Mitt Romney is flush with victory after sqeezing out an almost painful lead over presidential competitors John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, landing with a huge splash in a new Iowa Poll of likely Republican caucus participants.
The Des Moines Register poll shows Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, piling up big loads of support from 30 percent of those who say they will attend the leadoff Iowa caucuses in January.
McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, plopped into second place with 18 percent while former New York Mayor Giuliani brings up the rear at 17 percent.
"Romney didn't have to grunt, strain and turn red to get elected out east where the whiff of Democrat liberalism is overwhelming, and that speaks pretty highly of him," said poll participant Ed Lomotil, 58, of Davenport.
Poll participant Jaleyn Squerts, 64, of Creston, likes McCain's views on the war in Iraq. "He's a veteran, so he'll will provide us with gentle, yet effective relief from what's going on. I don't feel that President Bush rushed through the process, we had an urgent need! What he did was a safe, effective way to reduce the pressure, bloating, and discomfort," said Squerts, a retired nurse.
Poll respondent Ernest Colon, 73, of Cedar Rapids, makes Giuliani his top choice, saying he "extrudes leadership." Ernst, a pre-moistened Wesleyan Church minister, said he followed Giuliani's career as New York mayor. "He certainly wiped that place up - it's much cleaner and fresher, even before 9-11."