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With Perry Stumbling, Ron Paul Near The Top in Iowa

Can Ron Paul make a move in Iowa?
Picture courtesy Texas Tribune for KUT
Can Ron Paul make a move in Iowa?

Much of the GOP primary coverage out of Texas has been focused on the campaign of Governor Perry, which you can explain by his dramatic entry and ascension to the top of the GOP field.

But as Perry has become an afterthought in recent national and state polls, Ron Paul and his followers have begun to wonder why they aren't getting more attention.

Paul ranked second in the most recent Des Moines Register poll released last week, sandwiched in between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

The Register has a great story up today talking aboutwhat each of the top three needs to do to pull out a win in Iowa. Number one on Paul's list: grow his base. The Texas Congressman's 18 percent support in the poll isn't likely to decline, because the people who like Paul, love him. They aren't likely to change their minds between now and the caucus. But he'll need to add supporters if he wants to win.

Paul's campaign seems to be trying to do just that with the release of a new video attacking Newt Gingrich.

The flip side of this coin is that while Paul's 18 percent has him near the top of an undecided field. When a front runner begins to take off and garner 30 to 40 percent of the vote, Paul's 18 percent will seem less consequential. As one Iowa Republican put it, "I think he has reached his ceiling."

So has Gov. Perry hit his floor? His poll numbers in Iowa put him next to last. And that's after his campaign has had two weeks of TV ads all over Iowa, including the fourth quarter and overtime of the heavily watched Iowa State upset of Oklahoma State in College football.

The scenarios that have Perry making an Iowa comeback have pointed to the money and organization he'll have ready to roll on caucus day. But former Bush 2004 campaign strategist Mathew Dowd says don't put so much weight on a candidate having good organization.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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