Is Ron Paul Electable? Iowa Says He Might Be.

According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Newt Gingrich (33 percent), Ron Paul (18 percent), and Mitt Romney (18 percent) lead the pack among likely Iowa Republican caucus goers.

The poll also asked which candidate best reflect a series of positive characteristics: Ron Paul trumps the others on honesty, with 23 percent compared to only 13 percent who selected Gingrich and 12 percent who selected Romney. Paul is also nearly tied with Gingrich on best understanding the problems that matter to Iowa voters, and on standing up for what he believes is right. However, Gingrich trumps Romney and Paul on experience, ability to beat President Obama, and reflecting core values of the Republican Party.

Taking a step back, Ron Paul looks pretty good. He’s viewed as the most honest, one of the best at understanding the problems that Iowa voters care about, and standing up for what he believes is right. It sounds like this candidate should be winning.

Yet the poll also revealed some of Paul's potential weaknesses: These same Iowa Republican likely caucus-goers perceive that Paul may not represent the GOP coalition very well, may have difficulty winning in the primaries, and might not fare well against Barack Obama in a general election. (Only 8 percent of Iowa Republican likely caucus-goers thought Paul was best able to beat Obama.)

But the power structure of the GOP has arguably shifted with the emergence of the Tea Party and other ardent advocates of limited government, largely at the expense of values voters and establishment Republicans. Perhaps Iowa caucus goers are confusing today’s GOP for the outmoded GOP coalition of yesteryear. This could explain why they perceive a candidate who leads the pack at understanding the problems they care about as also being simultaneously out of step with the GOP coalition.

Although these Iow voters are unsure of Paul's chances of beating Obama in a general election, a recent NBC News/Marist Poll reveals that among all Iowa registered voters, not just caucus-goers, Paul is the only GOP candidate who does not lose to Obama in a hypothetical match up. In contrast, Gingrich loses by 10 percent and Romney loses by 7 percent, while Paul is dead even.

In another NBC News/Marist poll among all registered New Hampshire voters, Paul is within the margin of error, coming within 2 percent of beating Obama in a hypothetical match up. Gingrich again loses by 10 percent while Romney edges past Obama by only 3 percent.

In sum, among registered Iowa voters Paul appears to have the best shot at beating Obama. However, among Iowa Republican likely caucus-goers, only 8 percent believe Paul has the best chance of beating Obama. Moreover, among registered New Hampshire voters, Paul has the second best chance of beating Obama, second only to Romney, and even then only marginally.

Based on this data, it is not obvious that Paul is less electable than either Gingrich or Romney. So the question remains as to why Iowa Republican caucus-goers continue to perceive Paul as unelectable at the same time that Paul is doing well in hypothetical match-ups with President Obama.

If the 2012 presidential election were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are:

If the Republican caucus were being held today, and the candidates were...who would you support? Which candidate are you leaning toward?

Regardless of who you may support, which of the Republican candidates do you think...?

  • best understands the problems of people like you
  • is the most honest and trustworthy
  • has the best experience to be president
  • has the best chance to defeat Barack Obama in the general election
  • best reflects the core values of the Republican Party
  • is most likely to stand up for what he or she believes in


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  • Half of America||

    But he's CRAZY! He's EXTREME! He's OLD!

  • Apatheist||

    Hah the last one is the excuse that my parents have fallen back on now. Over the last 5 years as shit has gotten worse and worse and with the pathetic group in the primary they have nothing else to say. He might get Alzheimer!

  • jj||

    Cain wasn't much younger.

    Also Paul at 1000 and with ALzheimers will be able to reason better than Newt or Mittens at 50. He can run faster and for longer than I can at half his age.

  • Bschou||

    Ever see Paul speak?

    Paul has twice the energy and enthusiasm about his libertarian ideas then most people half his age.

  • ||

    He is the only one that will protect our liberties. He is crazy?? I am wondering how crazy someone can be to literally predict everything going on right now in 2003. Do your research, stop listening to the media..He isn't crazy or extreme. He is a true American that wants people to be FREE. Unlike Newt who has literally flip flopped his opinions so many times I can't believe people even have the audacity to think he would be any good for this country. He will do nothing but support big business and make the gap between the middle class and the super rich wider. PLEASE refer to Ron Pauls "crazy" voting record,in thirty years he has NEVER
    1) voted to raise taxes
    2) voted for unconstitutional legislation
    3) voted for bail out to corporate companies (LIKE NEWT G. DID)
    4)voted to increase executive and legislative powers including a pay increase (LIKE NEWT DID)
    If that's crazy, then I guess I'm NUTS!
    RON PAUL 2012

  • Apatheist||

    Come on RP trolls how are you supposed to convince people when you can't even recognize humor? Also, go do it somewhere else where people are already more informed on RP than you'll ever contribute and are mostly voting for him already.

  • Apatheist||

    are aren't x2

  • bmp1701||

    Also, Newt apparently is the candidate who most "reflects the values of the Republican Party." True, I guess.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Then it's true. The Republicans are done, call 'em Democrat lite and go home. Fuck 'em.

  • co-opting tired memes ||

    He's old? And Cain's out? Well then this one's ripe for the picking:

    Let's beat Obama with a cane!

  • Colin||

    Imagine if he were the nominee. The media would be talking about the newsletters 24/7.

    He'd have no chance whatsoever.

  • ||

    yeah.. cause you know the media couldnt possibly drudge up anything on newt or mitt.

  • billy banjo||

    Like when Newt and Mitt said they wanted to legalize heroin.

  • pmains||

    Like when Mitt told a medical MJ patient to his face that he "didn't believe" in medical MJ as though Mitt's childish game of "I don't see you, lalala" changes objective reality?

    Ron Paul is more in line with the American people on the issue of drugs than Mitt and Newt are. It's just that none of the "serious" people in Washington want the unwashed masses to have a say in how their government is run.

  • billy banjo||

    Ron Paul is more in line with the American people on the issue of drugs

    MJ is one thing, but heroin? The very word scares most Americans.

  • Scared Shiftless||

    The scariest word to me is TAXES.

  • ||

    Ron has never said "heroin" in that context, a debate moderator did, but yes, on principle, you either believe in personal liberty or you don't. Take it or leave it. Would you shoot up tomorrow of they repealed the law? Has it been effective? Does prohibition prevent or encourage crime?

    Those are the questions to ask.

    PS, Ron's plan doesn't legalize anything but the 10th amendment. Drug laws are a state issue, and that's who'd regulate them if Ron has his way. Sound perfectly reasonable to me.

  • billy banjo||

    So sorry, but Paul came close enough in the first debate to saying he wanted to legalize heroin that it will be used against him. I'm not commenting on the principle, just on the political reality.

  • ||

    And you think it will cost him the election?

    California will EMBRACE his pro-decriminalizing marijuana, and according to the data shown here, not enough people in the GOP care to matter.

  • Af||

    No, he said it should be a state issue. I watched that debate. It was clearly an attempted set-up by the moderator. Personally, Paul wouldn't have a problem with it. But there is a difference between personally believing something and leaving it up to the states. I personally believe seat belts shouldn't be mandatory. But I also believe it's a state issue. Get it? Probably not.

  • anon||

    THIS. If we emphasize to our non-libertarian friends that they will have a say in what is prohibited at a more local level, RP sounds less extreme. We have to lead them to the light in baby steps.

  • ||

    Like that time at the North Carolina debate that Ron Paul made fun of the idea that people needed the feds to keep them from doing heroin, and got roaring applause? At a GOP primary debate? In North Carolina?

  • Gojira||

    Pfft, everybody knows that North Carolina is Deep Blue.

  • ||

    Buncha fuckin'junkies too; that applause didn't surprise me.

  • SIV||

    South Carolina.

  • jacob||

    Imagine if he Barack Obama were the nominee. The media would be talking about the newsletters Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers 24/7.

    He'd have no chance whatsoever.

    Fixed it for you

  • Ron Paul||

    I'll surrender to Iran and give the Mullahs whatever they want but hey it's cool maybe I can sit down with Ahmadenijad and talk to him about Rothbard and the wondrous benefits of a GOOOOOOOOOOOOLD backed currency!

  • ||

    Work is not up to grade level. D-

  • jj||

    The trolls these days. Could't hold a candle to back when I arrived on this boards. But back then we had journotrolls like Weigel, so maybe the matchup isn't fair.

  • somalia||

    someone forgot about my roads?

  • 8===D||

    I'm surprised you can type the same post on multiple threads with me in your mouth

  • Af||

    Well, at least you're not like everyone else who surrenders to Israel. You know, the ones who've caused most of our conflicts in the past 50 years. You know, the same ones who make terrorists hate us. Our helping to establish Israel in the Muslim backyard is the equivalent of China establishing an Al Qaeda ran nation in Canada or Mexico.

    Really, why do I even bother to educate pawns? Pawns will do what they are told so it's best just to ignore them.

  • Bschou||

    "surrender to iran"
    We're not at war with them.

    If Paul sat down and talked to the president of Iran about Rothbard and a gold standard it'd be more productive then sanctions and starting another war

  • Really?||

    How do you surrender to a country we aren't at war with?

  • Joe M||

    I'm tellin ya, it's the perfect storm. Once he wins Iowa, dominoes baby.

  • billy banjo||

    Once he wins Iowa, dominoes baby.

    I could use some pizza, right NOW.

  • Ska||

    You know who else could use some pizza right now?

  • ||

    I'd surprised Godfathers doesn't do chicken wings...

  • anon||

    Cain lost my vote in 1995 when my parents took me to a Godfathers.

  • ||

    if there was a like this I would hit it lol

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Will the new web platform force Reason contributors to sign their work? At least we know KMW didn't post this. NEVER FORGET.

  • Joe M||

    8-17-11

  • jj||

    +10

  • RyanXXX||

    I still remember where I was....

  • ||

    Gee, might it have SOMETHING to do with media, particularly Fox, trumpeting at every opportunity that Ron Paul has no chance of winning? All the while ignoring general election polls showing the opposite?

  • ||

    He understands the long term ramifications of short term fixes... Only the shortsighted see him as crazy. His views aren't extreme in the least, as he only wishes to follow the constitution. But I'll grant you, he is old.

  • jj||

    "crazy" is a lame argument for "I'm not bright enough to logically rebut his arguments."

  • billy banjo||

    Name calling - the world's oldest debating technique. Older than yo mama.

  • ||

    It's the excuse they use before they actually read his views and realize they agree with everything he says. I was guilty of this in 2008....He changed my mind, hopefully he will change more.

  • Jk||

    I likes

  • juris imprudent||

    So what's the over/under on the Titties going nuclear - before or after New Years Eve?

    I'm going with under.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I'll take the under on that too. Full meltdown and out of the race by 12/31/11. But how? Sexting an intern? Profanity laden voicemail to ex-wife? Perhaps a DUI/manslaughter charges? Butsecks for meth swap? This will be fun!

  • Ken. E||

    The neocon take on the Paul-less debate — with a little sniping in the COMMENTS section.

  • billy banjo||

    I find it really disturbing that American presidential candidates always have to kiss the ring of Israel.

  • ||

    I find it even more disturbing they have to kiss the hair of trump...but then he's not getting his way, so that makes me kinda happy.

    Whatever happened to the Koch sponsered debate...

  • ||

    Look, after Newt said John Bolton would be his Sec of State - even I will actively campaign for RP and vote for him on Super Tuesday.

    Gingrich/Bolton - may some deity save us.

  • billy banjo||

    Flash: mental image of Bolton giving Hillary a mustache ride.

  • RyanXXX||

    The name "Bolton" is a BIG indicator of general douchebaggery

    Those who've heard the singer, or read George R. R. Martin/Game of Thrones, know what I mean

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    I suppose the real question is, would John Bolton flay our enemies alive, given the chance? All signs point to yes.

  • Fucking Boltons||

    ...are worse than the Freys and Lannisters combined.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No way that's a bona-fide shrike post. Ron Paul is way too "Christ-fag"gy for the likes of shrike.

  • ||

    Paul would get cut into a million pieces by the smear machine.

    Even without the newsletter scandal (which most people do not know about yet) there are plenty of quotes from Dr Paul that you and I and the rest of the H&R colloquium agree with but are going to seem like transmissions from Kepler 22B to the general public.

    BO would be licking his chops to face Paul, because smearing is all he's got left besides class warfare.

  • Joe M||

    Not if Paul is running to his left on the drug war, civil liberties, and war.

  • SIV||

    "to his left"?

  • Joe M||

    to BO's left

  • SIV||

    Ron Paul is the most conservative(ie "right") sitting Congressman.

  • Joe M||

    His positions on the issues I mentioned are considered liberal or left wing.

  • SIV||

    So, "The John Birch Society is to the left of Barack Obama on the drug war, civil liberties, and war." doesn't sound kind of, well DUMB.

    Try:
    "Former GA Republican Congressman Bob Barr was to the left of his colleague Cynthia McKinney on civil liberties."

  • ||

    The giant sucking sound you hear are social conservatives staying home and soccer moms rushing to vote for Obama before the terrorists and butthash dealers get their little babies.

  • poetry||

    excellent use of "butthash." +1

  • ||

    And not if BHO is reeling from the ongoing F&F scandal. A lot can happen in eleven months.

  • ||

    "F&F scandal" - best knee slapper today.

  • ||

    Holder has to be thanking his lucky stars for the Virginia Tech shooting today dominating the news coverage.

    Say...I wonder.....

  • Apatheist||

    Go suck some more Romney dick.

  • billy banjo||

    Is Romney an anatomically correct robot?

  • Farnsworth||

    He is a robotically correct anatomy.

  • ||

    More than the possible opposition? Because Obama, Romney, and Gingrich have such stellar records and lack of flip-flops, gaffes, and outright lies?

  • ||

    Obama has zero ground to stand on to accuse someone of flipflops, and nobody other than rank ideologues care about flipflops anyway.

    I'm not clear on how Obama can help himself by damning Romney for holding a couple of positions that BO currently holds to the Nth degree.

  • ||

    wouldn't he be far more inclined to go head to head with a RINO that certainly won't have the support of Paul's 10-20% of the electorate?

    simple fact: paul's support is staying home if their the nominee, and no republican is going to win the general without them.

    there is no value in replacing one liberal with another, regardless of the letter next to their name.

  • jj||

    Or his support will vote Johnson/Libertarian. (As a naturalized citizen I plan to vote Paul/Republican, and if it comes to it, Johnson/Libertarian.)

  • ||

    either way... it ain't going to be for a liberal "republican" like newt or mitt. certainly now that newt has announced he intends to make bolton his sec. of state and start ww3.

  • ||

    simple fact: paul's support is staying home if their the nominee, and no republican is going to win the general without them.

    Bull. The hardcore Paul supporters maybe, but that ain't 10-20% of the GOP.

  • SIV||

    I'd bet >50% of Ron Paul primary voters vote for the GOP nominee. >80% if he doesn't run as an independent/third party.

  • Double D||

    Tulpa, I think you underestimate both the fervent nature of much of Paul's support, plus the utter disgust most small and big L's have for just about the entire rest of the field. Not gonna find many Team Red players there.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The fact is that most Paul supporters/sympathizers would rather see the Republican party lose to the floundering ascendancy of the anointed one again. They might control at least 5% of the votes in the general and when was the last time a presidential election loser could have won if he had just 5% more votes? Let's not forget that when there are shittier candidates like Obama(now) and Newt(always), more people say "fuck it", and stay home. So that 5% could easily count for 10% if enough people give up. Regardless, those losers can't win without the Libertarian-ish vote. Hell, it basically cost McCain the election last time.

  • tarran||

    I think the whole let's bring Teddy Roosevelt thing that Obama is doing is intended to counteract the platform Ron Paul is advancing.

  • billy banjo||

    Well, Obama has tried to call himself Kennedy, FDR, Reagan, notBush, Caesar and God. He was running out of names. It was only a matter of time before he mentioned Teddy.

  • ||

    *Lincoln

  • ||

    **MLKjr

  • ||

    He's been campaigning against libertarianism pretty much since he's been in office, claiming that small govt/deregulation of the Bush regime caused the crash. Yes, I know that's ridiculous, but it works unfortunately.

    I seriously doubt it's in reaction to Paul.

  • tarran||

    Not in reaction to Paul the man, in reaction to his ideas.

    I think they know that a small-government conservative can energize people to vote against Obama much more easily than any other faction.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    "Yes, I know that's ridiculous, but it works unfortunately."

    Public Education at work.

  • k2000k||

    They've already brought up the 'scandal' and it deflated faster than newtculartities titty bags.

  • ||

    That's why I hope the Democrats hurry up and help the candidates nuke Gingrich so Paul and Romney are the last men standing. I'd bet the Democrats would love to have Paul as the GOP nominee even more than Gingrich.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Proprietiest,

    I'd bet the Democrats would love to have Paul as the GOP nominee even more than Gingrich.


    Among the other really funny and epic miscalculations they are known for.

  • ||

    Exactly. Ron Paul will rail on Obama's warhawking and corporatism and we get to watch the Left forced to defend the more anti-war/anti-corporatist candidate and laugh at them.

  • ||

    You underestimate the left's tolerance for self-delusion ambiguity.

  • ||

    Paul's the last one they want to face.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tulpa,

    Even without the newsletter scandal


    Scandal?

    (which most people do not know about yet)


    Maybe because there's nothing there to know.

  • ||

    Your argument is with RP, not me. He stated that the newsletters were horrifically racist and bigoted in other ways when he (supposedly for the first time) found out what was in them.

  • So...||

    What's the problem?

  • ||

    He's already licking his chops at the chance to face Gingrich.

  • ||

    That too.

    The only one of the GOP candidates polling well now who won't be easy for BO to smear is Romney.

  • Breather||

    This is one of the many reasons Gary Johnson is preferable as a candidate. Paul's spent too many years as an out and out ideologue, with politics (or even practical policy) an incidental aspect of his existence.

    Regardless of the idiotic and racist material that went out in those newsletters (which WOULD be discussed constantly were he to run seriously, particularly running against America's first black president, and perhaps rightfully so as those newsletters should be answered for), Paul has been repeatedly saying many righteous and dead correct things for decades, but for which the voting public is maybe not ready without some finessing. While he's likable and has an offbeat charisma, he does lack rhetorical flair.

    Oh yeah, and of course there ARE the newsletters... And he's 76.

    I wish Gary Johnson just had more oomph. But maybe if he runs third party, he'll actually come alive.

  • Hank||

    Interestingly, many of these polls, if they ask, also show Paul as the most disliked. As in: everyone may have a different first choice, but many who don't love him also agree on Paul as their last choice, which often equates to staying home for the general election if he's the nom.

    He's getting my vote (if I bother), but it's still an uphill battle for sure.

  • Sudden||

    Virtually everyone who has an R next to their name on the voter registration rolls will show up to vote for Ron Paul against Obama. The only ones that won't will be the small cadre of coastal neocons from the tribe.

  • Hank||

    I sincerely hope you're right, and that we at least get that chance.

  • The Tribe||

    You mean, the JOOOOOOOSSSSS?

  • RyanXXX||

    Yes, them. It's not a conspiracy if it's true - Jewish Republicans (at least those with any influence) have it out for Paul

  • ||

    Jewish Republicans?

  • Jooz||

    The Podhoretzes, the Kristols, and such.

  • A Serious Man||

    If the media won't be honest, then Ron Paul just needs to keep swinging away at Newt and Romney with those ads. Anyone know if there will be another debate with RP in it before the cacauses?

  • Joe M||

    Saturday is the next one.

  • Sudden||

    Yeah, and likely one per day thereafter.

  • Ron Paul||

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!! Who wants to hear my NUTTY fucking idea about a GOOOOOOOOOOOLD back currency! That'll get the economy MOVING again!

    Ron Paul--Building a Bridge to 1890!

  • ||

    Hey, The Beckerhead may be on the outs with the crooks at Goldline but his goldbug fans love their doubloons.

  • ||

    isn't this a conservative site? you realize that central banking and fiat money are the ENABLERS of big government, right? they're as progressive and progressive gets, just like the Wilsonian foreign policy the ex-democrat neoconservatives have duped establishment "conservatives" into supporting.

  • ||

    Oh, Jeez, someone else has been duped by that child actor crackpot who wrote 'Creature from Jekyll Island'.

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    What do you have against "The Creature from Jekyll Island"? Sure the conspircay theories are out there, but his analysis of our monetary policy and its consequences are dead on. He wrote that in 1994 and basically predicted the next 13 years perfectly.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Don't you remember shrike, ACSG? He's one of those annoying fuckers who used to hang out here quite frequently.

  • ||

    It's not difficult to understand how fractional reserve banking and fiat money has a natural tendency of accumulating wealth at the top. Just do a little research.

  • yonemoto||

    fuck research, just use logic.

  • ||

    so you're suggesting that a license to print unlimited money DOESN'T encourage government to spend more?

  • ||

    Come'on man! Even a blind man knows when the sun is shining.

  • ||

    Come'on man! Even a blind man knows when the sun is shining.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    This MOST CERTAINLY is NOT a conservavite site! And I demand that you take that back. This is a LIBERTARIAN site. Team Red can go suck the socialist cok with Team Blue thank you very much.

  • ||

    "at the very heart of conservatism is libertarianism"

    -reagan

  • ||

    They've managed to excise us...giving the GOP a fairly irregular heartbeat...and prone to fainting

  • billy banjo||

    'Reagan was not a liberatarian.'

    - an army of libertarians

    Reagan pandered as much as any other politician.

  • SIV||

    "You want a good magazine? Reason magazine... It's a magazine for libertarians. It's a magazine for everybody. It's a magazine for the world. Reason magazine: A good, good magazine."

    Rush Limbaugh

  • Double D||

    Thank you, CB.

  • Sudden||

    Please do not feed zombie troll your brains.

  • k2000k||

    Yes because Gold hasn't been the most stable monetary currency for 5000 years and because every fiat currency ever invented hasn't failed...oh wait.

  • ||

    When the Fed Funds rate hits 3% again gold will fall to less than $900.

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    First, gold cost $19 an oz. in 1913. Whether its at $900 or $1800 now, we've still lost a ton of value over the past 100 years.

    Second, do you really want to use a currency that fluctuates so much? Uncertainty in the value of your money is very counter-productive.

  • Ben Bernanke||

    Uncertainty in the value of your money is very counter-productive.

    Boo-yah!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Shriek,

    When the Fed Funds rate hits 3% again gold will fall to less than $900.


    You mean after the Fed starts brooming the reserve notes from the street?

  • Ken E.||

    The neocons are so unbalanced by a possible Paul challenge to their adventurism that they're even willing to paint him as a leftist, e.g., an advocate of socialized medicine!

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    Ron Paul is a Leftist in Libertarian clothes

    If by Leftist you mean... Classical Liberal, then yes.

  • ||

    Gold hasn't been the most stable monetary currency for 5000 years

    It was pretty much the only widespread currency for 4800 of those years, and has had some instability of its own (the immediate post-Columbian decades come to mind).

    Plus...there are fiat currencies existing today, so one can't plausibly say every one of them has failed.

    But your larger point is correct.

  • ||

    Very telling that this is all you have to bring to the conversation. The stench of your fear is sweet in my nostrils.

  • Sam Grove||

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!! Who wants to hear my NUTTY fucking idea about a GOOOOOOOOOOOLD back currency! That'll get the economy MOVING again!

    Sraw man.

  • ||

    Don't know who you are but I do know you are an idiot. We should have stuck with gold as our monetary value.

  • ||

    "In sum, among registered Iowa voters Paul appears to have the best shot at beating Obama. However, among Iowa Republican likely caucus-goers, only 8 percent believe Paul has the best chance of beating Obama. "

    goes to show you the power of the establishment-owned media spin machine and their talking heads. say something enough times, it becomes the truth.

    seriously. do some reading. think for yourself. iowans apparently have, and the results speak for themselves.

  • ||

    Most news comes from AP wires, which have been including the unelectable line for awhile. It's easy to control the news when it's disseminated from a central source.

  • ||

    Judging by Ron Paul's online support level, he definitely could run successfully for e-President, if nowhere else.

  • billy banjo||

    If online support were a measure of real-world support, Ron Paul would have been voted dictator-for-life years ago.

    That just goes to show you how much online support really means and how many Paul supporters have no life beyond their keyboards.

  • jj||

    Buulllshitt. Paul has a small (say 10%) but avid following. I live in Georgia, and see nary a Mitt Romney, and never a Gingrich bumper sticker. When I travel anywhere: Atlanta, or the wastelands of East Bumfruck I'm certain to see a Ron Paul sticker, if not a billboard. This country is in the throes of a revolution and the media has not yet seen it.

  • yonemoto||

    it's true, I drove across country in 2009 and saw ron paul bumper stickers and billboards all over the place. I was at a rest stop in North Dakota doing push ups and this guy stopped me and commended me on my ron paul bumper sticker, saying, I should have voted for that guy.

  • robc||

    You should have seen rural KY a few years ago. Between Owensboro and Bowling Green, there wasnt a yard sign for his primary opponent. Paul ones were all over the place.

    Woops, wrong Paul. But the point still stands.

  • billy banjo||

    I was at a rest stop in North Dakota doing push ups and this guy stopped me and commended me

    "doing push ups"? Is that what young people call meeting guys at highway rest stops these days?

  • ||

    Is that what young people call meeting guys at highway rest stops these days?

    Yup. Actually, it's even being used colloquially in place of wide stance amongst the more hip Old-White Guy-Republican-Gay Basher-Poop Stall Hypocrites.

  • SIV||

    Georgia cast the most votes for any LP candidate in any political contest ever.

  • ||

    Yeah, but will Paul get them off their tractors?

  • Sudden||

    If we set up the polling places in Walmart or Bass Pro Shops, we'll be able to get the tractor pull vote.

  • NoVAHockey||

    If he pulls hard enough

  • ||

    I don't get the H&R mockery of tractor pulls. Sure, a lot of rednecks go to them, but the last time I checked things with motors on them are still awesome. And those pull tractors have some crazy fuckin motors.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    It's more of a mockery of MNG. He once slipped up and accidentally let his ugly bigotry toward my people slip out with some kind of comment about people who shop at Wal-Mart and Tractor Pulls.

  • Gojira||

    And then compounded it a few months later by accusing someone of making posts "without substance" and talking about how he made more money than all of us, as if that somehow correlates to the correctness of ones thoughts.

  • ||

    As long as we can agree that all things horsepower related are most likely righteous, I am on board.

  • Coeus||

    It's actually a mockery of something MNG said. But seriously, have you ever been to one? I would never have thought that something so loud could be so boring.

  • Nipplemancer||

    You obviously didn't drink enough.

  • billy banjo||

    The head-to-head match up question is specious during a primary, particularly when there are still lots of hats in the ring. Anyone paying enough attention to meaningfully answer the question is almost certainly leaning toward some candidates more than others, whatever they tell the pollster, and is not likely to give an answer free from a desire motivated by wanting to beat those whom a)they do not want as the nominee and b)they see as a real threat to the nominee which they prefer. That builds in a bias which exaggerates in favor of those potential nominees who are not perceived as having much of a chance to win the nomination, i.e. RP.

    Name recognition is also important in the head-to-head match up question and biases the question in favor of those who are well-known, i.e. Gingrich, and those who have the cash to publicize themselves, i.e. Romney.

    After the primary is over, these considerations go away. Everyone paying attention will know who the Republican nominee is, regardless of prior name recognition or campaign cash and there will be no mental calculations being made concerning competing potential nominees. So what voters actually think about a head-to-head match up and who they say they vote for will be different after the primary.

    But poll results are the only thing to talk about when there are no actual votes for political junkies to ponder.

  • anonymous commenter some guy||

    True, billy, but I would only expect Paul's favorability over Obama to go up as other candidates leave the race. After all, there are plenty who don't want him to win the nomination, but would still vote for him in the general (either through party allegiance or "lesser of two evils" decision-making)

  • billy banjo||

    I agree with everything you have written.

  • anon||

    Donate for RP today! For all his flaws, he is far and away the best candidate for America.

  • Hank||

    But donate to Reason first!

    (I'll pick up my kickback at the usual spot, Nick.)

  • Nick and Matt||

    And buy our fucking book you bastards!

  • Chaos Punk||

    Ron Paul is hella razor!

  • ||

    if newt gets the nomination the party has gone to hell. as bad as i hate obama he would get my vote. i will write in dr paul

  • Brandon||

    You're voting twice?

  • billy banjo||

    But the power structure of the GOP has arguably shifted with the emergence of the Tea Party and other ardent advocates of limited government, largely at the expense of values voters and establishment Republicans.

    I believe that for establishment Republicans (since so many got primaried), but not for values voters. I don't see any evidence that values voters have lost any influence due to the TP. The fraction of the GOP base that wants Huckabee style use of government power to actively enforce traditional values is still around and the values voters who believe in limited government both fiscally and socially were showing up at TP rallies. The current fiscal problems overshadow social concerns for many voters, but haven't replaced them for those who care.

  • Old Mexican||

    Looking at the WaPO/ABC poll, it's interesting to see that while people consider Gingrich more experienced than Paul 43% vs 13%, they do not regard Gingrich as more honest than Paul or even equal, but much less 13% vs 23%, which tells you a lot about the willingness of Team Red voters to accept a liar as presidential candidate as long as he shows "experience."

  • ||

    But he's "their" liar. Identity politics at its finest. As long as he's lying to screw over someone else, they're cool with it.

    I have to laugh at Newt winning the "values" section though. Newt's values are doing what's good for Newt. He doesn't give a whit what happens to the average citizen.

  • billy banjo||

    ^^logic error: compilation terminated

  • Neo Con(ned)||

    No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts

    Koo! Koo! Koo! Koo!

    Those guys were completely out to lunch.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    How is Obama beating RP in New Hampshire?

  • here all week||

    With a switch cut from a maple tree.

  • ||

    An unsecured southern border.

    Build that fucking fence you silly porcupines!

  • F Hart||

    Massholes?

  • Sucktackular||

    Why do Iowa Republican caucus-goers continue to perceive Paul as unelectable at the same time that Paul is doing well in hypothetical match-ups with President Obama? Easy. Fox News.

  • Joe M||

    Fox News runs the Anybody But Paul faction.

  • Justin||

    Gingrich beating Paul in both experience and Obama-beatability shows that IA voters are not paying enough attention. It is obvious that is just an opinion shaped by media support.

  • ||

    Until we the people get our heads out of our collectiv(ist) asses, it doesn't matter who the president is.

    We're the problem, not the president.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    ^^^FUCKING THIS^^^

  • ||

    I genuinely hope I can eat my hat over laughing at Paulbots and their guarantees he'll win the nomination. His campaign seems to be doing the right things. And no hate group money news this year so far.

    Unlike Huckabee's run last time, if Paul actually wins IA, he'll trigger a NH win, and will be looking pretty good in SC and NV. The news will try to sabotage him with the newsletter story, and he'd better come right out, name names and explain that it was a crappy and ill-advised strategy, and apologize for his lack of better oversight. He should have done that last time so it would be a non-issue, but now the news will likely drive the rhetoric. If he doesn't do it right, voters will retreat back to Romney for safety.

  • Democrat||

    If he doesn't do it right, voters will retreat back to Romney for safety.

    But...but...that means that Republicans aren't beer-swilling, confederate-flag flying racists?! That couldn't be true...no...no...my fucking team blue brain can't take it...

    Wait...but it also means that they would rather blow up brown people then elect a guy who stopped giving a shit for a couple of years when he was horribly disillusioned by the party/country that disowned freedom. Ok...well at least Republicans will still be warmongering racists of some stripe when they reject RP. All is still right (no...not really) with the world.

  • ||

    I love the stories that list the Iowa poll results: Gingrich 1, Paul 2, Romney 3, and then spend the rest of the article explaining why it's a two man race between #1 and #3...

  • Daniel||

    Tell me about it... I am seeing so much of this on every news outlet recently!

  • F Hart||

    The real powers that be will never let him get past Iowa. Planes have a funny way of flying to the sides of mountains.

  • Brandon||

    They're gonna put a mountain in Iowa?

  • MlR||

    No, because both Party Establishments and their fans in the press would unite against him.

  • ||

    Here's the deal. I've been a ron paul supporter for years... the fact of the matter is, and this needs to be clear, is that Ron Paul would get ALOT of Democratic Voters, not necessarily among the "Established" Democrats but with Young People and with Social Libertarians

  • SIV||

    Nah, Ron Paul is for private property, against abortion and doesn't think the government owes you a free education.

  • gong!||

    Ron Paul would get ALOT of Democratic Voters

    Nope. RP is a Republican. Check your facts.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi||

    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....Hw.twitter
    Korn: Obama's an Illuminati puppet

  • cynical||

    Well, yeah.

  • Larry Blucher||

    So, Iowa is showing support for Ron Paul because they like his honesty (a rare quality in a politician). And, they support Newt Gingrich, despite his dishonesty? Is Iowa really willing to overlook his infidelity? This vote may give us a good look at Iowa's values.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Stupid people are stupid.

  • And...||

    Democracy starts to fail when most voters are stupid.

  • Katie4Politics||

    It is nice to read an article based on facts and not the typical "media spin."

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    Yeah, it's media spin that Ron Paul usually can't attract enough voters to fill the room in a typical Lefty's cranium.

    When RP gets crushed in Iowa, as always, will you then stop this infantile devotion to a guy who has no interest whatsoever in being President? Do you clowns not get it? You're being played. RP is in the race for...RP (more visibility=higher speaking fees/a place in history books)

    But don't ask me. Ask Harold Stassen.

    Sure, RP is 100% correct re: the federal govt's domestic duties, but:

    1) his foreign policy is laughable and incoherent.
    2) most Americans (like it on not) are in favor of the War on Drugs. Oh, yeah, and I'm guessing ending the WOD would happen in the same quick manner as that once-fabled Gitmo shutdown.

    So go ahead, True Libertarians, suck down an appletinis, vote for Obama and mutter: civillibertiesvoteconsciencedamnbushteambluebastardsgrumblewhycanteveryonebeassmartasme

  • Haha||

    Not voting for Obama, does not count as voting for him regardless of what your ill(public?)-educated, red-spray painted, dessicated husk of an emaciated brain keeps telling you.

    And how is his foreign policy laughable? He told Congress, repeatedly, that we would be attacked by Muslims because we pissed them off(primarily through unconstitutional immoral actions akin to the atrocities perpetrated by the British Government the colonies separated from), YEARS before it happened. We've been following you glorious Captain America policy for decades now and what has it wrought? Contempt and disgust. People looking for vengeance eventually unite with the religious nuts, but getting some good ol' revenge is always at the core of terrorist groups. Without it, they'd be as effective as your dick on an Earthday. And what have these pathetic, low, insane terrorists accomplished? They've practically brought us to our knees. They make you piss your pants like the fucking little girl you are. They've done something the Soviet Union could never have done. They've won even when they've lost, because they didn't have to do much. Our government is the best player on THEIR team.

    So go ahead, True Republicans, join the army you claim to love so much and get your brains blown out by some orphaned kid(whose parents were blown up through collateral damage who fervently follows a nutty religion ...because fuck it, what else is there to do WHEN YOUR PARENTS WERE INCINERATED) with an Ak-47 in some godforsaken place you can't spell, locate on map, or let alone, pronounce.

  • jacob||

    Quit trying to post insightful messages. You should go back to Free Republic and suck some more dick. At least you're good at that.

  • ||

    RUPaul is a neo-nazi idiot

  • Nike Dunk Shoes||

    thanks

  • Some Guy||

    But the power structure of the GOP has arguably shifted with the emergence of the Tea Party and other ardent advocates of limited government

    Let's be serious...

  • john||

    Who ever wins must end the patriot act which just does not work and release the person in prison who printed liberty dollars give him a job at the treasury department

  • Dan ||

    Wake up people we're driving off a cliff, not time to change drivers time to change direction. RON PAUL everybody!!!!!! Think about it.

  • T.j||

    I see folks saying "Ron Paul is a looney, just like his foreign policy." So are you telling me the majority of the military are "looney"? Most of the people have probably never even served their country in the military.

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