Winning Iowa isn't good enough for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to his top foes.
While Romney won last night with 30,015 votes, eight more than second-place Rick Santorum, critics are suggesting that he is the least attractive GOP candidate since Bob Dole ran in 1996. "The biggest story is Romney's 'win'--after spending millions and four years in Iowa, he didn't move the needle," said an associate of Newt Gingrich.
Another campaign rapped Romney for failing to get a higher percentage than he has in national polls for a year, 25 percent. President Obama's aide David Axelrod added of Romney, "He's still the 25 percent man."
Republican campaign surrogates put out figures to hit the front-runner. To bolster their candidate, fans of Gingrich noted that he did pretty much as well as Sen. John McCain four years ago. "Newt finished fourth with 16,251 votes, which was 13.3 percent of the vote. In 2008, McCain finished fourth with 15,536 votes, which was 13.0 percent of the vote," said one.
Other campaigns said that Romney received a percentage similar to his total four years ago. "This time, he got 30,015 votes, which was 24.6 percent of the vote. In 2008, he got 30,021 votes or 25.2 percent of the vote," said a competing campaign. What's more, Romney's winning percentage was called the lowest in decades. "In contrast to the Iowa caucuses of 1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, and 2008, this was the lowest winning percentage. Prior to this, Dole in 1996 had the lowest winning percentage, 26.7 percent."
Team Romney shrugged the attacks off, happy to have a win and headed into a major victory in New Hampshire next week where he still holds a massive polling edge over opponents.
A Suffolk University/7News two-day tracking poll of likely voters in New Hampshire's GOP presidential primary released today had Romney maintaining his lead with 43 percent of the vote, followed by Ron Paul at 14 percent, Gingrich at 9 percent, Jon Huntsman at 7 percent, and Rick Santorum at 6 percent.