With the understood caveat that they may have their own reasons for saying so, three senior staffers of three different rival campaigns have told me that they would not be surprised if Ron Paul were to win the straw poll today.
Indeed, there is a sea of red “I Voted Ron Paul” T-shirts, and his presence is Ames today is huge: Other candidates have tents, but Ron Paul has a fairway with a dozen tents, a playground (the “Prosperity Playground”) a slide (the “Sliding Dollar”) etc. But it’s still a Ron Paul event: Michele Bachmann had Randy Travis, and Rick Santorum had the Crickets. The big name over at Ron Paul camp? Barry Goldwater Jr. (AuH2OJr?)