Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, And What Really Might Happen In Ames Tomorrow

Some almost-on-the-scene insight from Reason Magazine’s David Weigel:

I’m in an airport waiting for my (much, much delayed) flight to Iowa checking the latest on the Ames Straw Poll. While I’d been told by the Ron Paul campaign that there wouldn’t be a big ticket buy, the Paul team sprung for 800 tickets (you need one in order to vote) that are quickly being snapped up by supporters. The cost: $28,000. That’s enough to guarantee another romp over McCain, obviously, but Paul will need more than a thousand voters to buy their own tickets in order to compete with the make-or-break efforts of Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo and last-scene-of-Peter-Weir’s-Gallipoli charge of Tommy Thompson.

Paul supporters aren’t exactly broadcasting confidence. is suing to get the votes counted on something other than (or in addition to) Diebold machines.

Some sum-ups from people already in (or taking less languid methods of transportation to) Iowa: Marc Ambinder.

Weigel also links to this from the New York Sun’s Ryan Sager:

Rep. Ron Paul: Mr. Paul’s online supporters have made Web-based polls of the Republican primary essentially meaningless, swarming sites like the Pajamas Media straw poll and giving their man a 2-to-1 margin of victory over his closest competitor. No scientific poll, however, has shown Mr. Paul registering better than 1% or 2%, and it’s unlikely they can adapt their cyber-tactics to the real world. Paulites are already calling voter fraud, but any low showing is likely to be legitimate

As Weigel reports, Sager is predicting that Paul will come in seventh place, behind Tom Tancredo, but ahead of John McCain, who isn’t actively participating in the straw poll.

  • rich

    he’s riding along in the polls with clinton in 1991 and carter in 1975. many of the polls he won were restricted by ip address. if his supporters can still generate such high volume results, maybe the mainstream better end their love-affair with electronic voting machines…

  • js290

    …ticket buy… you need one in order to vote…

    Mr. Paul’s online supporters have made Web-based polls of the Republican primary essentially meaningless, swarming sites like the Pajamas Media straw poll and giving their man a 2-to-1 margin of victory over his closest competitor.

    Why is one more legit than the other? How is a poll that requires a purchased ticket more scientific than a web poll?

  • Pingback: The Carnal Conservative » Blog Archive » News()

  • C Bowen

    The Heir of Jack Kemp with stunning cut n paste talent in support of Ron Paul, LOL.

  • TanGeng

    If the baseline is that low (actually good news rather than bad), I expect Ron Paul to stun. I think he can get about 8% and be in contention for second and third, but could be as low as sixth. Romney is going to spend whatever it takes, and it seems that despite all of dissonance between varieties of Paul supporters in his volunteer corp his official campaign is very organized.

    Time to see if the highly motivated volunteer corp and near-libertarian message can translate into people willing to pay for the privilege of a vote.

    Now that I worded it that way, the Iowa strawpoll sounds like a rather corrupt institution. But if he does well I’ll donate more to his campaign than the minimal show of support that I have sent in so far.

    I’d rather have a more libertarian stance on issues like immigration, but I’m no fan of strict purity or small tent politics.

  • John Howard

    Given the obviously dishonest MSM treatment of Ron Paul so far, only a very devout member of the Church of the Mainstream Media could possibly refer to the polls they conduct and publisize as “scientific”.

    Refusing to cover a candidate, even when he wins their after-debate polls, then claiming that no one knows of him, so they won’t cover him, is clearly so circular and dishonest that it could only fool the most devout Church members as they sit in their pews (couches) watching the Wholey Babble of TV.

    In Ames, Iowa, the votes will be counted in secret using Diebold machines. What a beautiful thing faith is.

  • js290

    In Ames, Iowa, the votes will be counted in secret using Diebold machines. What a beautiful thing faith is.

    Isn’t this the same as being accused of “spamming” the online polls?

  • Buckwheat

    Sager is a neocon media-liar. He recently claimed Ron Paul wasn’t a “serious” candidate for president.

    Whatever. I’m enjoying the weekly loss of credibility and readership the MSM is suffering.

  • Joshua Holmes

    he’s riding along in the polls with clinton in 1991 and carter in 1975.

    The Internet didn’t exist in 1975. 24-hour cable news was much less important in 1991. It’s a different media era, much faster than 1975 or even 1991. Paul needs to get to his supporters now, and get his supporters working in the GOP immediately.

    Given the obviously dishonest MSM treatment of Ron Paul so far…

    It’s not dishonesty, just incompetence. Paul’s a fringe candidate with a message the media neither understands nor cares about.

  • Graham Kelly

    Life, Liberty, Property; isn’t that what Ron Pauls basic premise is all about? I cannot understand why a “liberty” site is bagging Ron Paul! LOL Perhaps this should be called “Liberty (for the Special Interests)!

    Cyber-Tactics, indeed!

  • brody


  • James Aragon

    Why does the liberty papers continue to uplift the scientific polls? I have taken polsci statistics courses and there was never a case in which a sample of 500 individuals was excepted as viable. When you throw in the summer 2006 media anointing of Romney, Rudy and Sen McCain, how do you scientifically adjust for biased name recognition? I’m volunteered for a rotation into a Iraq this November. It would be an honor to have Ron Paul pull us out.

  • Kevin

    The Ron Paul campaign’s own peeps in Iowa are suggesting any finish in the top five is a success for them.


    Sager is a neocon media-liar. He recently claimed Ron Paul wasn’t a “serious” candidate for president.

    Ron Paul has as much chance of being president as I do, none.

    John Howard:

    In Ames, Iowa, the votes will be counted in secret using Diebold machines.

    1) No Diebold machines are being used.

    2) There will be representatives from each campaign watching the counting.

  • A Duhon

    From my experience in meeting rl libertarians and listening to libertarian radio, reading libertarian publications, is that libertarians are complete and consummate assholes. I think Ron Paul couldnt ask for shoddier and sabotaging “support” than from these standard dickwad libertarians. Honestly I hope you guys back off RP entirely and start obsessing about some other 2nd Tier candidate.

    You’ve already established how displeased you are with Ron Paul, so forget about him, eh? Me, Alex Jones, and all the rest of his supporters will be happy about that.

  • uiop

    libertarians are fucking gross. these faggots are still mad at Ron Paul b/c he didnt win them the election 20 yrs ago. and now he’s closed-border. BOOOOOOHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOO. WAAAAAAAA WAAAAAAAAAAA NOW LET’S CHEER FOR THE N.W.O. B/C WE’RE MAD@RON PAUL LOL!

  • Chris Finkler

    I would disagree with the argument that Ron Paul supporters “swamp” polls. As I recall, the first immediate tally of the fox news debate text message poll had Ron Paul in the lead by a sizable majority. This text message poll requires it to be sent from actual cell phones, no cheating. It also costs to send a text message, much like it costs to vote in Ames, Iowa.
    However, it wasn’t until Ron Paul was announced the winner that the votes started to come in for the other candidates. What this tells me is that the people who actually care about the election are Ron Paul supporters – and there are a lot of them out there. So maybe the people who are skewing the facts are Romney and Guiliani supporters. Would it then surprise anyone that Ron Paul and his supporters are the ones who most represent truth?

  • Dean Cavanagh

    This site is a joke. Can’t you people see that Ron Paul stands for everything you claim to cherish. You lot are actually worse than the MSM.

  • John Howard

    If I was wrong to say that the votes will be counted in secret by Diebold machines, I apologize, but I do not yet concede that. It is something for all of us to investigate. I sincerely hope I was wrong. I would love to believe in the vote results, no matter what they are. As I write this, the results are yet to be announced.

  • Star

    FOX is reporting there were “problems” with the Diebold machines, possibly due to “humidity.”

    Geraldo has not mentioned Ron Paul ONCE.

  • Kaligula

    Ron Paul 5th…

    Romney 31% 4516
    Huckabee 18.1% 2587
    Brownback 15.3% 2192
    Tancredo 13.7% 1961
    Paul 9.1% 1305

  • Marc Scott Emery

    As a pot smoking, pro-choice-on-abortion person, I support Ron Paul completely and unhesitatingly. I don’t have to agree with Dr. Paul on every issue, I trust his judgement, his consistency, his 20 years in Congress obeying his oath of office to defend the Constitution. He is intelligent, articulate, science & reason based, and he loves liberty. He understands the 9th and 10th Amendments better than anyone else. I’m a believer. Put me to work beside those pro-lifers and lets choose a President together who can respect all our liberties and perogatives under the Bill of Rights.

    Here is my review of The Ames Straw Poll:

    14,320 votes were cast, a lower than expected turnout. Each voter had to pay $35 for a ballot and be an Iowa adult.

    Mitt Romney is esimated to have spent $5 million to $7.5 million dollars leading up to Ames Straw Poll, only to be able to bus in 4,516 votes, an average cost of $1,250 to $1.750 per vote received!

    Mitt Romney was first at 31.6% 4,516 votes of 14,320 cast.

    Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the real winner in second place for 18.1 % of the vote, 2,587 votes.

    Mike Huckabee spent $150,000, leaving just a little more than that in his thin campaign war-chest, but came out with more votes than the much larger campaign budgets of Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney.

    Huckabee is the big winner at Ames. Romney came in first but he really lost because the obscene amount of money spent to get 4,516 votes is shocking and embarrassing just to “win” a non-binding, very regional test of one’s campaign support. Huckabee polled strongly despite a low key, low cost campaign.

    Sam Brownback is a Senator from neighboring Kansas state, and came in third with 15.3% of the votes cast, 2,192 votes.

    Brownback spent much more than Huckabee (estimated $500,000), and had lavish large pavilion tents, but three creationists (Brownback, Huckabee, Tancredo) and one Mormon are lobbying for the religious conservative vote. Brownback has Mormon Romney and Creationist Huckabee ahead of him, and a surprisingly strong showing by relative unknown Tom Tancredo just behind him. Brownback’s campaign will be challenged to put a good light on this outcome. Huckabee and Tancredo got a big boost, Brownback essentially stalled with his base.

    Iowa Republicans are largely anti-abortion, pro-war, and the three Creationists at the Straw Poll polled 47% of the vote between them. With Mormon Romney added, 78% of votes went to Creationists/Mormon candidates. That shows us that Iowa Republicans probably tip the scales into “extreme social conservatives.”

    Tom Tancredo received 1,961 votes for 13.7% of the votes cast. This may be the biggest surprise. Tom Tancredo has recently said that the USA should bomb Islamic holy cities if there is another terrorist attack on the USA. Tancredo’s campaign is a one note thing, he’s AGAINST illegal immigration, in a big, loud way, and this Iowa base rewarded his Creationist and anti-immigration positions.

    Tom Tancredo, I want to note, has supported State’s Rights to Medical Marijuana by voting for the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment each year. As a Presidential candidate, he’s an animated wild-eyed extremist with a limited menu of positions, but he’s maxing out on them in the right forum here at Ames.

    With hard-core fundamentalists getting 78% of the Ames Straw Poll, how did Ron Paul do?

    Coming in fifth, Ron Paul received 1,305 votes for 9.1%

    In his podium speech, Paul established his Lutheran bonafides at the outset, speaking about his pro-life beliefs, his position against illegal immigration and birthright citizenship. He then moved on the Constitution, the war, the defence of liberty. Ron Paul’s supporters were very visible and loud and with alot of great signs.

    Ron Paul only opened his campaign in Iowa earlier this week, and had two of his largest fundraisers in his campaign so far. Ron Paul spent $200,000 on the Ames Straw Poll, including television ads. Paul raised over $110,000 this week in Iowa. Coming in a solid fifth, Ron Paul established that he has a foothold in the race and probably will derive more momentum from the Straw Poll than anyone else but Mike Huckabee. 9% is a solid beginning in a state that is hardly the best prospect for Dr. Paul’s campaign. New Hampshire and Nevada primaries should be better. Dr. Paul got his relatively new message out in Iowa in all the mainstream media, as he was interviewed extensively. Congressman Paul spent the entire week campaigning tirelessly. Carol Paul, Dr. Paul’s wife of over 50 years, was hospitalized for exhaustion today.Ron Paul’s support visibly appeared larger as hundreds of out of state supporters trekked to Ames (smack in the middle of the Hawkeye state) to hold signs, eat Romney’s barbecue, and buttonhole other supporters, and share the vibe.

    Because Ron Paul’s internet base has INTENSITY, Ron Paul’s competitive status was never at risk as his campaign is still developing its own unique momentum. Fifth was good enough.

    Paul’s fifth place showing is the first sign in the voter marketplace that Ron Paul is not only an internet phenomenon, but that he can mobilize feet into voter booths. Further, Paul’s campaign demonstrated they can spend money in conventional politics and make some waves. Mainstream media coverage for Dr. Paul has soared in recent weeks.

    Dr. Paul is the bottom line in the Straw Poll however. After Ron Paul’s fifth place showing, its all wreckage beyond him.

    After promising to bow out if he did not come in first or second, former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson received 1,039 votes for a 7.3% showing for a sixth place. Thompson’s bank account is empty, and Wisconsin is a neighbouring state. If he can’t do well in Iowa – and Tommy is a nice guy – he’s conceding defeat. He’ll announce his campaign is over in the next 48 hours.

    The Straw Poll knocks out Thompson, who campaigned in all 109 counties. Tommy Thompson, who promised to stop raids on medical-cannabis patients if elected President, was Health Secretary for George Bush from 2000 – 2004.

    Scratch #6 candidate.

    Way down in votes at 7th position was stalking-horse candidate Fred Thompson, a TV actor and undistinguished one term Senator from Tennessee, with only 203 votes and 1.4% of the votes. Fred Thompson mingled in Iowa a few days this week but his 203 votes does him no favors. This is a dubious showing for a phantom candidate.

    Ghouliani, as Ron Paul Revolutionaries have taken to referring to Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, received 183 votes for 1.3% of the vote. The Ghoul did not campaign or participate because these devout social conservatives would have ripped him to shreds so he didn’t run the gauntlet here. 183 votes of 14,320 cast is a poor showing. I think thats a sign that in the cornbelt and the south, Giuliani has some obstacles in this contest.

    However, Fred Thompson is still testing the waters, is flush with millions in cash, and has a fan-base. Giuliani has $15 million in the bank.

    US REP. Duncan Hunter, coming in ninth with 174 votes, 1.3% of those cast, did appallingly poor. Hunter is a Congressman from California’s 4th district and is a war hawk.

    I have run for office numerous occasions and when I campaign in rural, farming, or small communities, I wear jeans, a clean working mans shirt, cowboy boots if I have them, and I get rid of slick, big city talk and behavior. When you campaign in the heartland, everyone is just regular folks. In resource towns and rural farming communities, no one owned a suit that I could tell. If I would have shown up in my Armani suit (which I wear for media and city appearances), I would have been treated as if I were from THE CITY or some place far away from heartland reality – and I would INSTANTLY lose any credibility with these people.

    I could tell Duncan Hunter did not belong in Iowa. Slick suit everywhere he went. He obviously doesn’t hang around farmers much. He just wasn’t comfortable and he didn’t fit in. It was a crushing end to Hunter’s invisible campaign and he too will inevitably announce his withdrawl from the race later this week. Scratch #9.

    John McCain in certain ways defines “walking wounded”. He looks dignified but stiff, uncomfortable, his facial skin stretched too tight over that skull. He’s broke, tearing through $13 million so far this year, with peanuts left in the bank ( perhaps only a million dollars), and his showing here shows a complete lack of connection with this kind of heartland audience. John McCain came in tenth with 101 votes. 07% of the votes cast.

    This is awful for McCain. He did not officially campaign at Ames and thus did not participate in the convention-like atmosphere. He made no impact, has no supporters here, no campaign, no money. He is considered a has-been. Ames will further damage McCain’s ability to raise money.

    Scratch #10 McCain. It won’t be immediately, but McCain will be out by November or December when he sees that he just won’t have the money to compete in the January – March primaries, which will require $5-$10 million minimum in the bank without bills by December 31.

    A Illinois accountant named John Cox got 44 votes for .03% of the votes cast, sparing former “front-runner” McCain the extremely humilating close call of being “Dead” last at Ames.

    Scratch John Cox, #11, later this summer.

  • DefendTheConstitution

    One important point that was pointed to me by a friend and it seems not emphasized in comments I have seem is the fact that Ron Paul had much more vote than Giuliani, F Thompson and McCain, “The MSM Front Runners”. They are hiding behind the fact that they were not physically in Iowa.

    The fact is, unlike with Ron Paul, everybody with any interest in politics knows them and their policy, specially Republicans. Therefore, whoever is supporting them would certainly have voted for them independent of their physical presence. No one would vote to someone else just because their candidate was not physically present there.

    Another possible argument would be their, Giuliani, McCain, F Thompson, supporters chose not to show up because their candidate was not coming. This argument doesn’t hold much weight, because the hardcore supporters would want to come and vote for them anyway, and their popularity is supposed to be so overwhelming that even the “typical” republican activists should have wanted to vote for them whether or not candidates showed up. Remember that the vote is for who you want for president, not who of the candidates “currently present in the poll” that you want for president.

    The sad fact is that the reason Giuliani and McCain have any support at all is that they are CONSTANTLY being mentioned by the media as the front runners. Thus when you conduct a random phone poll, people who are not particularly active in politics know their names and don’t know anyone else’s. But every poll, which people self-select based on their interest in the outcome, from Internet to text-message to straw poll they, Giuliani, McCain, F Thompson, come in dead last relative to R Paul. Basically, the more one knows about them the less attractive they are to the most people.

    Furthermore, even if you buy the argument of being there, Iowa, to be known to get vote, the numbers show that Ron Paul spent less number of events in Iowa, 17 events, than McCain, 26 events, and Giuliani, 26 events. F Thompson is 0. (source:

    Their, Giuliani, McCain, Thompson, campaign should have had the prediction about Iowa Straw Poll based on some study and that is the real reason, why they were not there. Otherwise, they could not have the excuse of their low numbers and would be very damaging to their campaign.

    As a collateral, this shows how Ron Paul support is strong and growing. It was much higher than Giuliani, McCain and F Thompson, the “front runners”. 7x Giuliani, 6.4x Thompson and 13x McCain.

    We should Congratulate how Ron Paul did much better than “The Front Runners”.