Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa Straw Poll Results Huge Boost for Ron Paul

Yesterday in Ames, Iowa, the GOP candidates had the biggest Straw Poll of the campaign.  Normally in a Straw Poll, not that many people vote, but the Iowa Straw Poll is different.  Very, very different.  It works much more like an actual Primary and less like a Straw Poll.  There are busses, there are major financial investments, it's a tremendous test of a candidate's organization and appeal.  While there were many candidates making a huge push in Iowa, it ultimately came down to two major candidates, Michelle Bachmann, who is actually from Iowa, and Ron Paul.  In the final standings, Michelle Bachmann received 4823 votes, or 29 percent of the total votes cast (there were in fact well over 16 thousand votes cast, the second highest number EVER), slightly ahead of Dr Paul's 4671 votes, or 28 percent.  However it drops WAY off from there, as Tim Pawlenty scored a very disappointing 2293 votes (less than HALF Ron Paul's tally), 14 percent.  Fourth place was Rick Santorum, who got 1657 votes, or 10 percent, followed closely by Pizza Superstar Herman Cain with 1456 votes, 9 percent of the total votes cast.  Sixth was actually a write in campaign by Rick Perry's supporters, Rick got 718 votes, a poor showing to be sure, but less poor than Mitt Romney's 567 votes, which put him in an embarassing 7th place.  Gingrich (385 votes, 2 percent), Huntsman (69 votes, 0.4 percent), and McCotter (35 votes, 0.2 percent) rounded out the top ten. 

At first blush this might seem like a bit of a disappointment for Ron Paul, after all he didn't win, he tried to win, he wanted to win, but he didn't win, Michelle Bachmann did.  However, there are a number of reasons why that first blush isn't at all accurate, that this is in fact not just a win but a HUGE win for Ron Paul, and they are very much worth noting.  First, the simple fact that Michelle Bachmann is FROM Iowa, a fact she uses constantly in her campaign.  She is the 'favorite son' candidate, and anytime a favorite son doesn't win in a landslide, if an opponent just finishes within 10 points or so of them, that's a victory for the runner up.  Take the classic example of Bill Clinton in New Hampshire, in 1992.  He finished with 25 percent, behind 'favorite son' Senator Paul Tsongas of neighboring Massachusetts, who had 33 percent of the vote.  That 8 point loss was seen as a HUGE win for Bill, a 'win' that gave him huge momentum, the nomination, and the White House.  There are of course many other such examples, but the key point is, you don't have to beat a favorite son candidate, they're extremely tough to beat, but if you can simply finish close to them, its very much like a win.

Another reason why this was a huge win for Ron Paul is because in fact, aside from the Favorite Son Bachmann, Ron Paul DID in fact win huge, VERY huge!  Ron Paul defeated EVERY candidate who isn't from Iowa (Bachmann) by a GREATER THAN 2-1 MARGIN.  That's not just a win, that's a MAJOR landslide!  Tim Pawlenty, who practicly moved to Iowa, who spent a huge amount of money on radio and TV ads, he got less than half Ron's votes.  Rick Santorum, who likewise practically became a resident of Iowa in his attempt to do well at Ames, finished greater than 2 1/2 to 1 behind Ron.  Herman Cain, a fun and interesting candidate, the man who once headed up Godfather's Pizza, got less than 1/3 of Ron's votes.  Of course, the so-called 'front runner' candidates, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, got SPANKED, Rick beaten better than 6-1, Romney beaten better than 8-1 by Ron.  Clearly there is indeed a Front-Runner from Texas, but it ain't Perry, it's Congressman Ron Paul!

There is however some bad news to report, and it may actually be the reason why Ron didn't just win first place straight out at the Straw Poll.  It seems that since the debate on Thursday night, the big guns have been turned on Ron.  His comments at the Debate against going to war with Iran have sparked tremendous outcry from certain pro-war talk radio folks, most notably Rush Limbaugh, who basicly called Ron Paul and his supporters crazy.  Its ironic that he would so mean-spiritedly attack the only candidate in the race who wouldn't have put him in jail for his own past drug use.  Dick Morris called Ron a 'flake'.  Also, Glenn Beck has both attacked Ron and actually endorsed Bachmann (he said that as of right now, he would vote for her, of course he can't fully endorse anybody until Sarah Palin announces her intentions).  The long knives are out, and they just might sting a bit, but the good news is they're running scared, they're using up their firepower early, and Ron has got plenty of time to absorb their incoming fire, and come back stronger than ever.  The American People are on the side of Peace and Prosperity, Freedom and following the Constitution.  As such, these vicious attacks are merely one more obstacle to overcome on the road to the nomination, and the White House!

So for all those reasons, and more, Ron Paul is better positioned to become the Republican nominee, and the next President of the United States, than any other candidate in the race.  If you thought he 'couldn't win' before, yesterday proved that couldn't be further from the truth.  He most definitely 'can' win, and there's an excellent chance that he WILL win!  Stay tuned to the Gladiator Blog for continued Campaign 2012 updates, this campaign is really getting good! 

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