Mitt's good on TV; bad in O.C.
Now the bad for Mitt. Last night he spoke at the Five County GOP Dinner in Orange City. Orange City is in Sioux County which has one of the highest percentages of registered R's in the whole country. It is one of the most important counties in a GOP caucus. It was this event that gave President Bush a lot of momentum 8 years ago. Bush turned out an enormous crowd which furthered the conventional wisdom that he was strong with conservatives and his election was inevitable. Romney being named the keynote speaker for this dinner was widely considered to by a coup.
But word from Northwest Iowa is that Romney didn't get the same boost from this event last night. Only about 150 tickets were sold and the attendance was somewhere near 100. For 5 counties that is a low turnout. The excitement and buzz Romney created following successful trips to Eastern Iowa was not duplicated in the Western part of the state it seems. And the news coverage he received included his problems on the issue of abortion and his vote for Paul Tsongas. Turnout is one of those funny animals. Romney had been largely successful with it until last night. The biggest question is whether the lower than expected turnout reflects a lack of interest in Romney in NW Iowa or whether it was just a function of bad timing and Romney's heavy Iowa travel schedule.