Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s victory in Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll has earned her a lot of media attention for her 2012 presidential bid. But nipping at her heels only 152 votes behind was Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who has earned little to no attention from the media.
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer says Paul is being ignored for one reason: He doesn’t stand a chance. Krauthammer explained this on Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.
“Ron Paul is not going to be president of the United States,” Krauthammer said. “We’re not a libertarian country. It’s a very important strain of conservative thought but it’s not the dominant one.” (RELATED OPINION: Who’s really destroying the Republican Party? Hint: It’s not Ron Paul)
According to Krauthammer, the Ames Straw Poll can’t gauge the a candidate’s true following. Even someone like Paul, who has a vociferous following, doesn’t necessarily poll well outside his own bubble.
“If you look at the poll, this is a straw poll that measures enthusiasm but it doesn’t measure the breadth of support,” he continued. “It measures the depth. If you do a poll, his numbers are usually in single digits. So that’s why people are speaking about him. The next president of the United States is going to have the name Bachmann or Perry, Romney or Obama. That is probably, unless somebody enters the field.”
As for the straw poll itself, the Post columnist said it’s part of the narrowing-down process that will eventually produce the 2012 Republican nominee.
“The weekend, it’s always a winnowing,” Krauthammer said. “And I think it gave us the three candidates who I think for weeks it was clear we were going to get. We were always going to have Romney and always a Perry who was making noises on the outside. And it was going to be whoever came out of Iowa out of the straw poll with a clear victory. It looked like Bachmann. In the end it was. That’s what it is, a three-person race. And I think it is a two-tier elimination. There is an undercard to see who will be the non-establishment, the non-Romney, the non-centrist candidate, and then we will have a final round.”