Romney Victorious in Iowa Straw Poll

Does It Really Matter?

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Rudy Guiliani and John McCain have decided to skip the Iowa straw poll to be held in August, which hands Mitt Romney a victory in the contest. Once seen as a key marker in the race for the Iowa caucus, two of the leading candidates have apparently decided otherwise.

The question is are Rudy and McCain tossing in the towel in order to focus their spending (as Rudy has claimed) on the actual caucus or have they decided Romney can have Iowa. It's unclear how the voters will respond, but it's no secret how the state GOP will. After wiping the egg off their face and counting up the money they stand to lose, I imagine they'll be hopping mad (or, in political speak, "very disappointed").

Could it also be another step toward rendering Iowa irrelevant -- or at least giving it a relevance more fitting to its stature? After all, if two of the top candidates (three if one were to count Fred Thompson) aren't participating at full tilt, it doesn't exactly scream Marketing Gold for Romney to brag about it after the fact. Or does it?