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The general consensus on the voting today is that if Ron Paul wins at Ames - a possibility that's quite real - it is good for Rick Perry. It keeps Michele Bachmann from galvanizing her support base, prevents a potential Mitt Romney alternative (Tim Pawlenty) from resurrection and gives Perry a major window.
But it's also not a terrible scenario for Romney, who is skipping Ames but is also engaged in a delicate dance over how heavily he competes in a state he has a complicated relationship with.
Romney's best hope is a clear Bachmann win. But a Paul win would help to diminish the overall process in Iowa to outsiders, and could potentially confirm the critiques that GOP caucus-goers are a slender electoral slice that doesn't represent much of the rest of the Republican party.
Originally posted by filosophiawhy do they talk about Mitt Romney whose only support is Utah?