An Actual Iowa Poll! Rudy a Strong Second
Well, it's not scientific, but the Iowa State Fair is about as close as it gets. WHO-TV's Dave Price decided to ask Fair-goers to "cast their kernels" for '08. Rudy (who has no organization in the state) finishes a strong second to McCain:
John McCain 24% (Met many friends at the fair)
Rudy Giuliani 22% (9/11 made him strong among "r's")
Condoleeza Rice 22% (Never been a politician. Many here say she should)
Newt Gingrich 10% (Contract with America still pretty strong)
Mitt Romney 9% ("R" in a "D" state at home; middle of the pack here)
Bill Frist 6% (The doc may need some more patients)
Mike Huckabee 2% (Lost a ton, hasn't found a ton of support)
George Pataki 2% (Stands tall among peers, falls short in poll)
George Allen 1% (Is the Hall of Fame coach more known here?)
Sam Brownback 1% (So much for sharing the midwestern love)
This poll largely reflects the name ID polls (with Condi polling really strong). But throw organization in the mix and we begin to see the contours of Iowa '08.
Rudy, who has no organization yet, nearly ties McCain, who has Terry Nelson and Chuck Larson on his team (and was at the Fair, and presumably got some good exposure with those that took the poll). Newt will poll strongly with or without an organization. Another big surprise is Mitt Romney, who moves the needle despite his lack of name ID, with a good organization.
Huckabee is flatlining so far and Allen is surprisingly weak (behind Pataki, whose organization gets him from an asterisk to 2%). Scoring this, I'd say it's plus arrows for Giuliani and Romney, results about as expected for McCain and Newt, and a dissapointing finish for Allen (who's probably dead anyway after this week).