Ron Paul intensifying Iowa efforts ahead of Ames Straw Poll

Ron Paul speaks during a campaign stop in Iowa City, Iowa. | AP Photo

‘I hope you don’t let me go from Ames being sad this year,’ said Ron Paul on Tuesday. | AP Photo Close
By DAN HIRSCHHORN | 8/3/11 4:15 PM EDT

Ron Paul announced a five-city Iowa bus tour next week with his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, as part of an increasingly intense straw poll effort aimed at coming in strong at Ames.

Paul himself said that coming in at anything less than third place would be a disappointment on Tuesday, the first time he’s publicly pegged his expectations. But after years of dominating smaller, less contested straw polls, Paul’s facing a new situation at Ames. Since only Iowa residents can cast votes in the straw poll, he’s had to focus on making inroads to new voters, rather than relying on his small but fervid group of grassroots supporters who trekked across the country without any involvement — or even explicit encouragement — to back him.

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