I don't think I've ever heard a commentator who explains the Iowa Republican Straw Poll accurately. It's true that candidates do bus in as many supports in as they can and almost nobody buys their $30 ticket. But this won't buy a candidate any reliable votes. They all entice the voters with free lunch, cheap country music bands and give continuous speeches. Ron Paul even had a variety of bouncy castles in a playground for the kids. But they may take freebies from one candidate and vote for another.
Odds are the crazier the candidate the more likely their supporters will show up, this explains the domination by Bachman and Paul. Neither of them are likely to survive the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. (Iowa Republicans don't caucus, just the Democrats do that, it's too complicated)
The Republican candidate will be selected by the big money bundlers that have been sitting out so far. Bachman has no problem raising money but if the really big money decides that Perry satisfies the Christian crazies, then their money will go to Bush 45. Romney has about as much chance as pizza guy unless everybody else implodes. Over the years he has produced too many sound bites to hope to get anywhere. The pundits keep saying that the Obama camp is afraid of Romney, I'd bet that the Obama people push that idea themselves. They know they can beat him and they don't want anybody better getting the nomination, not that the Republicans have anybody. Keep in mind that Bush didn't win either election and some key states have gotten rid of the touch screen machines.