In an email to supporters, Paul identified the Ames Straw Poll as a “crucial bellwether for the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.” A poor showing could “crush any hope of future success,” he told his supporters.
Paul, who’s waging his third bid for the presidency and has already started running television ads in Iowa, told his supporters that he’s going all out for a stronger-than-expected showing at Ames:
“This year, the Iowa Straw Poll is more important than ever … Columnists, TV pundits, talk radio hosts, and other national media commentators are all looking to the Iowa Straw Poll to see which candidate or candidates have what it takes to win,” he wrote.
“And with my record of NEVER toeing the establishment line, I am the LAST candidate they want to acknowledge as a top contender.
“So I’m counting on you to help me send shockwaves throughout the national political establishment with a strong finish at the Iowa Straw Poll … A strong showing on August 13 is our chance to show that my campaign has the organization and the message to not only stand toe-to-toe with any opponent, but to win this race.”
Four years ago, the Texas congressman, who has a history of winning straw polls, finished fifth in the Ames Straw Poll with slightly more than nine percent of the vote.
The August 13 straw poll, which will be held at the Hilton Coliseum on the campus of Iowa State University, is quickly developing into a free-for-all between Ron Paul, Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has invested heavily in the state, with at least three others — businessman Herman Cain, U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — hoping to beat expectations.
A poor showing by Pawlenty, whose campaign to-date has failed to catch fire, could end his candidacy.