There are always those moments in a dark horse’s political campaign where they know they have to win a particular contest or it’s probably not going to happen for them. Again, I’m going to draw a parallel to Howard Dean. You Roniacs may not like this, but oh well, the comparison is apt in my mind so I’m sticking with it.

In 2003, I’d argue that it was the online poll that Howard Dean overwhelmingly won. After that Democrats started really taking notice and pouring money into the campaign and as Dean raised millions, the media took notice. But the MoveOn poll was the turning point.

So what’s Ron Paul’s? Well, as the title suggest, I think this Saturday’s straw poll very well might be his. That’s why he’s starting to run ads in Iowa.

In fact, he’s essentially coming right out and saying as much…

The Texas Congressman has begun running television ads in Iowa before Republicans there travel to Ames this Saturday for a crucial straw poll. Current and former frontrunners Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are not participating in the poll, meaning Paul could receive higher-than expected support.

“We have a ways to go. We have to translate that tremendous support we have on the Internet into real votes,” Paul said in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday. “And we may learn about that this Saturday whether we have been able to achieve that.”

Or, for that matter, not achieve it? This is really going to be a test of whether he can turn online support into real world support.

And Paul isn’t just running ads. See, since this straw poll costs $35 to vote in (how very democratic…), he’s bought 500 tickets so people can vote for him…

Thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, we have purchased 500 tickets for eligible Iowa residents. We will make them available at no charge to eligible Iowan residents on a first-come first-serve basis. In addition to voting, this Red ticket will allow you access to the Hilton Coliseum where the candidate speeches will be delivered.

So then, is this make or break time? And please explain why…I don’t want Roniac spam please. We’ve written enough stories by now that I think this site deserves some honest discussions, yes?

Politics Iowa Straw Poll: "Make Or Break" For Ron Paul?