The Ron Paul Express Hits a Speed Bump
Called reality. Dave Weigel covers the Ames Straw Poll
There’s a weird sort of respect for the Paulites in some corners of the event. One brand of thinking was that Paul’s support was all online vapor, strange mutants from the Internet who couldn’t muster a crowd. But Paul’s crowd is enormous.
“That’s the only story so far,” one reporter told me during the dull-ish candidate speeches. “The presence of the Ron Paul people.”
And then he asked me: “Have you met any of them from Iowa?”
And that is the reason Paul’s people were able to generate so much light and heat and yet enter the poll with such pessimism. Volunteer after volunteer was from outside Iowa. And only Iowans could cast a vote in the poll. Campaign staff estimated that only half of the people milling around their tent were eligible voters and that 1000 votes would be a decent haul. Not winning, but decent.
Not decent, but fifth place. The real story of Iowa is that in a race with no McCain, no Giuliani and no Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney still couldn't get 1/3rd of the voters to select him.
Labels: 2008 Candidates, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul