Right now, renown internet numbers guru Nate Silver is predicting a 44% chance of Ron Paul winning Iowa. This is seriously impressive, considering the hefty media blackout of his candidacy as a serious contender and the fact that he fundamentally disagrees with a chunk of the Republican base on a number of issues. So what happens if he wins? Is it possible for him to clinch the nomination?
Short answer? No. That isn’t meant as a slight against Ron Paul, but the deck is so heavily stacked against him, he isn’t going to be able to get off the ground. Here’s what happens. Say he wins Iowa. Wonderful. His supporters get riled up and he will raise a cool 1.5 million in donations in the next two days as Libertarians smell a possible victory within their grasp.
Then the media machine gets involved and the narrative will not be pretty. They will not do stories about “The come-from-behind candidate” or “At long last, Paul gets his moment.” The media narrative will be, “Maybe we should do away with the early Iowa Caucus. They nominate such crazy people. Time to reform the primary system.”
The media has a vested interest in supporting candidates that play ball. They want people who look good on television, say controversial things . . . but not enough to rock the boat too much, and bring alot of drama to the table. Ron Paul is a reach too far and therefore, they shut him out. So the media will turn its Sauron-esque gaze to the primary system and change the conversation to how to reschedule Iowa in 2016.
Make no mistake, this is a great conversation to have. I believe we should have a rotating calender of states, so that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and now Nevada do not settle our presidential primaries. We should chop the country in fourths, pick a state from each area and have primaries there on successive days.
So in 2016, the calendar might look like this: Oregon, Connecticut, Alabama, New Mexico. Next month: Georgia, Maine, Indiana, Colorado. Then in 2020, you shuffle it around again. Hell, make it a lottery. Whatever the method, move it around so that Iowa Precinct Captains are not the most important political figures in presidential campaigns.
But I’m getting off topic. The point is, while I think Ron Paul has a great message for conservative voters, do not believe the hype. He is only polling 15% in New Hampshire, and less then that in South Carolina. At the end of the race, he will control a handful of delegates. No amount of momentum can be maintained in the face of overpowering media presence. A sad, but unavoidable truth.