Ames, Iowa

In the post-debate spin room, Iowa congressman Steve King told reporters there's a very good chance that Ron Paul will win Saturday's straw poll. "He's been at this for about five years," said King. He pointed to Paul's extensive fundraising and intense (if limited) grassroots support. "Low turnout, I expect him to win. High turnout, then his odds go down."

King is a close ally of Michele Bachmann, so one might view his comments as an attempt to lower expectations for the Minnesota congresswoman.

King hasn't endorsed Bachmann just yet and insisted he's still weighing his options. "This is more important than friendship," he said. But he added that he's "not leaning away from her at all." King pointed out that he's also very good friends with Tom Tancredo but didn't endorse him in 2008 (he backed Fred Thompson).

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