By James Oliphant January 2, 2012, 1:25 p.m. Reporting from Des Moines
While other candidates were speaking at coffeehouses and diners on the day before the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul was greeted by a crowd of 500 and scores of national media who packed a downtown hotel ballroom for a morning event.
“This is almost like a real rally,” the Republican presidential hopeful exclaimed. “This is great!”
Polls show Paul in a position to pull off an upset victory in the caucuses Tuesday night, an accomplishment that, if it happens, would amount to one extremely sharp stick in the eye of the GOP establishment.
The turnout had Paul’s supporters crowing.
This article originally appeared on RealClearPolitics.
NEWTON, Iowa — As they waited for a bus dubbed the “Constitution Coach” to pick them up at the Des Moines airport and bring them to their makeshift lodgings late Tuesday, about two-dozen college-aged Ron Paul volunteers mingled in the cold night air.
The sudden appearance of a reporter’s notebook and tape recorder drew comments befitting a group of young people who proudly wear their skepticism on their sleeves.
“What’s the article you’re going to be writing, man?”
“Yeah, what’s the spin, bro?”
Asked where they had flown in from, the answers ranged from California to Virginia — with one twenty-something purporting to have made the trip from Brazil to help Paul win the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday.
By DAVID ESPO AP Special Correspondent
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Texas Rep. Ron Paul received a welcome befitting a man with a suddenly serious chance to win next week’s Iowa Republican presidential caucuses as he arrived in the state Wednesday for a final burst of campaigning.
His rivals attacked him, one by one.
If the 76-year-old libertarian-leaning conservative was bothered, he didn’t let it show. He unleashed a television commercial that hit Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. In his remarks, he lumped all his rivals into one unappealing category.
“There’s a lot of status quo politicians out there,” Paul told a crowd of a few dozen potential caucus-goers who turned out to hear him on the grounds of the Iowa Speedway. “If you pick another status quo politician nothing’s going to change.”