Monday, August 06, 2007

Why Ron Paul Won't Do Well At the Ames Straw Poll

Last month, Republican Strategist Patrick Ruffini predicted Ron Paul would get second place in the Ames Straw Poll. I am here to tell you that Ron Paul won't do well at the Ames Straw Poll based on the fact that before this week Paul has only had 2 visits and spent 3 days in Iowa campaigning. Paul is spending this week campaigning, however it will be too little too late.

To do well in Iowa you need to shake hands, lots of hands. Iowans don't decide on who to support by what they hear on TV and fewer rely on the internet, which is Paul's strength. The strength of internet support in Iowa is especially weak in rural areas, which are largely Republican. Iowans that live in rural counties value the opinions of their local paper and their neighbors and many of these people have never visited a blog. To create buzz with the local paper and with neighbors, a candidate must campaign in these towns and let the people ask them questions.

The number of days Rep. Paul has campaigned dwarfs in comparision to every Republican candidate. As of August 3rd, Tommy Thompson has been in Iowa 60 days, Sam Brownback has been in Iowa 51 days, Tom Tancredo has been in Iowa 47 days, Mitt Romney has been in Iowa 44 days, and Mike Huckabee has been in Iowa 39 days. Even Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, who have been criticized for blowing Iowa off, have been here 16 and 17 days, respectively.

Even though Ron Paul is in Iowa this week, I highly doubt he will be able to sweep them off their feet. The die-hards that will be attending the Ames Straw Poll have had the chance to meet these candidates probably more than once during the past few months. This is why Ron Paul won't do well at the Ames Straw Poll.


Anonymous said...

I'm afraid you may be right. But, I'll stick with Paul to the end.

Anonymous said...

I think Paul wouldn't get traction no matter how many days he spent in Iowa, and here's why.

A lot of Republicans are sick of the war in Iraq and think it's time to go home because "we've done all we can do" for "those people" who just don't want a democracy.

At the same time, these Republicans will never admit Bush made a mistake in taking us into Iraq, and they certainly don't think it's an illegal war. They think we did a lot of good there that the big bad liberal media won't tell us about.

My next-door neighbors are a classic example of this kind of Republican.

The path to victory would have been for one of the second-tier conservatives to call for bringing the troops home without making it a broader critique of the authoritarian Bush administration. That would be less coherent than what Paul offers, but it would play better with the Hannity/Limbaugh/Michelson/Deace listening crowd.

For some reason, none of the second-tier GOP candidates took that road. I don't think there are enough true libertarians in the Republican Party anymore for Paul to get any traction in a primary.


bbartlog said...

Interesting argument. I've hear other people claim that the straw poll is largely a test of financial commitment and organization (to put it kindly), which would also suggest that Romney, or someone else willing to buy tickets and charter buses, will do well. Recent polls in Iowa don't show any big surge for Paul either. Still, his volunteers have called 200,000 Iowa voters and he's bought both radio and TV ads - so it's not as if he hasn't gotten his message out.
One potential wildcard in his favor is that the straw poll is open to voters of both parties. If enough non-Republican antiwar voters show up it may weigh in his favor.
Anyway, Ruffini's prediction seems overambitious. I'd put the over/under for Ron at 10%, which might be enough for fourth - but second seems very unlikely.

Anonymous said...

I think the highest number of votes anyone has ever had in the Iowa straw poll was 7400 for George Bush. Ron Paul was able to draw 1000 people to an event already in Iowa. Now turn out is expected to be lower than in 99 when Bush got 7400. 4000 votes this year may win this thing or place you second. In Iowa the lower tier candidates are gaining more support thereby splitting the vote more than in the national polls. Therefor I think Ron Paul can place fairly high in this straw poll.

Anonymous said...

There was not more than 600-700 at the Paul event. I was there and the "state director" who hardly seemed at the helm of the disorganized event said they had 1000 there and would have 10,000 at the straw poll.

A huge portion of that crowd was not even Iowans. I sat next to people from MO and FL and beyond.

Anonymous said...

You guys are acting like this is a valid poll. The Ames Straw Poll is known to be crooked...the winner picked by the GOP: non-Iowans voting, people voting multiple times, candidates buying votes, Diebold machines, etc.

And the GOP does NOT want Ron Paul to win. We have to get our numbers so great, the globalists can't use their trickery.

Getting a strong show at Ames would be nice, but Ron Paul supporters better get it in their head that WE NEED A REVOLUTION!