Here’s the scary part: the Paulbots may have the best ground game in Iowa, and that’s critical to winning the caucuses. Frank Luntz was on Hannity this afternoon; he’s been part of more than a few political campaigns and said he was “stunned” at Paul’s level of organization, which will generate a big turnout at the caucuses. In fact, Luntz said he expects Paul to rise in the Iowa polls (contrary to what most pundits are saying) and might even win the caucuses next month.
Don’t get me wrong; the winner in Iowa is almost never the GOP nominee, and Paul’s chances of winning the nomination are approximately zero. But it’s a sideshow the GOP doesn’t need, and it it means the eventual nominee will have to spend more time and effort beating back the lunatic fringe in his own party—not that I believe many of Paul’s volunteers are actually Republicans or conservatives.
I heard the Luntz segment on Hannity but I hesitate to confuse fanaticism with organization. The crazy Paul supporters have *always* been able to engineer polls and they did so in the last campaign. I do not fear the Paulbots will turn out in any substantial amount and even if they do, like you said the Iowa caucuses are a terribly poor predictor of eventual success.