Presidential primary politics is a game of expectations.
As such, Ron Paul doesn't need to win either of those states to precipitate a tectonic shift in the increasingly chaotic Republican primary process — of 1968 Democratic primary proportions. In 1968 Minnesota Senator Gene McCarthy, the Democratic peace (in Vietnam) candidate was given little chance by the media when he challenged a sitting president, LBJ. As with most things political, the media's analysis of voters' discontent with Johnson's handling of the Vietnam war was way off-base. Senator McCarthy actually lost New Hampshire to President Johnson, 50%-42%. But McCarthy's strong showing against Johnson who barely cracked 50% was viewed as a titanic defeat for the President. Bobby Kennedy jumped into the race and less than 20 days after his New Hampshire "victory" Johnson announced he would not seek re-election. It was the ultimate political Pyrrhic victory.