Over at National Review, Robert Costa writes that there is a very real chance Ron Paul could win Iowa.
Of all the candidates running for President, I have never been accused of supporting Ron Paul. But in this I do. I hope he does win Iowa.
I hope he wins Iowa for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost because Ron Paul has run a stellar grassroots campaign in Iowa. He’s run a campaign there better than anyone and that hard work deserves to be rewarded regardless of what you think of the candidate and his positions.
Most candidates drop by, send some mail, and run lots of television and radio ads. Ron Paul’s team has been organizing door to door in the state. That level of grassroots activity just might pay off and it would be refreshing to see old fashion grassroots pay off.
Beyond that, there are other reasons I hope Ron Paul wins that his supporters might not like.
I think a Ron Paul win in Iowa will drag out the Republican nomination process. Paul cannot, I do not believe, actually build enough of a coalition to be the nominee. But he can be a spoiler for other candidates, dragging out the contest so there’s not a quick grab of delegates and the show’s over.
Those candidates who do not have a lot of money will be forced to drop out and the rest of the candidates can finally get an airing in one of the million more debates that involves more substantive questions with more time to answer.
Lastly, I think outside of the grassroots game, Iowa voters are less and less representative of the Republican electorate as a whole, force candidates to do weird things like embrace ethanol and run commercials about attacks on Christmas, and a Ron Paul win in Iowa will hopefully once and for all compel the Republicans to consider ending Iowa’s first in the nation status.