Doug Wead, the Parson Weemsish character who taught George W. Bush about evangelical politicking, makes a case that it will be Ron Paul who wins the Iowa Republican caucuses in a couple of months. Sure, Wead’s working for Paul these days, and it’s his job to spin such tales. But Wead learned the tricks of Iowa the hard way back in 1988, when Pat Robertson stole second place from George H.W. Bush (Bob Dole from nearby Kansas was the discounted winner).
If Paul does indeed have the ground game to get his folks to the caucuses, he could well eke out a narrow victory with, say, 30 percent of the vote–three times his 2008 take–especially if the evangelical churches lack a single candidate to roll out the buses for. Of course, where Paul would go next is another question–and that’s also a lesson of 1988. Robertson looked good after Iowa, but he was badly beaten by Vice President Bush in Michigan and New Hampshire, and then got smashed in South Carolina as well as on Super Tuesday. In a word, after Iowa, Paul has nowhere to go.