Archives: Ron Paul edges closer to an Iowa victory

Originally published in December 2011
Simon Nguyen

With less than a month before the 2012 Iowa Caucuses, Ron Paul is gaining unexpected momentum. The latest Insider Advantage poll shows Paul leading all GOP candidates in Iowa with 24 percent. The 12-term house representative’s surge is confirmed by the new Public Policy Polling poll which also shows him in the lead. Is Paul a favorite to win the Iowa Caucuses?

Rep. Paul is probably the most underrated candidate in a primary campaign. Political pundits love to write him off as a fringe candidate, citing his anti-war stance and libertarian views as inhibiting factors to a successful Republican presidential run. Yet, the Pennsylvania native has thus far defied his skeptics. Paul has consistently placed high in key straw polls, outraising many of his fellow GOP candidates and establishing firm footing in most of the early primary states. Paul’s rise in the Iowa polls confirms the legitimacy of his candidacy.

Along with New Hampshire, Iowa is clearly Paul’s best bet for a primary win. This is due to the state’s unique voting structure, which rewards dedication over participation. It takes a devoted voter to come to the hour-long caucuses, in harsh winter conditions, to support his or her candidate. Paul’s supporters have always been the most devoted and organized group of people. They undoubtedly made their presence felt in the 2008 Republican primary and are set to do the same in 2012.

The fact that there is no clear frontrunner in Iowa should also bode well for the congressman from Texas. The social conservative vote, which holds great sway in Iowa, is deeply divided. This leaves a big opening for Paul who can galvanize libertarians and fiscal conservatives in the state. He will only need to win over some values voters to capture the caucuses. Considering how far right Paul is in most social issues, this should not be a difficult task.

If Paul does indeed win Iowa, he will immediately become a favorite to win New Hampshire. The Real Clear Politics’ average of polls currently puts Paul third in New Hampshire behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. A victory in the Hawkeye State will likely elevate Paul’s chances in the Granite State. 

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