Ron Paul placed fifth in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll yesterday, receiving nine percent of the vote. He placed ahead of every so-called "first tier candidate" except for Mitt Romney, who vastly outspent every other contender in preparation for the poll. Attendance for the straw poll dropped significantly from the poll eight years ago, which may have been reflected in the poor showings by John McCain, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani, who campaigned before the poll despite earlier claims to be staying out of it.
At least two Diebold electronic voting machines failed during the Ames Straw Poll yesterday, forcing between 1500 and 4500 votes to be recounted by hand. Ron Paul and many others had expressed concerns beforehand about the reliability and safety of the Diebold machines in the management of a transparent, accurate election process. It is still unclear if these failures will result in any repercussions in the actual primary and general elections.