The Corner

Thune: Iowa Key ’12 Battleground

Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) spoke with NRO earlier this week about a potential presidential run. On Tuesday, he sat down with David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network, where he acknowledged that if he ran, he would have to perform well in Iowa.

“You can’t get there unless you can figure out a way to make Iowa a very prominent piece of that strategy,” Thune said. “It really starts there, because it’s next door. And I don’t have any delusions about the fact that, in order for me to be successful in this kind of an undertaking, I would have to perform well in a neighboring state where the constituency is very similar to my own.”

UPDATE: Another 2012 hint: Thune slams the CPAC straw poll.

Thune told the Argus Leader on Tuesday that he’s not dismayed by the findings, which he thinks were “engineered” by supporters of certain candidates. Scores of Paul supporters, for example, could be seen packing the conference, and few political experts give the libertarian-leaning congressman much a chance of winning the GOP nomination.”I think that poll is receiving less and less credibility and legitimacy because it’s engineered by people who ship folks in for that,” Thune said.

Also, Thune pointed out that ballots had to be submitted by Friday afternoon, about the time the senator was on the CPAC stage giving a speech, so many of them probably were cast before people had a chance to hear him.”The more important issue is the overall reception you get in response to your message,” Thune said of his CPAC appearance. Former Alaska Gov. “Sarah Palin got 3 (percent), so I don’t think that is a very good metric to go by. But getting the chance to get in front of that audience and see how it responds, that’s an important part of the process.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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