COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA -- "I think Ron Paul just won Iowa," declared Mark Hansen, Ron Paul's Pottawattamie County coordinator. Here at a bar serving as the unofficial county headquarters of the Paul campaign, Hansen had just conceded that Paul would not win the popular vote in Iowa, but he also pointed out that after the straw polls, the precincts appointed delegates to the county conventions in March -- and that in every precinct in Pottawattamie, at least, two or three Ron Paul supporters volunteered to be delegates, and few other candidates' supporters volunteered.
Delegates at the county conventions help select delegates to the state convention, which then select delegates to the Republican National Convention.
Technically, tonight's vote was a straw poll, determining no delegates, but setting the tone. The only actions that actually could make a difference in electing delegates to the National Convention heavily favored Paul. Nobody will be watching in June, unless this election gets much more exciting, but Ron Paul might send more Iowa delegates to Tampa than any other candidate.