Jonathan Garthwaite

Following Mitt Romney's decisive victory and Mike Huckabee's surprise second place finish at the Iowa Straw Poll, the campaigns must quickly turn their attention to the next pre-primary season challenge - the Texas Republican Straw Poll.

On a hot Iowa Saturday, thousands of Mitt Romney supporters delivered 31% of the Iowa Straw Poll votes and a clear victory. It was a test of his campaign's ability to organize in the first in the nation caucus state and he passed with flying colors.

Gov. Mike Huckabee wowed the audience and came in a surprising second place with 18% of the votes, beating Senator Brownback who heavily outspent him in his get out the vote efforts.

Full Iowa Results:

Mitt Romney  (31.0%)
Mike Huckabee  (18.1%)
Sam Brownback  (15.3%)
Tom Tancredo  (13.7%)
Ron Paul with  (9.1%)
Tommy Thompson  (7.3%)
Fred Thompson  (1.6%)
Rudy Giuliani  (1.3%)
Duncan Hunter  (1.2%)
John McCain  (0.7%)
John Cox  (0.3%)

Romney's victory is certainly a victory and a testament to his campaign's organization and demonstrated the value of what campaign cash and repeated visits to the state can accomplish.

Now the campaigns move to their next battle - Texas.

Presidential politics promises to heat up in the Lone Star state over Labor Day as the Republican Party of Texas hosts the first ever " Presidential Straw Poll" in conjunction with exclusive media partner Salem Communications.

Second only to California, Texas holds thirty-four sought after electoral votes and no Republican candidate for president can win without the Lone Star state on his side of the ledger.

Thousands of Texas GOPers will convene on the 31st to give a signal of where their support will go come time for the Texas state primary in 2008.

As the only other state straw poll planned for the presidential race - the Presidential Straw Poll is a significant grassroots proving ground for presidential hopefuls in one of the most hotly contested campaigns in recent history.

And will be there.

As exclusive media partner for the event, Salem Communications will provide a local and national platform for the presidential straw poll through Dallas/Ft. Worth's News Talk 660AM K-SKY, Salem Radio Network, and the largest online community for conservative opinion and analysis,, which reaches over 2 million conservatives.

Jonathan Garthwaite

Jonathan Garthwaite is General Manager of