Maddow was discussing what she called Paul's "sustained" and "solid" polling performance in Iowa since Thanksgiving. She pointed out that while Paul was not leading the polls, his consistent performance has caused the "Beltway media" to speculate that the Republican candidate could win in Iowa.
"That would change everything in Republican politics! That would change everything in the 2012 race this year! If Ron Paul won Iowa, that would change everything, right? Wouldn't it?" Maddow said. "No, no it wouldn't."
Maddow referenced former Republican candidate Mika Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008. Maddow said that in 2008, Huckabee "had about as much of a chance to win the Republican nomination for president as [she] did," despite his success in Iowa.
"Iowa Republicans' parochial, picayune, conservatism is so unrepresentative of the rest of the country's voters, even of the rest of the country's Republican voters...Iowa Republicans do not pick presidents. They pick Huckabees."
Maddow admitted that while it would be "fun" to watch Paul win in Iowa this year, it would mean "roughly nothing to the rest of the presidential race."