabee’s team might then spin the results and argue they actually won Iowa.  Of course, if this were effective, it might also diminish the bump Romney gets coming out of the state … etc., etc.

Willard Milton Romney has set himself up to fail!?—we’re shocked, we tell you. Shocked. Seriously, dear readers, for months and months we’ve snarfed and guffawed derisively as Romney worked assiduously to sabotage his own campaign. Here’s a blast from the past to prove our point:

Ruffini:“Romney’s leads remind me of Howard Dean’s hard-earned leads in those states in 2004″

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


  1. jlf99

    Romney had to spend so much money in Iowa because he had so much misinformation to overcome. Being a Mormon is a hard job. First you have to correct deliberate disinformation spread by real enemies of your faith. Second you have to correct misinformation which comes from people just not knowing but “remembering something somebody once said a long time ago…” but you were just a kid and can’t remember. I wouldn’t doubt that Romney’s first several months were taken up with damage control before he ever got his message out. He had two strikes against him before he ever started. The real story here is if he finishes in the top three.

  2. dotan

    Well argued, jlf99. Thank you for your thoughts.—g.

  3. ebadger

    Romney is spending less in Iowa than the Democrats. This story should be told as such: Romney is the only Republican who is keeping up with the Democrats in Iowa. All other Republican candidates have failed in Iowa as proven by their inability to compete in the Straw poll.

    Republicans should stop splitting thier vote for an “ideal” candidate, and they should focus their efforts behind the candidate with the strongest organization. The strongest organization clearly belongs to Mitt Romney as evidenced by his early leads in Iowa, New Hampshire and other early states. Romney’s win in the Iowa straw poll and in the recent value voters straw poll are further evidence of his strength. Republicans should focus their money and support behind Mitt Romney and unite so that we can beat the Democrats in the general election.

  1. 1 eyeon08.com: “[Huckabee’s] authenticity and Romney’s phoniness seems to have stopped Romney’s forward momentum” « who is willard milton romney?

    […] overreached, overextended, and grossly over-invested everywhere—for yet another example see: Romney poised to fail in Iowa no matter what the outcome. This is Romney’s way. This is Romney’s pattern. The man has no sense of proportion. […]

  2. 2 Romney poised to fail in Iowa no matter what the outcome (ii) « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Also see: Romney poised to fail in Iowa no matter what the outcome […]

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