As Iowa Caucus Approaches, Ron Paul Looks Like A Winner, While Newt Gingrich Admits Defeat
The Iowa Caucus are still hours away; but well before the first vote is cast, Newt Gingrich is ceding defeat, while Ron Paul savors any place in the top three as essentially a victory- with a real chance of coming in first.
Paul is virtually tied for first with Mitt Romney, but his lead depends on maintaining an unusual coalition comprised largely of independents and Democrats. (Voters can register as Republicans on the day of the caucus.)
However, Paul and his aides have framed his campaign more as an ideological movement than the election of a single man. As recently as Friday, the candidate said he wasn’t playing “a numbers game”:
“So in many ways, it’s a political revolution to change these ideas, but it’s an intellectual revolution,” Paul explained, wrapping up a nearly hourlong speech. “It’s a change in ideas about economic policy, understanding our traditions about foreign policy, understanding monetary policy. This is where we’re making progress. This is where we have advanced so much over the last couple decades and even in the last four years.”[via Politico]
In a bold show of confidence, Paul even returned home to Texas for the weekend, as every other candidate raced around Iowa.
Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich has a much different tone. “I don’t think I’m going to win,” he told a crowd in Independence, Iowa. However, Gingrich also told the audience that simply surviving the negative attacks of recent weeks is a victory. Just weeks ago, Gingrich was a front runner, and predicted his ultimate victory in the nomination process.
Rick Santorum is enjoying a thrust in the polls leading into the caucus, as his campaign eagerly hopes for a second or even first place finish. (A third place finish for Romney, behind Paul and Santorum, is a possible scenario that could notably affect his momentum.)
Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann lag far behind. Jon Huntsman has not campaigned in the state.
What do you think? Who will win tonight?