Roger Simon makes some of the same points about Ron Paul that I made in my column this morning, except he uses Michele Bachmann as his comparison point.
I admit I do not fully understand Ron Paul and his beliefs. But I do understand when a guy gets shafted, and Ron Paul just got shafted....
If it had been an election, such a result would almost certainly have triggered a recount. It was not an election, however, and that is my point. Straw polls are supposed to tell us, like a straw tossed into the air, which way the wind is blowing.
And any fair assessment of Ames, therefore, would have said the winds of the Republican Party are blowing toward both Bachmann and Paul....
And, no, media attention is not based solely on polls. The most recent polls, taken before Ames, showed Bachmann with 10.2 percent of the vote and Paul with 9.0 percent. That's not a huge difference. Though those polls will no doubt change with all the publicity Bachmann is now getting because of her "stunning" victory at Ames.
Tim Carney and Phil Klein have also debated whether Paul's campaign should be taken more seriously. I think there is a much stronger case for treating Bachmann like a more serious candidate than there was for Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman, or Newt Gingrich. But I also think Republican primary voters should be the final arbiter of what is in the Republican mainstream.
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