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July 18, 2007

Can Ron Paul Place Second in Political Pseudo-Event?

The world waits to see if the Only Man Who Can Save America will be able to pull together the support he needs to place second in this glorified fund-raiser.

If a second-tier, conspiracy-lovin' candidate like Ron Paul wins second place in this "purchase your votes" extravaganza, it will confirm the wisdom of John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in avoiding the stupid pseudo-event.

Romney, given his dominant position organizationally in Iowa, should still win. Even with the rest of the top tier not participating, he won’t be able to let his guard down, lest he be ambushed by one of the second tier. Should Romney underperform against someone not even playing at Ames, or against someone not taken seriously, that’s a blow to his Iowa inevitability.

Does Paul placing a close second make the straw poll and its winner into a laughingstock? Do benched McCain or Giuliani supporters direct people to vote for Paul to ensure that outcome? Or does this portend something bigger? I see that Ron Paul is up to 3% in the Gallup poll, above Huckabee and Brownback. He won’t come close to winning, but can he aggregate whatever Bilderburger and Trilateral Commission-phobic votes there are in his corner, in the same way that Lyndon LaRouche could get 15% in a Democratic primary against Bill Clinton?

The fact that candidates can bus in voters from another state and pack the event makes me wonder what the point of Iowa is at all, other than a venue at which candidates can promise to increase ethanol subsidies. Basically, it seems Paul is just doing in real life what his robotic supporters do on the web - spamming a poll.

Here's a useful history of the Iowa Straw Poll, which is basically nothing more than a fundraiser for the Iowa GOP and a great cash influx for the town of Ames.

Number of delegates given to the winner?


Ah - Only Iowans can vote in the straw poll. My mistake. So what winning the straw poll proves is that you can corral enough Iowans with disposable income into a room to cast ballots for your guy.

Such a skill definitely qualifies someone to be president.

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posted by Slublog at 10:29 AM

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