National Review: Ron Paul, Ames ContenderSubmitted by telepathic on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 21:17
Is Ron Paul the candidate to beat at Ames this year?
The Texas congressman may be sixth in the national polls, according to the RealClearPolitics average, but when it comes to winning straw polls, no one is better. Smart organizing and an especially dedicated base propelled Paul to victory at the CPAC straw poll in both 2010 and 2011. More recently, Paul won the straw poll at the Republican Leadership Conference this June, beating a crop of popular GOP candidates, including Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. While attention is focused on the Bachmann–Pawlenty rivalry (and how many write-in votes possible candidate Rick Perry can score), Paul may just swoop in and be in the top three — or win outright.
"He is slowly emerging as a very real contender at Ames," says Tim Albrecht, communications director for Iowa governor Terry Branstad and Mitt Romney’s Iowa press secretary last cycle. "If he just starts [with] that base that he turned out [in 2007], and then turns out just a fraction of his caucus goers, all of a sudden he can turn out what it takes to win. I certainly think he’s in a strong position to have a top-three finish."