POLITICS

Romney Spending Millions For Iowa Straw Poll Win

As thousands of Republican activists prepare to descend on Ames, Iowa, tomorrow for the straw poll meant to gauge support for the GOP's presidential contenders, the event has all the markings of a historic mismatch.

One candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, has assembled an unrivaled operation for the event: a statewide corps of 60 "super-volunteers," who have been paid between $500 and $1,000 per month to talk him up; a fleet of buses; more than $2 million in television ads in Iowa; a sleek direct-mail campaign; and a consultant who has been paid nearly $200,000 to direct Romney's straw poll production, which will include barbecue billed as the best in the state.

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