Thursday, December 15, 2011
Can Ron Paul Win Iowa?
The latest numbers, with full metrics disclosed, have come out of Iowa in the upcoming Republican caucus contest to nominate a POTUS candidate.
And what's the headline Public Policy Polling leads with?
"Paul closes in on Gingrich".
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is the latest "Not Romney" front runner of the pack, but it appears his support is very soft. He's lost five points total, and his favorability numbers are down as well as support among those who describe themselves as members of the Tea Party movement.
Congressman Ron Paul, however, has not only gotten his 10-12% rabid and fired up, but built upon it. His favorability numbers are up, and Public Policy Polling notes he's doing well with young voters, first time voters, and non-Republicans. PPP notes this is a similar path that now President Barack Obama took when he won the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
Paul's supporters are also more committed to him, with only 54% of Gingrich supporters saying they'll stand by their man.
So what can we expect from here on out?
Expect Paul's campaign and related political action committees, as well as former Governor Mitt Romney's POTUS campaign and PACs, to keep hammering Gingrich with negative ads. For three weeks. Watch Gingrich's numbers sink like a rock. Watch Paul activate his ground game in Iowa, which really was never abandoned since his 2008 run, and the other candidate's numbers will sink because none of them besides Romney have a ground game in Iowa.
Even though Romney is trying to win Iowa, I suspect there is one candidate that he wouldn't mind winning. He'd absolutely LOVE it if Ron Paul won Iowa. That would kill the campaigns of most of the has-beens in the GOP field. Texas Governor Rick Perry and Gingrich might be able to limp along to South Carolina and Florida, but being defeated by Paul would be a miserable way to start the primary season.
Meanwhile, Romney, like Paul, is looking at the primary fight further out than just the first handful of states, and both have the money and infrastructure to work it well into March.
As I've commented before, don't count Governor Perry out just yet. But if he wants a viable shot, he needs to not be beaten by Ron Paul.