Ron Paul heads to New Hampshire having more than doubled his 2008 Iowa vote tally, secured an equal number of Republican delegates as Romney and Santorum, and is projected to beat Santorum into a strong second-placed finish in next week’s primary.
After weeks of intense and sustained smear attacks by the establishment media, during which Paul was labeled everything from “dangerous,” to “disgusting,” to “racist” and even called a “terrorist,” the Texan Congressman still managed to secure 26,219 votes compared to 11,841 votes in 2008 – finishing third behind Romney and Santorum.
Crucially, Paul has obtained an equal number of delegates to both Santorum and Romney – seven in total.
“Paul may actually be the real winner of the first Republican voting contest,” writes Grace Wyler . “That’s because Paul’s massive organizational push in Iowa focused on both winning votes, and also on making sure that Paul supporters stuck around after the vote to make sure they were selected as county delegates — the first step towards being elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.”
In comparison to Ron Paul doubling his tally, Mitt Romney received marginally less votes than he did in 2008 despite the millions of dollars his campaign spent in the state. Indeed, as Michael Brendan Dougherty notes , “75 percent of Republican Caucus-goers want someone that isn’t Mitt Romney – a result that reflects polls nationwide.” Romney is also expected to perform poorly in the southern states, where his brand of big government isn’t welcomed.
Saying he was the recipient of “one of three tickets out of Iowa,” Paul noted that Rick Santorum’s surprise showing is highly unlikely to be replicated anywhere else, and that he and Romney were the top two going into next week’s primary.
Santorum received a blow on the eve of voting yesterday when his own nephew penned an op-ed warning that his uncle was “another big-government politician who supports the status quo,” urging people to vote for Ron Paul.
Although Romney is the clear frontrunner in New Hampshire, Paul is currently running a strong second according to the New York Times’s caucuses projection . Paul is forecast to take 19.1 per cent of the vote, with Santorum significantly behind with just 5.2 per cent of the projected vote.
Two recent polls out of New Hampshire also show Paul holding down a strong second-placed finish, with Santorum nowhere to be seen. Paul is also forecast for a 3rd place finish in South Carolina and Florida behind Gingrich and Romney.
“We’ve had success reintroducing some ideas Republicans have needed for a long time. And that is the conviction that freedom is popular,” Paul said in his speech last night. “Let’s go back to to this real old fashioned idea, this dangerous idea: let’s obey the Constitution,” he added, urging his supporters to press on to New Hampshire with renewed momentum.
by Paul Joseph Watson