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If you only read one 20,000 page article about the election, read this one.
The Clintonites had vastly underestimated the turnout. Penn had originally figured 90,000 Iowans would turn out on a snowy night (the pollster/strategist later boosted the number to 150,000). On the night of Jan. 3, 250,000 came to stand around in crowded gyms and be herded into preference groups for one candidate or another. Some 22 percent were under the age of 25, an unusually high percentage from an age group not known for voting. Hillary won just 5 percent of their votes.
An aide approached McAuliffe and said the president wanted to see him. McAuliffe was escorted to the Clintons’ suite by a Secret Service agent. He found Bill Clinton watching a bowl game on TV. The ex-president seemed perfectly relaxed and jovial. “Sir,” said McAuliffe, “have you heard the news?” “What news?” Clinton asked. “We’re going to get killed,” said McAuliffe.
“What!” exclaimed Clinton, who then called out in a loud voice, “Hillary!”
Hillary emerged from the bedroom. McAuliffe recalled: “Nobody had told them. He thought he was going to have a beer with me and watch the game.” Suddenly there was pandemonium. Grunwald and Penn appeared, then Solis Doyle and Wolfson and Neera Tanden, the policy director. “How did this happen?” the Clintons demanded. A squabble broke out when Grunwald showed some negative ads on her laptop that had been madeâ€”but never aired. Penn insisted that the argumentâ€”that Obama had overstated his antiwar credentialsâ€”had tested well; it was the ads themselves, made by Grunwald, that were no good. Now President Clinton wanted to run the ads. “Let’s go,” he said, giving a thumbs-up. But Hillary asked, “Where are we going? It’s just throwing stuff against the wall.”
Reason tallies up the third party candidate votes.
So if you add together Paul with the four candidates he gathered at the National Press Club to endorse (and include Barr, who was invited), Paul’s favored candidates got around 1.5 million votes. In a historical perspective, that’s… not that impressive, still. Ralph Nader got almost twice as many votes in 2000, and John Anderson got almost four times as many in 1980. It’s a bigger third party vote than 2004, but not by much.