So, Who Can Ron Paul Actually Vote For Anyway?

The speculation over who Ron Paul will vote for continues to bubble up as election day nears. His latest comments during a Fox Business interview have led to more speculation that Paul will vote third party in November.

"I obviously haven't announced in support for Romney, so that means that's very unlikely and I don't think anybody thinks I'm going to vote for Obama. So it's back to that frustration level in not seeing a dramatic choice in how the system works,” Paul said in that interview.

"Tonight there's a debate going on and if you come to the conclusion that the candidates aren't all that different, why do we have to just listen to two of them?"

"There are other people who are technically capable of winning because they're on a lot of ballots," Paul said.

Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein are on the ballot in enough states to actually win the presidency. (Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode is not.)

When asked directly by interviewer Connell McShane if he would support Johnson, Paul said, “I haven’t decided yet.”

As Paul continues to play this song and dance with the media about not voting for a major party candidate while avoiding endorsing a third party candidate, it's time to ask: Who can he actually vote for in his native Texas?

The Lone Star State will only feature four candidates for president on its ballot: Romney, Obama, Johnson, and Stein. Goode, along with several others including former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, are qualified as official write-in candidates and will have their vote totals tabulated by the state.

Ideologically, Goode and Johnson appear to be the most likely contenders for Paul’s vote as both are real small government types. Stein may agree with Paul on things like foreign policy, civil liberties, and the war on drugs, but the similarities end there. Johnson and Paul disagree on abortion, while Paul and Goode differ on the drug war, but for the most part they agree more than they disagree. 

Both Johnson and Goode have established personal and professional relationships with the libertarian icon. In addition to speaking at his shadow convention in 2008, Johnson is said to have a cordial relationship with Paul, while Goode participated in Paul’s Liberty Caucus meetings as a member of Congress. Goode reportedly donated $500 to Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Paul has a history with both parties, too. In 1988 Paul was the Libertarian nominee for president; in 2008 he endorsed the Constitution Party’s presidential candidate, Chuck Baldwin, over the LP’s Bob Barr (not completely surprising given the bad blood between the two).

When it comes to down-ballot races in his Texas district, Paul’s options are, again, limited to the Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and Libertarians, as they are the only parties with candidates running. Paul has endorsed Ted Cruz, the Republican seeking the U.S. Senate seat in Texas, and Randy Weber, the Republicans seeking his congressional seat in the 14th District.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    One vote can't make a difference.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    His vote, no. But thousands would follow his lead if he announced publically that he was voting for Johnson. Two million votes for Johnson should shake things up more than a million mostly uncounted write-in votes for RP.

  • CE||

    I think he would have endorsed Johnson already, except that he doesn't want to create undue friction for Rand Paul in 2016 (or 2020).

    Most Ron Paul supporters I know are either writing in Ron Paul or voting for Gary Johnson, so a Paul endorsement wouldn't matter much. It might have a few months ago, since it would have helped with fundraising.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    But thousands would follow his lead if he announced publically that he was voting for Johnson.

    You have some misconceptions about the suggestibility of Paul supporters, I think.

    Do recall that he endorsed Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate, in the last general election. Baldwin didn't get two million votes, to say the least.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Don't vote for a lesser evil; vote for Goode.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Or if they were running on the same ticket, I would make a joke about Goode/Johnson, so it's just as well that's not happening.

  • ||

    He's going to write in his own name, just like ~1 million of his supporters.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I suspect he'll vote for Johnson. As should his supporters, for that matter.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Which is incredibly stupid and suggestive of personality cult given that Johnson is on the ballot JOHNSON 2012.

  • ||

    Don't get me wrong, I'm voting for Johnson too, and I find it incredibly frustrating that so many Paul supporters aren't doing the same. Based on the primaries, Johnson should get all two million of the votes Paul got, at least.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    1 vote doesn't matter if you vote for a candidate with a chance of winning, but it does matter if you vote for a guy who has no chance. OK, got it.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Goode is bad.

  • ||

    Who cares? I admire and respect Ron Paul, but I'm not writing his name in if I bother to vote at all. If his supporters would just vote for Johnson they could actually make the LP a bit more relevant this year in national vote totals.

  • Rich||

    Well, yeah, Anonbot. But who are *you* voting for?

  • OldMexican||

    As Paul continues to play this song and dance with the media about not voting for a major party candidate while avoiding endorsing a third party candidate, it's time to ask: Who can he actually vote for in his native Texas?


    My, oh my. Are we getting a little anxious there, Garrett?

  • OldMexican||

    Johnson is said to have a cordial relationship with Paul,


    Paul has always spoken well of Johnson.

    Johnson and Paul disagree on abortion,


    And such concepts as "humanitarian wars," taxation and welfarism. Johnson is not a pure libertarian like Paul; and no, being in favor of abortion does not make Johnson a more perfect libertarian.

  • CE||

    Go G-Money!

  • Mickey Rat||

    Who Paul votes for matters...why?

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