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Fair Tax Voters Boost Huckabee
Voters bused to the Ames Straw Poll by Americans for Fair Taxation helped give a boost to suprise second-place poll winner Mike Huckabee, according to both a spokesman for the group and Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman. Asked about things that might have made the difference for Huckabee, who did not bus voters to the poll and purchased about 1,850 tickets for supporters, Saltsman said, “We talked a lot about the fair tax.”
The group, better known as FairTax.org, bused about 500 voting Iowans and 1,000 other supporters to the Straw Poll today, according to FairTax.org national director of grassroots Mike Rose. The group sponsored a ferris wheel — the “Fairest Wheel,” they called it — at the Straw Poll, as well as a fan-cooled tent serving barbecue and dessert to supporters. This came on the heels of a two-week, 25-stop bus tour across the state to drum up enthusiasm for the group’s tax reform plan, which Huckabee supports. Poll winner Mitt Romney and third-place finisher Sen. Sam Brownback do not support the plan.
All told, the group spent $150,000 on the straw poll, according to national spokesman Ken Hoagland — roughly the same amount as the Huckabee campaign itself. “We’re about 6 inches off the ground,” said Hoagland. “We see it as a victory for our issue.”