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.