Those were the three coveted “tickets out of Iowa” with the remaining candidates divvying up the electoral crumbs. Michele Bachmann, who beat Dr. Paul in a squeaker at the Ames Straw Poll this summer, dropped out after her poor showing in the caucus.
Paul more than doubled his vote over 2008, while Mitt Romney’s stayed exactly the same. Seriously, Romney got 30,000 votes (25 percent of the total) in 2008, then 30,000 votes (25 percent of the total) in 2012. Paul vaulted from 10 percent to 21, from 12,000 votes to 26,000. His message of freedom, limited government, attacking the Federal Reserve, and ending wars foreign and domestic is undeniably on the grow.
Paul’s delegate- and caucus-focused strategy means that he will likely punch above his electoral weight. The campaign focused not just on doing well at the caucus, but making sure Paul-friendly humans get nominated as county delegates, so that when the 25-delegate pie is eventually divvied up Dr. No will get more than projected.
Barring an unexpected and popular new Republican entrant, Paul is virtually guaranteed of making the Final Four once more. Last time around, Paul finished fifth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, on the way to an overall fourth-place showing in the delegate count. This time Paul finished third in Iowa, and is polling at second in New Hampshire.
Ron Paul, and more importantly his ideas, are in it for the long haul. Other candidates will run out of money; Ron Paul won’t. Most politicians see their business in primarily transactional terms of winning, losing, and influencing legislation; Paul sees his as proselytizing for freedom. “Where we are very successful,” he said his speech last night, “is re-introducing some ideas the Republicans needed for a long time, and that is the conviction that freedom is popular.”
When I was watching some evaluation of Ron Paul’s performance a pundit on TV said that Paul did well in college towns because college campuses were rife with “isolationists” against the wars. While it may have happened, I personally couldn’t recall a single instance of any talking head in the media leveling the dreaded term “isolationist” against Cindy Sheehan or the myriad of anti-war protesters when Bush was in office. But now that Obama is commander-in-chief and Ron Paul is the “peace candidate,” suddenly anti-war college students are now “isolationist.” My compliments to the media; you never cease to amaze.