From Johnny Kramer on LewRockwell.com...
There's no question that things so far haven't gone the way we had hoped: Ron came in 5th in Iowa with 10%; 4th in New Hampshire with 8%; 4th in Michigan with 6%; and just finished 5th in South Carolina with 4% and 2nd in Nevada with 13%. He may have won the recent Louisiana Caucuses, but the victory may have been stolen from him by various shenanigans. I've seen no mention of this by the mainstream media.
As usual, the blackout and transparent bias was present at the recent MSNBC debate in Florida, where Ron was given by far the least amount of time to speak – which, amazingly, was admitted by MSNBC:
Then, Kramer theorizes on this. To me, his second story seems far more plausible. I don't see any conspiracies at work here-- just that Paul has struggled as someone who is on the margins of the GOP in terms of policy and as a Congressman (not an ideal platform from which to launch a run for the President).
...the media's blackout and marginalizing of Ron Paul seems to still have worked based on the ultimate criterion for one election, which is votes...It's also possible that socialism and fascism are still a lot more popular among the public than I thought...
Then, he turns to speculation about the future of the primary season-- and ironically, the probability of a Giuliani-like strategy of staying above water, but not exerting fully until after the others have punched themselves out...
Although I can't verify this, Ron apparently spent little money on advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire – far less than what he could afford, based on the roughly $20 million he raised last quarter. Word is he was only shooting for around third place, to not win but also not get crushed.
There has to be a reason for that.
Well, the rumor is that his strategy is to sit back through the first few states, let the candidates attack each other and spend themselves nearly broke doing it, then step in and try and fill the void by dropping all of his money on ads for Super Tuesday, and possibly Florida the week before.
If true, this strategy is smart for several reasons based on the conditions a month ago – all of which are peculiar to this year, which is unlike any we've seen in modern history:
1. Going into Iowa, there was no front-runner – and there wasn't likely to be one going into Super Tuesday a month later. So no one was likely to build unstoppable momentum by winning most of the early contests.
2. All of the candidates besides Paul and Romney are probably about broke and unlikely to have the cash to compete with Ron long-term.
3. It appeared prior to Iowa that a candidate or two could drop out before Super Tuesday or immediately after, due to lack of cash, lack of votes, or both.
That turned out to be accurate; Thompson is already gone. And again, Huckabee is broke and Giuliani probably is too, and Giuliani has staked his whole campaign on winning in Florida, where he's now polling a distant third. Barring some unexpected event, I expect Giuliani and Huckabee to be gone after Super Tuesday, and the race to come down to Romney, McCain and Paul in a brokered convention....
5. There will almost certainly be a brokered convention.
After Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan, Ron was a solid fourth in total votes, and he had decimated two Establishment candidates who have been shoved down everyone's throats for two years; in the event that he fails to emerge from the primary season with enough delegates to secure the nomination, but he can at least maintain his current standing, he should have a decent position going into a brokered convention, which seems virtually guaranteed now.The problem with this last point is that it is difficult to imagine what Paul would gain from within a brokered convention.