Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't laugh at Paul

Ron Paul's not as big of a joke as people think.

Do I think he has a serious chance at the Republican nomination? Not really. But I think he could play a much bigger role in the race than people might expect. Consider some of these recent poll numbers:

-In Iowa Paul's net favorability with GOP voters is +38 at 55/17. The only Republican more popular with the base than that in the state is Mike Huckabee. Paul's numbers trump Tim Pawlenty (+32), Mitt Romney (+30), Sarah Palin (+29), and Newt Gingrich (+21) as well as a cadre of other less well known candidates. Paul has part of the same problem Palin showed in her polling earlier in the year- a disconnect between the extent to which people like him and their willingness to spend their vote on him- but those are still some pretty good numbers.

-On our 'main' ballot test in Iowa Paul gets 6%, tying Pawlenty and slightly edging Michele Bachmann's 5%. In a field without Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin- something entirely plausible- Paul gets 16%, putting him in third place in the state.

-It's a similar story for Paul in New Hampshire. His favorability there is +32 at 53/21, putting him behind only Romney. He does better than Pawlenty's +20, Huckabee's +12, Palin's +12, and Gingrich's +9,

-Paul gets 9% on our 'main' ballot test in New Hampshire, besting Palin's 7%, Pawlenty's 4%, and Bachmann's 3%. Paul gets all the way up to 18% in a Huckabee/Palin/Trumpless field there, finishing second only to Romney.

There's been endless jabber today about the impact of Haley Barbour not running but I honestly think in the long haul Paul will pick up more support than Barbour ever would have and that he will pick up a lot more support than many of the other folks sucking up the media air as well. He probably won't win the nomination but with a weak field that the Republican base is unenthused about I bet he'll be a much bigger player this time around than he was in 2008.


Anonymous said...

win or lose

i will give every dollar and all of my energy to Dr Paul's campaign

Ron Paul 2012

I Am Iron Man said...


Before reading this I really didn't think Paul would do as well in 2012 as he did in 2008 just because I know a lot of people who used to support him who no longer do.

But you make some great points here and I should know that my own personal experience doesn't mean much... especially considering I don't really don't know anyone that would be considered a regular GOP voter.


After reading your points I can almost imagine a scenario where it comes down to Romney vs. Paul and all of the anti-Romney vote comes together for Paul... almost.

CraigS said...

Think Harold Stassen.
Ron Paul will be 80 in 2016. Lot's if people agree with him on issues. They just won't put him in the WhiteHouse. What is his management background ? What does he know about business ? What has he ever done ?

Be serious


Mike said...

"...because I know a lot of people who used to support him who no longer do."

How come? Guess they decided the Matrix was preferable to the truth. Idiots.

Brian O'Connor said...

The Barbour jabber has more to do with where his donors will go, not his votes.

Anonymous said...

"What is his management background ? What does he know about business ? What has he ever done ?"

He completed medical school and served as a flight surgeon in the armed forces. He ran his own practice as an obstetrician for decades, delivering over 4,000 babies. He was also a partner in a successful coin business, and has published several best-selling books.

And what have you done lately?

Anyway, the idea that the country needs a "manager" is progressive nonsense. The country would benefit by a president who fulfills his constitutional obligations, vetoes bad laws, shows restraint and humility, and isn't personally extravagant or an attention whore.

Phathead said...

What Experience Does Obama Have? A community organizer and a handful of years in the legislature. Paul has run a medical practice and delivered 4000 babies. If you want the kind of experience you Are looking For Gary Johnson is the best choice. Romney has to answer for his own socialist medical program. Palin ain'T running, T-Paw is a dbag, Trump bankrupted a casino, and the huckster is a fascist. Who cares how old he is...its about the message

Matthew Shrugged said...

Paul is, unfortunately, unelectable. I look at Paul Ryan's plan to tame the budget which is pretty reasonable and rational and I look at how the media is committed to tearing him to shreds for it, the charge led by Obama who has gleefully lied and misled the public about what the plan consists of.

Energy ought to be focused on realistic candidates. As much as I like Representative Paul, there are more important things at stake.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that those people who used to support Ron Paul, but no longer do are liberal Democrats that don't vote in Republican primaries anyway. One of the mistakes Ron Paul made in 2008 was the way he presented his message in a way that he appealed primarily to the most liberal wing of the Republican Party despite his decades-long record to the contrary.

In 2008, Ron Paul was that "America-hating" "cut and run" "RINO" who talked alot about some obscure Bank that Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Hannity had never said anything about. That is the way much of the Republican base viewed him, so it is no surprise that he didn't win. In 2012, Ron Paul is the most fiscally conservative candidate in the field in a year where cutting spending is the most pressing concern of Republicans and stopping inflation is the most pressing concern of ordinary Americans. Ron Paul's record is much closer to the current mainstream of the Republican Party than the rest of the field. Ron Paul certainly didn't raise taxes while governor of a state (he has never voted for a tax increase) and he certainly didn't sign an Obamacare-style mandate into law. There are Republican candidates in the field who did those things (with the exceptions of Michelle Bachmann and that off-brand Ron Paul from New Mexico, I can't think of anybody else in the field with a fiscally conservative record).

Anonymous said...

What a relief to be able to vote for a candidate I like, such as Ron Paul, instead of what apparently many Americans often do (and I did for decades), which is cast an "anti-this or that vote" of one kind or another.

Win or lose.

Richard said...

@Matthew Shrugged... ok I guess you believed it when Trump called Paul unelectable... but Paul has been elected, what, 10 times to congress? How many times has Trump been elected to any office?

You seem to believe in the King-making ability of the media.

But then, why does Ron Paul get so much airtime these days? You'd think if they could prevent that, they would, but for some reason, they put him on. Perhaps they fear they'll lose even more credibility, like they did in 2008, if they continue to ignore him?

Its quite possible that they won't be able to stop his message, which is more important than his candidacy.

As for him being in his 70's... well, that's what a VP is for, innit?

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Paul has been elected, what, 10 times to congress?"

In a very Republican district.

Bill said...

"In a very Republican district."

With no backing from, and usually the opposition of, the Republican party there.

The Interesting Times said...

In my last estimate Paul only wins 28 delegates at the convention. The next strongest candidate, Pawlenty, gets 57, more than double Paul's delegates.

Only Daniels and Bachmann fare worse, with only 8 and 3 delegates, respectively.

Frontrunners Huckabee and Romney, on the other hand, get 685 and 613 delegates, respectively. The second tier of Palin and Gingrich get 195 and 140.

Keep in mind also that Paul hasn't won a single state outright in any poll. In a primary system that is dominated by winner-take-all states, that's a campaign-ender.

Basically, Paul doesn't stand a chance, not even as a spoiler. Think of him as a more right-wing Giuliani.

Richard said...

@Dustin... yes, a district gerrymandered by Tom DeLay in a neocon attempt to oust Paul.

Richard said...

@ The Interesting Times...

So, you're using Paul's 2008 counts to DQ him in 2012 against a different field, and with greater public recognition?

I think I'll put as much faith in your predictions here as Jon Stewart would, at this point.

I forget, was it Huck or Romney that eventually won the nomination in 2008?


The Interesting Times said...

Actually, Richard, I'm using current state-by-state polling for the 2012 primaries to produce my delegate count estimates. 2008 is not part of the equation.

Paul's main problem, as in 2008, is his failure to win entire states. In the GOP primary, which is dominated by winner-take-all states, you get blown out if you don't come in first place in any states.

Paul won 35 delegates in 2008. He's currently on track for a similarly hopeless performance in 2012.

The Interesting Times said...

As for Paul getting reelected repeatedly in his home district...

Paul brings home a lot of pork to that district. And quite hypocritically, I might add.

Sort of like Murtha's district. Bring home the pork, and they'll love you forever.

Richard said...

Gotta respect a guy that gets his district their share while voting against it all, huh? I guess now you're faulting him for doing the job his constituents expect of their Congressman? We should not forget that that is still his job. Just because all the other candidates spend their work-time campaigning instead, doesn't mean he should ignore those he represents, does it? And I'm sure if he had, you'd be faulting him for that too, so nice job calling up a no-win issue. Based on that logic, is there ANYONE you'd find competent?

And I don't really think you have 2012's primary results yet, but merely some early polling results. And we know how accurate those can be.

A lot can happen in a year.

Care to make a wager? You pick any republican against Paul, and if yours gets more delegates than Paul, I'll pay off. If Paul gets more, you pay off. Care to put your money where your mouth is, or is it too early after all?

Anonymous said...

Your headline and sub-headline demonstrate that you are a disgrace to your family, your friends, your profession and your species.

Ron Paul has been the most SERIOUS man in Washington every day that he's been in office. He deserves to win the presidency on his understanding of monetary policy alone.

Please crawl away and pray that Google removes all references to your embarrassment of a blog.

Anonymous said...

I predict there to be an avalanche of Ron Paul supporters that come out of the woodwork. He is the only candidate that liberals would actually vote for and that makes him a unifying presence.

Interesting Google trends stats on Ron Paul vs. Obama in 2008...

He has my vote, my financial campaign support, and I will do whatever I can to spread the word.

Anonymous said...

hmm. how big a joke is he then?

Anonymous said...

Craig S - What kind of qualifications do you want? He was a flight surgeon, ran a ob/gyn practice for years, ran a publishing company and has been a congressman for years - and the only one who consistently stands by his principles.

I think that competes with Obama's community organizer/university lecturer past, or George W. Bush's failed oil man/campaign adviser/baseball team owner past.

NRH said...

Well, the headline is accurate. Don't laugh at Ron Paul. He's serious and means more or less everything he says, particularly including the craziest bits. Laugh at his positions, laugh at his deluded followers (do please 'give every dollar' to his campaign), laugh at his quixotic campaign and laugh at the microscopic odds of him making any sort of meaningful blip in the final delegate count. But be nice, don't laugh at the crazy old man directly.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what happens...I will give all my energy and effort into Ron Paul and nobody else. I'm not sure that I'll even vote for any other GOP or democrat a matter a fact I won't and will leave that blank.

I'm sick of the lies and crap by both parties...they are run by the global elite and Dr. Paul is the only hope at stopping that at a federal level...otherwise all we can hope for is secession and the end so we can start rebuilding.

Alex Bakst said...

In my profession (journalist) I have to leave my personal convictions at the door when I enter the office, but my personal beliefs are undeniably liberal-leaning (or progressive or whatever they're calling themselves these days).

I'm sick of the vitriolic discourse in American politics today, and the state of the Republican party has left me wondering if the GOP will ever recover from its steady decline into far-right madness.

I loved the discussion thread here for its polite, rational and clear-headed tone, and that says a lot about Ron Paul and his supporters.

In the absence of a strong Democratic candidate like Obama, I would be very much inclined to vote for a man like Ron Paul, even though some of his more radical ideas are pretty off-putting. I hope he goes far in the primaries, if only to show the other candidates that you don't have to pander to the tea-party conspiracy theorists in order to win the conservative vote.

The Golden Rule said...

It is amazing how synchronus the comments sound of the paul supporters here, being one myself it shows that ron has a lot of students - not followers- who are doing their homework since their congruency implies the understad the ideas and principle BEHIND what ron paul says. This is a good sign for the campaign.

thecoinguy1955 said...

Ron Paul in 2012 or more of the same and we can't afford more of the same.

John said...

Ron Paul is the ONLY hope for America. If anybody else wins in 2012, we're just gonna keep gettin' worse! If Ron Paul wins, we can actually be proud to be Americans again!

William said...

Paul has some appeal and I enjoy his added ideas to debates. What I believe, is that most people really like his stance on domestic policy but can't agree with him on foreign policy. Paul advocates ignoring foreign entanglements and alliances but that is a foreign concept to most Americans.

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