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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