Ron Paul

Ames: The Waiting

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Those people who bitched and moaned about the Diebold machines used for Ames Straw Poll voting were on to something. It's been fifty minutes since we were supposed to get vote results and we have heard two updates: That the vote was delayedand that the vote was delayed again. Reporters are bored and pissed, once-excited partisans are just sort of sitting around holding signs and making dinner plans.

The room is hilariously Romney-less: After basically buying the straw poll Romney bussed all his aged voters back home and now the room is a snapshot of an alternate (and awesome) universe where Sam Brownback, Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee are the only Republican candidates for president (alongside a write-in candidate named "Will DePort.).

Before it's too late, I predict Romney in first (by a lot), Brownback next, then Huckabee, then Paul, then Tancredo, then the rest of them.

UPDATE: Wrong! Romney won, Huckabee came in second (the big news of the day and an essential booster shot for his campaign), Brownback third, Tancredo fourth, Paul fifth.

UPDATE II: Back in my hotel working on my story, I catch the Fox News hourly update which lists the candidates in this order, by vote total: Romney, Huckabee, Brownback, Thompson, Giuliani, McCain. The votes were tabulated by the Living Eraser.

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  1. Not a bad prediction and not a bad result for Paul if it happens.

  2. Just goes to show what a sham the straw poll is.

  3. Results are in:
    1. Romney
    2. Huckabee
    3. Brownback
    4. Tancredo
    5. Paul
    6. Tommy Thompson
    7. Fred Thompson
    8. Rudy
    9. Duncan
    10. McCain
    11. Cox

  4. What ever happened to George Pataki?

  5. Like I said, we are looking at a Romney/Huckabee vs. Hillary Clinton/Wes Clark ticket.

  6. Ron Paul got about 1300 votes, 500 more than he bought tickets, so that’s not all bad news. But, the only second-tier guys he beat were Thompson (barely) and Hunter.

  7. Like I said, Duncan and Tommy are finished and should probably quit now.

    The whole thing does go to show that votes=$$$ spent at the poll and is probably worthless come february. I mean Rudy and Fred finishing 8th. Romney bought the vote and is getting his returns. This result could have been guessed by money numbers alone. I hope Huckabee and Brownback enjoy their pyrric victoy.

  8. Will DePort taking votes from Tancredo?

    How many IllegalMexicans do they have in Iowa?

  9. It was a good, not great result for Paul. Iowa isn’t exactly the kind of state you would expect him to thrive in. Unless I’m mistaken, he was the only candidate actively competing who is against the Ethanol Racket. The real upshot for Paul is that Hunter and Thompson will probably be done after this. Would have been nice to knock out Tancredo too, but a 4th place showing might convince him to keep on keeping on.

  10. SIV wins the thread.

  11. comment from Iowa Independent blog:

    “Looks like Romney finished 5,000 votes less then expected.
    Spent $2,200 per vote.
    Ron Paul spent $200 per vote.
    Ron Paul’s message 10 times more powerful?”

  12. By the way, I think Edward ought to be choking down some crow right about now.

  13. I suppose ( I hope) this also means the end of the Tommy Thompson campaign.

    I also recall some encouraging news mentioned earlier on H&R about how Fred Thompson’s reluctance to enter the race is beginning to damage his poll numbers. He’s been testing the water for some time now. The man had, in his Senate days, a reputation for laziness. One wonders whether that water is the big campaign ocean or the warm bath waters of a walk-in tub with handrails.

  14. Can someone explain to me why anyone gives a shit about this poll? That’s a serious question.

  15. Its sad when you have to do exactly nothing for 10% of the population to like you. Look at Newt Gingrich. He’s not even close to coming in the race, yet he consistantly does well in the polls while Guliani, whose been campaigning hard, can barely get 1/3rd of the republican party to support him most times. Fred pretty much just looked good and that was it.

    The Republican party is desperate to find anyone but those in the race to run.

  16. Seitz,

    We’re told it used to mean something. Nowadays, its just a relic of campaign largesse and won’t matter a whit to the general election other than getting more news out.

  17. Wasn’t the original name for the Monopoly game “Beggar Your Neighbor?” Anyway, there’s your answer, Seitz. The poll’s a microcosm of the campaign in which victory is directly attributed to the amount of money spent. Votes are quite literally bought, and poorer campaigns, in the past, have been grossly outspent in Ames and forced to quit the race. The poll shouldn’t matter, but it does, because it’s managed to kill its fair share of campaigns. It may have killed two today, though they were admittedly near death anyway.

  18. Not true. This will help Romney take the Iowa Caucus, which will be a week before the New Hampshire primary. That is some good momentum to have.

  19. Whoever wins the Republican nomination, I hope they will run it on positive, constructive ideas!

    Happy Anniversary!

  20. seer, the Straw Poll’s only been around since the ’70s, but it’s predicted the winner of the Iowa Repub Caucus only once, in 1999, when Bush spent millions of dollars buying tickets (and he was also way ahead in the polls at the time). Phil Gramm won in ’96, and he crashed and burned before the caucus even happened.

    There’s five months to go before the poll that counts, let’s wait and see.

  21. *** URGENT ALERT FROM RON PAUL HQ ***

    People:

    It is urgent that we enter mode “Buddy Chain Plan C”. We practised that at last week’s meeting, but in case you forgot you must immediately call others on your buddy chain and make sure they are not wearing black Nikes. I repeat: no black Nikes this time. If they are wearing black Nikes, you must immediately intervene with other members of the cell. If they are not wearing black Nikes, you must communicate with other county groups and inquire if they need intervention help.

    This is not a drill!

    Yours in peace and freedom,

    Dr. Paul

  22. You can take my black Nikes … from my cold, dead hands feet.

  23. Video of Ron Paul’s speech at Ames here

  24. TLB-

    Roger roger! I know what you really mean through the secret code. I will contact our libertarian comrades at Karen’s City Diner at 3 am to chart our future operations. Whoops, I mean um….somewhere…that is not…..Karen’s….City Diner. Yeah. Like, Dogwood Dell or something. LIBERTY OR DEATH!

  25. <sarcasm>9.1%/1305 votes! Wow, Ron Paul mania really is sweeping the nation.</sarcasm>

  26. Cesar,

    The bananas are blue. 79 cents a kilo. They need a paper bag to ripen. Do you copy?

    (Email me if you’ve lost your decoder ring)

  27. SA Miller,

    It is sweeping the nation, perhaps not Iowa…yet. It looks like RP stole about 500 votes from Mitt’s gravy train, though B-back and Huckabee probably got more of them.

    Seriously, of the 10,000 people Mitt paid for, only 4500 of them voted for him! That can’t be a good sign for him…

  28. Why has Dr Paul suddenly switched to British spelling of “practiced”? It must mean something…

  29. Crimethink,

    I very much doubt that Dr. Paul stole any votes from anyone. Paul came in behind Huckabee, Brownback, and Tancredo. None of those three have a snowball’s chance in hell at winning the nomination, so that tells you about Paul’s chances.

    I agree with various things Dr. Paul has to say, but I do find the feverish hysteria of his supporters to be a bit much to take. The “Peace Train” ain’t leaving the station.

  30. Also, what is this I keep reading about Ron Paul supporters asking a federal judge to block voting or something. The Iowa GOP Straw poll is a private enterprise… Ron Paul is supposed to be the libertarian-ish candidate, right?

  31. SA,

    Dr Paul asked them to drop the lawsuit and his campaign has been sending out emails telling people to stop calling and emailing people about some vote-rigging conspiracy.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of nutjobs who aren’t exactly self-examining doctrinaire libertarians, and it appears that the people who filed this suit are that type.

  32. there are a lot of nutjobs supporting Ron Paul who aren’t exactly

  33. If you look at this in terms of money spent things/what this means for the race become a lot different.

    Romney: Whatever, he was spending 2mil+, he was going to win.

    Huckabee: Absoulty Aastounding finish, sets him up very well for the future if he can get his infrastructure and fundraising going to be top 2nd tier/1st tier.

    BrownBack: Only got 800(about 60 percent) more votes then Paul, yet spent 200 percent more then him. Not good news.

    Tancredo: Much better then expected, great showing.

    Paul: Based on his appeal to thoese who wouldn’t be attending the even/against the Republican party/money spent, an acceptable showing.

    Thompson: Due to his fundraising and this showing, really has no choice but to get out.

    Hunter: huh, what are you doing boy?

  34. Y’all are paying way too much attention to this stuff.

  35. Dave Weigel, which Thompson did Faux News list fourth?

  36. Also, what is this I keep reading about Ron Paul supporters asking a federal judge to block voting or something. The Iowa GOP Straw poll is a private enterprise… Ron Paul is supposed to be the libertarian-ish candidate, right?

    Ron Paul is indeed a libertarian. Unfortunately, there is a small but very noisy contingent of Truthers intent on destroying his campaign. When the campaign told them to stop the rude antics, they told the campaign to fuck off. They’re either idiots or deliberately trying to lose.

  37. Tancredo beat Ron Paul!

  38. Yeah, and Tancredo spent a lot more money on the straw poll.

    The biggest lesson to take away from the straw poll is increasing evidence that the Republican Party is fucked – people were predicting more voters in the 07 straw poll compared to the 99 straw poll, and there were actually 10,000 fewer voters.

    This is partly due to the lack of Giuliani and McCain participating, but I think overall it indicates a lack of Republican fundraising this go ’round as compared to the Democrats.

    Brownback should probably just give up. He is practically identical to Huckabee (except one is Catholic and the other Protestant) and he spent more on the straw poll than Huckabee, and still lost to Huckabee. Apparently Iowans heart… sorry.

  39. TOM TANCREDO 1,961 VOTES 13.7%

    RON PAUL 1,305 VOTES 9.1%

    14,302 TOTAL BALLOTS CAST

  40. If the Tancredo people are as bonkers as the Ron Paul people, they must be peeing their pants with excitement right now.

  41. After basically buying the straw poll

    Right. I’m enjoying my weekend not paying attention to meaningless hick-state shindigs.

  42. The final results I’m looking at on Google News show that your first Update was correct. Paul came in fifth, getting 15 times as many votes as Giuliani. Sweet!

    Unless, my source is off. Do I have the right results?

  43. WEll, I watched as much of RP’s speech as I could bear and I gotta say, he’s pandering.

  44. How many free votes did Tancredo get? Did he pay for all the votes he got?

  45. Also, given the nature and extremity of his pandering on that particular subject, I have stopped toying with the idea of changing to Republican in order to vote for RP in the primary.

  46. uncle sam,

    Are you refering to his pro-life stance? Whether you agree with him on that or not, I don’t think it deserves the label “pandering”…he’s held that position for several decades and spoken about it many times over that span.

    Sorry to lose you; have fun choosing between the Ice Queen and the Hallmark Card.

  47. WEll, I watched as much of RP’s speech as I could bear and I gotta say, he’s pandering.

    Honestly, what do you expect Paul to do? He was speaking in one of the most conservative states to extremely conservative Republican activists. So why not emphasize some of the positions he holds that would appeal to them, such as on abortion and immigration? Most Republicans probably think of Paul simply as the antiwar candidate, so it makes sense that he’d seek to demonstrate his conservative credentials on other issues. Again, we’re talking about Republican Party activists. Paul still spoke about changing our foreign policy — instead of spending money to bomb and rebuild bridges in Iraq, we should be fixing the ones here at home — but he attempted to do so in a way that’d make him sound more conservative.

    So it seems to me that Paul demonstrated that he knew who his audience was and chose to emphasize some his ideas that would appeal to a more partisan Republican, conservative audience, all while not changing any of the positions that he’s long held. Is that really so bad?

  48. So it seems to me that Paul demonstrated that he knew who his audience was and chose to emphasize some his ideas that would appeal to a more partisan Republican, conservative audience, all while not changing any of the positions that he’s long held. Is that really so bad?

    Well, no. I still prefer him over the other candidates available, but I’m not going to bother with changing my party affiliation for the purpose of strategic voting.

  49. charlie,

    There seem to be an awful lot of people around here who are cooling off on Paul because of his stance on abortion and gay marriage. It looks like Dondero was on to something about the most important issues for libertarians, I guess.

  50. I wouldn’t have had a problem if he covered the subject if half the time and spent more reminding voters of the debt, inflation, and spending. It didn’t seem to advance him much in the straw poll, so it seemed rather pointless as well.

    BTW, I’ve already sent him money. What else do you want?

  51. “cooling off on Paul because of his stance on abortion and gay marriage”

    A truly Constitutional Federal Gov would have no say in these issues.

  52. As the official spokesman for libertarians, I can explain. We are individuals. Different libertarians care to varying degrees about various issues.

  53. The market sorts things out best. Let’s face it, libertarianism just doesn’t sell that well in the free market of political ideas. It’s never risen above the level of a fringe niche. It’s not Ron Paul’s fault. It’s the product.

  54. Actually, it sells pretty well.

    “But I can’t vote for him because he can’t win and I don’t want to waste my vote.”
    I’ve heard that many, many times.

  55. FUCK IOWA
    I can’t believe what a backwards inbred land that is. Kryste, if I never set foot in Iowa again, it will be too soon.

  56. Of course it doesn’t help to have an extremely goony, unappealing candidate like Ron Paul, but this shit wouldn’t sell if Catherine Zeta-Jones were pitching it.

  57. uncle sam

    How do you figure it sells pretty well? No Libertarian candidate has ever garnered a fraction of the vote the socialists got at their peak. Most Americans believe in some level of state intervention in their lives and in the economy that is considerably higher than libertarianism allows.

  58. I just watched as much of Ron Paul’s speech as I could stomach–up to the point where he assures us that life begins at conception. Does he think sperms are dead?

  59. How do you figure it sells pretty well?

    Because back in the day when I approached thousands of voters to sign petitions to place libertarian candidates on the ballot, I talked to many of them and found that many liked the ideas, but were unwilling to waste their vote when they had to vote against the greater of two evils.

    For a lot of people anymore, it’s not about supporting what they want, but fear of the other side gaining power. That’s why that game is so prominent during campaign season.

    Of course there are many that perceive a direct benefit from wealth transfer. I understand all that, so don’t bother.

  60. Hey, uncle sam, you’re in the vanguard. The masses will follow some day. Just keep passing out those petitions.

  61. up to the point where he assures us that life begins at conception. Does he think sperms are dead?

    The origins of this idea are medieval. Once upon a time, the idea was developed that GOD inserted a human spirit into the cell at the moment of conception.

    The questions are:
    Why do human have rights?
    When do they acquire those rights?

    It seems obvious to me that the idea of personhood is relevant here and that zygotes are definitely not ‘persons’ and thus do not have the rights of persons. Self ownership is not possible until there is a self.

  62. No Libertarian candidate has ever garnered a fraction of the vote the socialists got at their peak.

    *ahem

  63. The thing is that Paul’s argument has a lot of merit by virtue of the legal protections that we give the fetus. I certainly don’t agree, but the state of protections isn’t very consistent with state-sanctioned abortions.

  64. Edward,

    You’re using a different meaning of the word “life”. Life, the state of being alive, began four billion years ago, and since every living thing has come from another living thing ever since, that kind of “life” doesn’t begin at conception, or ever.

    Life, the duration of an individual organism’s existence, begins (obviously) when that organism begins to exist. The sperm and ovum are not individual organisms, but half-cells from adult organisms. When conception occurs, a new organism comes into existence, so it is rightly said that this meaning of “life” begins at conception.

    Now, that doesn’t by itself prove that abortion is wrong or should be illegal or anything, but it’s sophistry to suggest that because sperms are alive that life doesn’t begin at conception.

  65. Thomas Jefferson,

    What about Calvin Coolidge? From what I understand he was strongly libertarian (though he couldn’t resist meddling in credit markets either, which led to the 1929 crash).

  66. crimethink, my parents did not conceived of me living long enough to suss out Cal’s creds, and he wasn’t talking.

  67. Those who value life over liberty may forfeit both.

  68. conceive of me

  69. Geez, I forgot about Jefferson and Cooledge. I guess you guys are right. Libertarianism has deep roots in our great land.

    On the sperm’s life, I was thinking of that Monty Python song “Every Sperm is Sacred,” but that may not represent Catholic theology, and Ron Paul’s not a Catholic anyway.

  70. Does anybody know if Ron Paul practices birth control? I sure hope so.

  71. Geez, I forgot about Jefferson and Cooledge. I guess you guys are right. Libertarianism has deep roots in our great land.

    Can you rephrase that without the irony, which doesn’t register?

  72. TJ,

    Okay.

    Geez, about Jefferson and Cooledge, I forgot. You guys, I guess, are right. In our great land, libertarianism has deep roots.

    How’s that?

  73. Edward, you overestimate our ability to see your point here. Or something.

  74. TJ

    I’m just wasting time.

  75. There is no point. He lives to suffer and to bring suffering, and if there could be an end to this existence he would wish for nothing else.

  76. Okay, I vow to quit. My investments need my attention. This is the last you’ll see of me until after the election, when I won’t be able to resist one last gloating post over the over results. I hope there’s a Libertopia in your future, but not here.

  77. Thank you both. We Rationalists are sometimes hard-pressed to comprehend Nihilism, concerning which, chacun ? sa gaucherie.

  78. Hey, uncle sam, you’re in the vanguard. The masses will follow some day. Just keep passing out those petitions.

    “Back in the day” refers to the ’80s.
    I guess the rent is low under the bridge.

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