Please read: Why a first place finish tonight in Iowa is not as important as you think.Submitted by methuselahpaul on Tue, 01/03/2012 - 09:59
A funny thing happened on the road to the White House last year, back around August, if you all remember.
There we were, poised to win the Ames straw poll, and yet we finished in 2nd... not merely a respectable 2nd but a close 2nd.
Many supporters were outraged. The pundits, who said that it wouldn't matter if Paul won, were relieved. But Paul flew under the radar, while we kept waiting for a surge.
First, it was Bachmann. Then Perry. Then Cain. Then Gingrich. Then finally, three weeks ago, several polls finally showed Paul in the lead and the media couldn't ignore him anymore. What did we learn from this?
Paul surged at just the right time.
But what if he had won Ames? Would he still be in as good a position as he is in now? Judging from the mercurial nature of the electorate and the many frontrunners we've had since August, it's doubtful.
So going into the caucuses tonight, what should you all know?
Obviously, a win is still great, but is 2nd or even 3rd all that bad? Of course not, and the campaign knows that and has planned for it.
Santorum has no chance in hell of winning NH even if he gets 1st or 2nd in IA. He will NOT place in NH. And once he gets the media glare from the frontrunner spotlight, he will perish before SC and the rest of the South can vote. This is key.
The sunbelt states are a FIREWALL for anti-establishment candidates, but Romney might not win them either. So if Santorum falls, who are they going to go to? Gingrich?
Fact is... winner of SC's primary has always been the eventual nominee. That could change this year with changes to the nomination process, but a top 2 finish in SC is still more important than a first place in IA.
But what is the real key to going into SC strong? New Hampshire, of course.
No Republican nominee in modern history has won both the IA caucus and NH. So if Paul had to win one of these contests, which would you choose?
Some facts on NH:
Compare that to IA where:
I've gone after a lot of posters here from some truly harebrained ideas and some naive discussion. But that doesn't mean I don't realize how enthusiastic and passionate you all are.
The professional punditocracy wanted to raise expectations for a Paul finish so that at the very end, they would have a legitimate reason to shut down his insurgent candidacy. They tried this in Ames though, and it didn't work. The stakes are higher this time.
This campaign has done a great job compensating for Paul's weaknesses and drawing attention to his strong points most of the time. I have no doubt in my mind anymore that they have planned for what they need to do no matter where they end up tomorrow, and I will support them no matter what.
But don't take your eyes off the ball. This isn't about IA or even NH. This is very much a fluid process. Above all, if there's one thing you come away with from this post, it's don't get discouraged.
Here's hoping the new year will go down as America's 2nd revolution.