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February 7th, 2011

Number Six: Ron Paul

By Craig Robinson

In many ways, it seemed like Ron Paul began his 2008 Iowa caucus campaign on a dare.  After being shunned by the Iowa Christian Alliance and Iowans for Tax Relief’s presidential forum, Paul basically crashed the party and his “revolution” began to take root in Iowa.

Paul finished fifth in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, but only a few thousand votes behind John McCain and Fred Thompson.  Had Paul been better organized and focused on building a grassroots caucus mechanism sooner, it’s likely that he could have finished in the top three, which would have been a huge boost for his campaign.

Over the past few years, Paul has traveled back to Iowa for Campaign for Liberty events and to support Iowa legislative candidates.  In each instance, he has been welcomed by large crowds, which seems to indicate that his support has grown or at least intensified following the 2008 caucuses.

If any candidate in the caucuses will be able to tap into the tea party movement in Iowa, it’s Ron Paul.  Paul’s libertarian views give him a solid base of support in the state, and he doesn’t have to start from scratch like he did in 2008.  Ron Paul + tea party = trouble for traditional candidates in the caucuses.  Plus, instead of his supporters spending countless hours tying to make sure he is allowed in the debates, they can instead focus on getting him elected.

The problem for Paul is that he’s going to have to compete for those tea party votes in 2012 since there will be a number of candidates trying to attract that particular group of voters.  The tea party vote might be the most fractured part of the electorate in the 2012 caucuses with candidates like Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all reaching out to them.

While Paul will have to campaign hard to win a majority of the tea party activists in the state, it’s safe to say that nobody will have a more loyal and dedicated group of supporters than Ron Paul will have.  In a caucus state, that kind of support is worth its weight in gold.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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