The Ames Straw Poll: Mitt Romney, His Wallet, and Some Other Guys

I'm in an airport waiting for my (much, much delayed) flight to Iowa checking the latest on the Ames Straw Poll. While I'd been told by the Ron Paul campaign that there wouldn't be a big ticket buy, the Paul team sprung for 800 tickets (you need one in order to vote) that are quickly being snapped up by supporters. The cost: $28,000. That's enough to guarantee another romp over McCain, obviously, but Paul will need more than a thousand voters to buy their own tickets in order to compete with the make-or-break efforts of Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo and last-scene-of-Peter-Weir's-Gallipoli charge of Tommy Thompson.

Paul supporters aren't exactly broadcasting confidence. Voterfraud.org is suing to get the votes counted on something other than (or in addition to) Diebold machines.

Some sum-ups from people already in (or taking less languid methods of transportation to) Iowa: Marc Ambinder.

There are other interesting subplots, in no particular order.

1. Tom Tancredo -- where he finishes, what he says.

3. The war of attrition between Sen. Sam Brownback and Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee. Kansan and Arkansan. Catholic and Protestant. Comprehensive immigrationalist and comprehensive immigrationalist. In many ways, they're really quite similar. Based on anecdotes alone, the betting money is that Brownback has a better campaign organization and can expect, thanks to reliable stalwarts like pro-life activist Chuck Hurley, a solid turnout. But Huckabee has been working heavily Christian towns hard, and several Brownback rivals are spreading some tough (and arguably misleading) opposition research about him.

9. Whether Mitt Romney pulls campaign manager Beth Myers aside and asks whether they _really_ had to spend _all_ this money? (To which Myers will reply: "Yes, Governor.") Ron Kaufman will then join the conversation and start by saying, "Look it, Governor..."

Ryan Sager.

Rep. Ron Paul: Mr. Paul's online supporters have made Web-based polls of the Republican primary essentially meaningless, swarming sites like the Pajamas Media straw poll and giving their man a 2-to-1 margin of victory over his closest competitor. No scientific poll, however, has shown Mr. Paul registering better than 1% or 2%, and it's unlikely they can adapt their cyber-tactics to the real world. Paulites are already calling voter fraud, but any low showing is likely to be legitimate.

Sager predicts a seventh-place Paul showing, behind Tancredo and ahead of McCain.

And here's an ad running in the Ames Tribune tomorrow.

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  • Paul||

    I'm in an airport waiting for my (much, much delayed) flight to Iowa

    9/11! 9/11!

  • ||

    If Paul supporters are as cyber-omnipotent as we're painted to be, shouldn't we be happy that the votes are being counted by computers with no paper trail?

    any low showing is likely to be legitimate.

    But if he places high, it's just the Internet spike again, right?

  • ||

    What's the point of a poll, taken in Iowa, where candidates can't win unless they pay their supporters $35 to vote?

    Seriously, why should we take this poll's predictions to mean anything at all?

  • ||

    The Ron Paul Mosaic in the ad is cool, but it's a little sacriligous to insert "Support Ron Paul" into the Constitution's Preamble, isn't it?

  • ||

    What jb said. What's the point?

  • ||

    Tom Tancredo has my vote, here's the reason why:
    "This is our culture - fight for it. This is our flag - pick it up. This is our country - take it back." - Congressman Tom Tancredo

    Club for Growth Pork Report Card

    Tancredo 84%, Paul 29% and Hunter 26%

  • D. Greene||

    In '99 Elizabeth Dole and Lamar Alexander both dropped out pretty quickly after their weak showings in the Iowa straw poll. I expect to see Tommy Thompson, Hunter, and maybe one other drop out.

  • ||

    Tom Tancredo has my vote also. He has the highest lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of any candidate running for president. He will secure this nation's borders.

    www.tancredoblog.com

  • ||

    Tom Tancredo has my vote as well. He will dash to smithereens the holy sites of the religion of anyone who dares to attack us.

    Whether it's nuking Mecca, boiling the River Ganges with our new microwave satellite-based weapons, or sending Lyndie England to rape Confucius' skeleton, Tancredo is the only one with the courage to strike back!

  • talboito||

    I too, Tancredo...something...something.

  • the innominate one||

    Mr. Paul's online supporters have made [highlighted the meaninglessness of meaningless] Web-based polls of the Republican primary essentially meaningless...

    fixed

  • Edward||

    No scientific poll, however, has shown Mr. Paul registering better than 1% or 2%...

    No Ron Paul supporter, however, could tell a scientific poll from a shower curtain.

  • D. Greene||

    Whether he ever polls above 3% in any so-called scientific polls is irrelevant to me as a Ron Paul supporter. He is forcing open the door of debate on foreign policy in the Republican party, albeit perhaps only for a moment. It is something that has not happened in nearly six years.

  • the innominate one||

    I can tell the difference, Edward. A scientific pole is what holds my shower curtain up.

    The only poll that really matters is the primary, if Ron Paul chooses to stay in the race that long.

    At least some of Paul underrepresentation in the polls, as has been pointed out ad nauseum, can be ascribed to landline polling, which may no longer be truly representative sampling of the voting population. This type of biased statistical sampling is what caused the "Dewey defeats Truman" headline to be printed, much to the amusement of Truman, and the chagrin of the newspaper that printed it.

  • Edward||

    It would be compassionate of Ron Paul to drop out of the race before the primary. Then his dimwitted supporters could believe he would have won without having to rack their walnut-sized brains to come up with reasons why he didn't.

  • Edward||

    innominate one

    By the way, it's ad nauseam, not nauseum. Mindless enthusiasm for Ron Paul is nauseating.

  • Edward||

    Please, please, please...won't someone give me attention? My mommy doesn't love me enough.

  • Axl||

    Spam. It's whats for dinner.

  • ||

    Gallipoli was awesome (the movie)

  • ||

    This type of biased statistical sampling is what caused the "Dewey defeats Truman" headline to be printed

    Umm, no. You're thinking of the Literary Digest's 1936 poll that predicted Alf Landon would trounce FDR in the election.

  • Seer||

    There seems to be mixed expectations of Paul. Some pundits claim Ames is crucial for him, while others say that it doesn't matter for him compared to the others.

  • ||

    He will secure this nation's borders.

    And how much would that cost again?

  • iih||

    Regarding Tancredo's "defending the border" thing--

    First I even find it strange that anyone would waste time writing about Tancredo, but may be some of his supporters have decided to stop by and do a little bit of advertising among reason's readers.

    Secondly, there are two two ways to defend the border and America -- the smart way, and the stupid way.

    Lets start with the stupid way -- the Tancredo Way. US bombs their holy cites. Muslims (practically all of them -- 1.2 billion of them) will instantaneously harbor nothing but hatred (justifiable?) for the US. The Europeans, aside from pressuring the US not to do something as dumb as this, may actually stand up against the US because they do have a lot at stake here. Here in the US, where there is anywhere between 3 and 6 million Muslims, what about them? The seculars, the atheists, the separation-of-church-and-stateists (practically all Americans except Evangelicals), what about them? Coming from Tancredo, these people here in the US will be very restless about such a monstrously stupid act. Another conseuence is that the US will need to arm itself and (whatever remains of) its allies to the teeth. The US will have to create a iron curtain, and all of a sudden this Tancredo nut sounds like another Stalin. And, there, this is where Tancredo wants the US to end up -- an authoritarian regime so fearful of the people without as well as those within its borders.

    The smart way -- if you really really have to (or love to?) bomb someone, just bomb the specific group of people who harm the US. Lumping all Muslims into just one monolithic group is very very stupid and quite ignorant. I sometime wonder, has Tancredo ever left the US?

    Finally, after warlords like Tancredo are done with the Muslims (yeah right!), he his his like will find another new enemy -- the Hindus?, to make an enemy and wage a war against, and then another group, and then another, until we are all dead!

    Good luck with that. But count me out.

  • ||

    iih:

    But we'll be SAFE!

  • iih||

    Crow T Robot:

    Safe from who? There will be nobody out there left! Safe from us? In fact, what I would be afraid of is us starting to harm us.

  • iih||

    Crow R Robot:

    I have a feeling you were being sarcastic in your last comment.

  • ||

    Ignore Crow. He's gone wiggy since he talked to Mitt Romney's alien puppet-masters on the Interocitor in my bedroom.

  • iih||

    Tom Servo--

    Ha ha haa-- I was going to ask what the hell an interocitor is, but you seem to have read my mind, unless it is one of the functions your bedroom interocitor does.

    But my Tancredo comment was addressed to all his followers who just appeared out of nowhere to post here.

  • ||

    When do the Iowa Straw Poll results come in?

    Get this... I, a shaggy visigoth of an anarcho-capitalist, will be attending my burg's first Ron Paul meetup tonight at 7:00. It'd be great if the results were available during the meetup (at some brave stranger's home).

  • ||

    What's the point of a poll, taken in Iowa, where candidates can't win unless they pay their supporters $35 to vote?

    The fee to vote is $35. Some candidates buy tickets for the supporters and provide bus service. You can buy your own ticket and you can drive there yourself (you have to have Iowa ID to vote).

    It's basically a fund raiser for the Iowa Republican party.

  • Gary||

    Ignore Crow. He's gone wiggy since he talked to Mitt Romney's alien puppet-masters on the Interocitor in my bedroom.

    Awesome This Island Earth (MST3K: The Movie) reference.

  • ||

    I, a shaggy visigoth of an anarcho-capitalist...

    I hope you're really shaggy. So shaggy you frighten all the Truthers away. It's the only chance Ron Paul has of winning.

  • ||

    Shit

    the truthers

    I hadn't thought of them

    and here I was, worried about spooking the straights

  • the innominate one||

    crimethink:

    No, I'm thinking of Dewey vs. Truman.

    Edward:

    You're right, it's ad nauseam. I'll have to stop trusting Google's spellchecker. In the meantime, feel free to STFU with regard to Ron Paul.

  • M||

    And here's an ad running in the Ames Tribune tomorrow.



    Makes a nice contrast to the frontispiece of Hobbes' Leviathan.

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