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Posts Tagged ‘Ames Straw Poll’

Photo thanks to RonPaul.com

In my last post, I mentioned how disappointing it is that major media outlets seem to continue to ignore Ron Paul despite his strong showing at the Ames Straw Poll this weekend.  Well, it seems that I’m not the only person who noticed this apparent media blackout regarding the 12-term Representative from Texas.

First, I found an article from Paul Jacob with Citizens in Charge.  In his blog, called Common Sense (which you’ve been able to find in the links section of this blog), he helps to expose this apparent contradiction.

Second, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show discusses the topic at length in the Daily Show last night.  It is quite a good watch.

I believe that it is important for voters to hear the platforms of all of the candidates seeking the Republican and Democratic nomination in any contest.  In order to create an informed electorate, citizens must know their options and decide for themselves who is the best person for the post.  The mainstream media, it seems, has already made that decision for you.  Ron Paul?  He is too extreme; he’s too far out there.  I suppose the folks at CNN, Fox News, and others have determined that they do not want Ron Paul to succeed and therefore are taking an active role to make sure that he does not.

Now, I’m not one of those people who claim that Ron Paul would easily win if given a fair shake by the media.  Securing the Republican nomination is a long and difficult process.  After all, there are many establishment Republicans who would not support Dr. Paul under any circumstances and a little favorable media coverage will not change this fact.  However, you should also bear in mind that there are a number of constitutional conservatives and libertarians who will not support the status quo or big government Republicans either.  Remember the three-legged stool example from many months ago.  I do believe, however, that Ron Paul would appeal to a much larger section of Republican voters if they thought that he was a credible candidate.  This recent media sham doesn’t help to dispel these thoughts.

I wish news outlets would go back to reporting the news rather than making political calculations as to what the news should be.  Is it no wonder that more and more people are turning online for their daily dose of news rather than relying on traditional media sources like the paper, TV, and radio?

Perhaps nothing will ever change.  However, I assure you that as long as Ron Paul continues to champion so many of my principles, I will continue to advocate and promote Ron Paul.

Ron Paul 2012.

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The results from Ames are in and the numbers are as follows:

Michele Bachmann 28.6%

Ron Paul 27.7%

Tim Pawlenty 13.6%

Rick Santorum 9.8%

Herman Cain 8.6%

Rick Perry 4.3%

Mitt Romney 3.4%

Newt Gingrich 3.4%

Jon Huntsman .4%

Thaddeus McCotter .2%

First off, congratulations to the Bachmann campaign for their win.  As I didn’t have my “ear to the ground”, I wasn’t quite sure who would emerge victorious.  Second, I should also commend the Paul campaign.  More than one out of every four voters picked Paul.  That’s about an 18% increase over last year’s total.  Seems like it should serve as a very good boost to them.

The news reminds me of Bill Clinton’s second place finish during the New Hampshire primary in 1992.  Although he finished second, he got a higher vote total than expected.  Calling himself “the Comeback Kid”, he spun the news to make everyone think he won even though he technically did not.  Based upon this “win”, Clinton went on to capture several key states and then the nomination.  If the Paul campaign can work similar magic, perhaps Ames can serve as an excellent launching board to creating President Paul (I hope).

Speaking of spin, some media outlets are completely ignoring Paul performance, a favorite tactic from 2007/08.  Perhaps the worst offender is Politico.  Before changing their headline, it first read, “Bachmann Wins, Pawlenty 3rd”.  Why they would announce the third place finisher in the headline but not second place is, quite frankly, baffling.  The only logical conclusion that one can draw is that they are actively seeking to marginalize Ron Paul.  Disgraceful.

Another major news tidbit to come from Ames is the story that Tim Pawlenty has decided to withdraw from the race.  I believe such a plan to be shortsighted.  After all, he finished in a strong third.  More importantly, it is merely the first straw poll.  No delegates were awarded and actual voting is many months away.  Nevertheless, I welcome the news as it shrinks the field slightly and shows that Pawlenty was never a serious candidate to begin with.

Lastly, although not directly related to Ames, Rick Perry, the current Governor of Texas, has entered the Republican race for President.  The reaction to this news is mixed.  While some conservatives welcome this new choice as authentic and viable, others consider him to be yet another RINO (Republican in Name Only).  Either way, I look forward to learning more about Governor Perry in the future.  Also, as you will note, even though he was not on the ballot, Perry finished sixth, a strong performance for a write-in candidate.

Ames is over and done; a small drop in the bucket.

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According to Real Clear Politics, Paul is averaging 8.2% in current polls.  During the primary season in 2008, he mustered around 6.5%.  Although a 1.7% increase might not sound like a whole lot, we should keep in mind that it is still early in the process.  Heck, did the average American even know Ron Paul’s name, much less understand his principles, four years ago?  After all, only during the primaries do most people actually take the time to learn anything about the candidates.  Therefore, I think it is fairly safe to say that the Ron Paul campaign is gathering momentum.

In ten days, August 13th, American politics will focus its attention on the city of Ames, Iowa.  Although not on the political radar often, the city is holding its sixth Republican presidential straw poll.  Last time around in 2007, Mitt Romney won with 31.6% of the vote while Ron Paul captured 9.2%.  This time, I would expect Rep. Paul to easily chart in the double digits.  However, regardless if he wins or finishes somewhere else, I feel I should add a few words of caution about reading too much into this straw poll.

First, it is a straw poll.  It is not binding and the only people allowed to vote are registered voters in Iowa who take the time and effort to show up in Ames.

Second, the winner of this poll does not always go on to win either the Presidency or the Republican nomination.  As mentioned, Mitt Romney won while John Sidney McCain placed a distant tenth in 2007.  In 1999 and 1995, the eventual Republican nominees emerged victorious (George W. Bush and Bob Dole), but back in 1987, Pat Robertson took first place.

Is the Ames poll important?  Yes, I think that all polls have some value and it might thin the field by weeding out minor candidates.  For example, after placing sixth in Ames back in 2007, Tommy Thompson withdrew.  Another factor to consider is that we should keep in mind that not every candidate chooses to campaign here.  Mitt Romney is not bothering with it this year as McCain did last time.

So what is the purpose of Ames?  Like any poll, it merely serves as a small sign of things to come.  I’d wager that if Ron Paul gets 11 to 12% of the vote here, then it will serve to boost his name ID and media presence significantly.  If he finishes below his 2007 total of 9.2%, then it means that the Ron Paul campaign must redouble its efforts.

Speaking from my personal circumstances, I do wonder if I’ll be given the chance to work for Dr. Paul as I did back in 2007/08.  Currently, I’m waiting to hear back regarding a handful of political opportunities, Paul’s campaign being among them.  Will Ames play a role in their decision?  Only time will tell.

Anyway, I encourage you to pay attention to the Ames straw poll.  It may or may not correctly forecast the winner, but either way it, along with the media spin to follow, should be fun to watch.

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