Robert Wenzel over at EPJ has two videos that make things look very suspicious. First, check out the standard way they announced the results of the Iowa straw poll back in 2007 (just watch it starting at 1:00 and end it at 1:30 once you see the obvious pattern):
OK, that’s standard stuff, right? You have a big event that is based on a final ranking, so–DUH–you announce the winners from last to first place, to build suspense. That’s how we do the finalists at Mises University for the oral exams, for crying out loud. Let me reiterate: DUH, of course that’s how any MC in his right mind would announce deeply anticipated results.
Now check out how they announced it this year:
Note that right after the guy walks off stage, you can hear people in the crowd going, “That’s it?! He’s not going to tell us the results?!” Also, when the guy walked over to get the package from the Secretary of State, he called them “the results” (plural). And of course the Fox people are discombulated; everyone is stunned that the results (plural) weren’t announced.
I have two theories:
(A) The Republican establishment stole it from Ron Paul, but they were triple checking the votes they gave to Bachmann from others to make sure they wouldn’t get caught. (They had to make sure the individual numbers added up to the grand total, they probably didn’t want to steal too many votes from the candidates getting just a few votes, since people might be able to reconstruct who voted for whom, etc.)
(B) The MC developed explosive diarrhea while on stage.
UPDATE: Oops, there I go being naive again. The votes we can see don’t add up to the total cast. So it would be really simple to give Bachmann the win, especially if it had been legitimately close. (Another, less sinister theory is that Ron Paul really did come in just shy of first, and the Iowa Republican Party didn’t want to advertise that fact. Since they couldn’t possibly go through everybody except the 2nd place guy, they just said the winner and walked off. But I still smell a rat.)