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A different look on the Ames Straw Poll Results

Now that the media has recognized that ignoring Ron Paul is no longer a credible option, a number of articles return to the "unelectable" stance. They often state how Rep. Paul's supporters are loyal and vocal, but haven't grown in number significantly from the 2008 elections. If we look at the Ames Poll from a different perspective we can take steps to disprove this myth. Let us simply extract his showing from the 2007 and 2011 Ames Straw Polls and look at that. We can ignore the finishing places and simply look at the numbers to get an idea of how much his campaign has grown.

2007 Ames Straw Poll
Total Number of Ballots: 14,302
Total Votes for Ron Paul: 1,305
Percentage of Total Vote: 9.1%

2011 Ames Straw Poll
Total Number of Ballots: 1,6892
Total Votes for Ron Paul: 4,671
Percentage of Total Vote: 27.7%

Now with 18.1% more ballots in 2011 than in 2007 we can reasonably determine that Paul would have received about 1541 votes in 2011 if his support hasn't grown. Yet using this number in comparison we see that he has received over 300% more support this time around.

To make use of this 300% increase would take a better student of politics and statistics than I, but I would draw some of my own conclusions. I think it's safe to say that it represents a combination of growth of supporters as well as a growth in the activity of supporters who may have been more passive in the past.