New Ron Paul attack ad: Will it slow Newt Gingrich's momentum?
If the new Ron Paul attack ad helps him make further inroads against Newt Gingrich in Iowa and New Hampshire, Paul could throw the GOP presidential race wide open, some experts say.
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For instance, on “Meet the Press” Sunday, Paul said it was “an immoral thing” for Gingrich to take Freddie Mac’s money.Skip to next paragraph
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Paul himself has also started to rise a bit in national polls in recent days. More interestingly, he’s now at 16 percent in the crucial early caucus state of Iowa. That puts him third, just behind Mr. Romney, who’s got 18 percent of Iowa voters at the moment.
With his big campaign war chest, his dedicated core supporters, and his hard-hitting ad campaign, Paul is now poised to be a big factor in the early stages of actual voting, notes The Wall Street Journal’s veteran political sage Gerald Seib.
“A strong Paul performance in Iowa would go a long way toward determining not just the outcome of the Jan. 3 caucuses there, but the path of the crucial phase of the race that immediately follows Iowa,” writes Mr. Seib.
Why? Because if Paul surges into second place, he would make Iowa’s outcome murky, denying Gingrich the momentum of a big victory. That would be good for Romney, according to Seib, because Romney hasn’t made that much of an effort in Iowa, and needs to blunt Gingrich’s charge into the next state to vote, New Hampshire.
Paul also polls well in New Hampshire, adds New York Times polling analyst Nate Silver. So if he does well in Iowa, then builds on that with a good New Hampshire showing, he could muddy the waters for both Gingrich and Romney.
Maybe – just maybe – this would provide an opening for Jon Huntsman Jr. to make serious gains, writes Mr. Silver. In that scenario, Mr. Huntsman could claim that he had supplanted Romney as the safe, electable GOP choice.
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