Ron Paul

Ron Paul Aiming High in Ames


Republican consultant and blogger Patrick Ruffini is predicting that Ron Paul will come in second (to Mitt Romney's first) in the August 11 Ames, Iowa straw poll.

He leads the second tier in cash-on-hand. He was able to get 1,200 people out to the Hy-Vee (has any candidate done something that big on their own, not at an RPI event?). His home base in Texas isn't that far of a drive, and his people are motivated enough to come in from out of state for him. And he's making a big push on his Web site, which for all intents and purposes, is his campaign.

I was skeptical: Ruffini predicted that Paul's second quarter fundraising could top $4 million, then seemed awfully sanguine about Paul's "disappointing" $2.4 million haul. So I asked Paul's communications director Jesse Benton what the campaign would consider a victory at Ames.

"We expect to be in the top three," Benton said. "We've got four staffers organizing and we've got a lot of web site RSVPs from volunteers."

In 1999 George W. Bush won the straw poll after spending almost $1 million to buy the tickets attendees needed to cast their ballots. The Paul campaign won't buy blocks of $35 tickets: they're counting on a critical mass of Paul supporters who'll pay their own way.

"We're not trying to buy it like some people who will remain nameless," Benton said.

NEXT: Strolling in the Forests of Mars

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  1. Well, I wonder if this is just another opportunity to cry out “disappointing!” in case Ron Paul doesn’t do as well as the campaign hopes.

  2. Let’s just hope we don’t see 4000 libertarians from across the country descending on Iowa wearing orange tee shirts two weeks before the caucuses.

  3. I think RON PAUL has an excellent chance at finishing in the money in Iowa. I certainly hope so. I don’t know about orange tee shirts, but the sight of thousands of RON PAUL supporters showing up in Iowa, would be an awesome sight.

  4. His home base in Texas isn’t that far of a drive…

    1000 miles isn’t a far drive?

    Also, non-residents can attend the event but you have to have a Iowa driver’s license or ID to vote.


    It’s very likely that Paul-pals will be even more annoying than the Deaniacs were.


    The Deaniacs hurt, not helped, Dean in the run-up to the 2004 IA caucus.

  5. Texas to Iowa “isn’t that far of a drive”?

  6. damn you de stijl

  7. His home base in Texas isn’t that far of a drive

    To IOWA?!? Sure, I guess, compared to, say, California.

    It’s still quite a schlep, don’t you think?

  8. Is there an echo in here?

  9. Damn you all to hell!

  10. Does anyone know how close Iowa is to Texas?

  11. *consults atlas

    ’bout three inches.

  12. I’m surprised Edward hasn’t showed up yet to remind us what a quixotic adventure this is for Dr. Paul – maybe he got a job?

  13. D. Greene-

    I think Edward is on his way to Iowa to tell people in person how silly their support for Ron Paul is. He’s really dedicated.

  14. Where is Iowa anyway?

  15. This would be the same straw poll McCain and Guliani are sitting out of, right?

  16. Where is Iowa anyway?

    It’s a couple of states north of Arkansas.

    RON PAUL ’08

  17. Texas to Iowa “isn’t that far of a drive”?

    800 miles Dallas to Iowa City.

    Beaumont to El Paso is farther.

  18. “We’re not trying to buy it like some people who will remain nameless,” Benton said.

    So much for free markets, huh?


  20. Seeing how McCain and Guliani have skipped it, I’d hope to god Ron Paul came in in the top 3, above the rest of the second tiers.

  21. I agree with this logic. Paul will do well in this straw poll. The total number of Paul supporters is quite small, but the ones he does have are very intense in thier support, that is, they are much more likely to be willing to spend thirty five bucks, and take a whole day out of thier lives to do so to say they support him, than the weaker supporters of other canidates.

    Now, however, keep in mind one of the rules for the poll-you have to be a citizen of Iowa. Out of state supporters can’t vote in it.

  22. Brownback or Huckabee might come in 2nd in IA, but that will probably be the end point of both of their campaigns. They are basically all the same as the rest of the other clowns anyway.

    But I think Paul will end up surprising folks. It’s a slick gimmick to NOT pay for folks to vote for you … it appeals to people as an outsider, different, as an alternative, and it also motivates them to think about the candidate who would suggest such a thing, even knowing that Paul has enough cash on hand to buy it as George Bush did previously.

  23. you have to be a citizen of Iowa.

    Whats the citizenship test like? Questions about corn?

  24. Yep. An’ hogs.

  25. And ethanol subsidies.

  26. Will the Fredinator be a candidate at the straw poll?

  27. Fred is not too sexy for this poll.

    Iowa Straw Poll Ballot:

    Sam Brownback
    John Cox
    Rudy Giuliani
    Mike Huckabee
    Duncan Hunter
    John McCain
    Ron Paul
    Mitt Romney
    Tom Tancredo
    Fred Thompson
    Tommy Thompson

  28. Rudy, McCain and Fred will not speak / attend, though.

  29. Just one Thompson Twin, then?

    Don’t blame me — de stijl started it.

  30. I just hope suicidal tendencies among Ron Paul supporters are minimal.

  31. What is this “Iowa” you speak of?

  32. Edward!! Nice of you to drop in. We missed you. Speaking for myself, I haven’t had a single suicidal thought since RON PAUL entered the race. Each day his campaign gains momentum.

    You should probably make preparations for protracted bed rest. Once the primaries get started it’s going to be a RON PAUL world, and you’re going to have to live in it.

    RON PAUL ’08

  33. I’m going to spend some time in Spain, and I don’t expect to use the computer much. I imgagine I’ll read about Ron Paul’s victory in the Spanish press. Hasta la vista, amigos.

  34. I thought Edward was just playing along with the 80s band thing.

  35. Hell, Ames is 250 miles from my house in suburban KC!

  36. Ron Paul would be against ethanol subsidies. Which might hurt him in Iowa – however – he is pushing for the relaxing of hemp production.

    Hemp could be even more profitable than corn and is already imported into America in the form of clothing, lotions, paper but it is illegal to produce it under current federal law.

    Hemp is as important as corn in regards to national security as well…. hemp oil is easier to produce and yields more per acre than corn. Additionally, it’s fiber production is 4 times that of an acre of hardwood.

    Ron is the only candidate that would help me as a US Citizen.

    Do Something – attend a meetup event for Ron Paul…

    There is an article in today’s NYT or LA Times about it… it dealt with North Dakota but Iowa and ND are not far from each other (240 miles for those who need specifics!)

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