In response to a question by Wisconsin Public Radio's Chuck Quirmbach, Thompson said if he doesn't place first or second in Iowa, he could well be out of the race.
"If I don't come out first or second I'm out," Thompson said. "But I want to win; that's my intention."
With most of the top-tier candidates except Mitt Romney opting out of the Ames Straw Poll, Thompson said it's come down to Romney's money versus his organization.
While Thompson noted his organization is "much smaller" than Romney's, he's been working harder in Iowa. "We're working hard," Thompson said. "It's almost an equal fight right now."
Hear the audio: http://blogs.wispolitics.com/tommy/audio/070728TommyStrawPoll.mp3
-- By David Wise