The world now knows that Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll by less than 200 votes over Rep. Ron Paul (4823 to 4671 – it was less than one percent) and it is awful to lose. I hope this does not affect momentum (I was disappointed that former Senator Santorum was gloating over having hurt Paul’s chances due to the debate. Fox News did not help this situation one bit.) and there is a historical precedent: 1980
In 1980, George H. W. Bush narrowly won the Iowa caucuses over Reagan. The Bush forces felt that New Hampshire would be the test where they could severely hurt Reagan. It might have worked except for a NH debate where only Bush and Reagan were invited. Reagan made sure the other candidates were invited and when the debate organizers cut off Reagan’s microphone, he said famously, “I paid for this microphone, sir!” This stunted Bush’s momentum and Reagan won in New Hampshire and Bush never seriously challenged again for the nomination.
We need a new event. But I am not sure what it will be. Perhaps the blessing will be we can work on organization in Iowa and New Hampshire to ensure a good turnout and position in both states in 2012. Let’s try to work harder for Paul. We know he’s right. Now let’s do it!