Ron Paul Leads Iowa with 23%
Ron Paul has taken the lead in Iowa:
Newt Gingrich's campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa. He's at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.
Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row. His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%. And there's been a large drop in his personal favorability numbers as well from +31 (62/31) to +12 (52/40) to now -1 (46/47). Negative ads over the last few weeks have really chipped away at Gingrich's image as being a strong conservative- now only 36% of voters believe that he has 'strong principles,' while 43% think he does not.
Paul's ascendancy is a sign that perhaps campaigns do matter at least a little, in a year where there has been a lot of discussion about whether they still do in Iowa. 22% of voters think he's run the best campaign in the state compared to only 8% for Gingrich and 5% for Romney. The only other candidate to hit double digits on that question is Bachmann at 19%. Paul also leads Romney 26-5 (with Gingrich at 13%) with the 22% of voters who say it's 'very important' that a candidate spends a lot of time in Iowa. Finally Paul leads Romney 29-19 among the 26% of likely voters who have seen one of the candidates in person.
Hat tip: Memeorandum
Here is actual video footage smuggled out of Des Moines, which shows Newt Gingrich supporters weeping uncontrollably at their candidate's collapsing poll numbers:
Ron Paul, a solid 2nd place in New Hampshire
Ron Paul is also polling at a solid 2nd place in New Hampshire according to Public Policy Polling:
Mitt Romney has a significant lead in New Hampshire, getting 35% there to 19% for Ron Paul, 17% for Newt Gingrich, 13% for Jon Huntsman, 5% for Michele Bachmann, 3% for Rick Santorum, 2% for Rick Perry, and 1% for Gary Johnson.
Hat tip: Memeorandum
Ron Paul Polls at 3rd Place Nationally
Meanwhile, Ron Paul is polling at 3rd nationally:
Newt Gingrich's lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination has evaporated, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International Poll released Monday indicates that 28% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say the former House speaker is their choice for their party's nominee, with an equal amount supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. In CNN's previous national poll, conducted last month, Gingrich held a 24%-20% margin over Romney. And Gingrich's lead over the rest of the field of candidates was even larger in other surveys conducted at the beginning of this month.
According to the new CNN survey, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is in third place at 14%. That's a five point rise for Paul since last month's poll. The survey indicates Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at 8%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 7%, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania at 4%, former Utah Gov. and former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman at 2%, and nine percent undecided.
Hat tip: Memeorandum
The Establishment Media "Takes The Gloves Off"
Get ready for the attacks:
If Paul wins, how will the media and the GOP react? Much of the media will ignore him (expect headlines like "Romney Beats out Gingrich for Second Place in Iowa"). Some in the Republican establishment and the conservative media will panic. Others will calmly move to crush him, with the full cooperation of the liberal mainstream media.
For a historical analogy, study the aftermath of Pat Buchanan's 1996 victory in the New Hampshire primary. "It was awful," Buchanan told me this week when I asked him about his few days as the nominal GOP front-runner. "They come down on you with both feet."
The GOP establishment that week rallied to squash Buchanan. Just after New Hampshire, Gingrich's hand-picked group of GOP leaders, known as the Speaker's Advisory Group, met with one thing on their minds, according to a contemporaneous Newsweek report: "How to deal with Buchanan."
But neither his establishment-irritating adherence to principle, nor his hawk-angering foreign policy, will be the focus of the anti-Paul attacks should he carry Iowa. His conservative critics and the mainstream media will imply that he is a racist, a kook, and a conspiracy theorist.
Paul's indiscretions -- such as abiding 9/11 conspiracy theorists and allowing racist material in a newsletter published under his name -- will be blown up to paint a scary caricature. His belief in state's rights and property rights will be distorted into support for Jim Crow and racism.
Hat tip: Memeorandum
Jack Hunter also warns of the battle to come:
"But it is precisely during these moments, when it seems that honest principles might finally win the day that we must remember that the old politics of partisanship is always lurking. The media and political establishment are going to fight hard to make sure a constitutional conservative of Paul’s pedigree never gets anywhere near the White House. The establishment has too much to lose by handing over the reins of power to a man who has said explicitly time and again that he wants to devolve power. There’s a reason most politicians find it impossible to actually follow the Constitution—and it is the same reason they will fight tooth and nail to bring down any potential president who insists that they begin to take their oaths of office seriously."
We're already getting a hint of the kind of treatment we can expect as Ron Paul continues to rise, even from people who I would usually consider pretty friendly to Ron Paul. On Morning Joe, despite Ron Paul's sweeping milestone, all of the panel were discussing the implications this had for Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Michele Bachmann, as if Ron Paul's surge wasn't the central story here:
Meanwhile, the headlines and commentary everywhere are more focused on Newt than on Ron Paul, as if the real story here isn't Ron Paul's surge, but Newt Gingrich's collapsing support. Every time one of the other candidates surged, the media hailed their surge with plenty of coverage and commentary, certainly more than Ron Paul is receiving now.
#MusicMonday - Ron Paul "I Always Win."
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