He's Bad, He's Nationwide

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Patrick Ruffini has a fascinating breakdown of where Ron Paul's money is coming from.

This really is a Western movement, with some of the Northeast thrown in. Basically, these are the places where you would expect libertarians to be strong. But I don't think I've ever seen a data set this good about the state-by-state strength of libertarianism. And the data gets more reliable every day.

Indeed, it's amazing how closely this hews to everyone's expectations. Paul bombs in the South, the boneyard of non-Wallace/Thurmond third party movements. He cleans up in New Hampshire and the West. He does very well in the Beltway—the "belly of the beast," as one big Paul MeetUp group calls it.

Meanwhile, Eric Garris points out that Alan Keyes has half a million dollars of campaign debts and speculates that this is the reason for his universally ignored presidential bid. I agree, and I'd add that Keyes is a right-wing Ward Churchill, a disgraceful pseud who should be kept off the campaign trail whether it takes a fleet of cybernetic bouncers or a mere electrified fence.

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  1. I wonder if the top tier candidates see him as a threat yet?

  2. He’s up to 5% in today’s national Gallup results. Huckabee’s at 6 and Romney’s at 10. It will be pleasing to see him take those a-holes out in the coming weeks.

  3. It is cause for hope, because if you have been following Congressman Paul’s campaign you know that his grassroots efforts are HUGE. He is winning straw poll after straw poll. He is dominating online / text polls by huge margins.

    Here is the twist… there is NO other candidate that has inspired his supporters to rally with “boots on the ground” support the way Dr. Paul has. Dr. Paul’s support is like a grassfire… it has been driven out of control. It is spreading without any fuel from the campaign itself. The meetup groups and activists are self-organizing. They do not require encouragement or instructions… they are ON FIRE! Ron Paul said it best when he said that he did not find this kind of support, we found him.

    Add to that the fact that most voters do NOT vote in the primaries. Most of them just vote in the general election after they see who others have selected as their choices. A candidate with a large grass-roots following like Ron Paul’s could tip the scales in his favor to get the nomination. If they can just do well in the early states he could get the extra media coverage (almost like free commercials really). I think he will do particularly well in NH, AZ, SC, NV.

    He is starting to get more and more serious media, although still not as much as Mitt (my lawyer will decide if I bomb your ass) Romney, John (they are coming here) McCain, or Rudy (9/11 happened on my watch) Gulianni. More and more people are taking a second look and not dismissing his stand on the issues. More and more people are saying… you know….. that might just work…

    More and more people are waking up and pulling their head out of the sand.

    He may not win…. Hell, he might run last… but his message is getting heard….most importantly by the young people who will be the future leaders. The ones that are just starting to run for dogcatcher will be the ones that keep this going.

    I will tell everyone I know. I will explain when they question, I will give hope when they are negative, I will do my part. The rest is up to them.

  4. You should say Ward Churchill. I was confused for a minute while I was trying to think of how Keyes was possibly like old Winston.

  5. BTW, I feel proud to be from the freedom loving part of the US

  6. I’m impressed by how dark CT and MA(WTF?) are. Unsurprisingly, NY is a big fat zero, and so is RI.

  7. First off, I took the state-by-state breakdown of donors and plugged into an Excel sheet, using it to produce donor-per-capita numbers for each state. Using this data, I created this map.

    Ahhh OK it’s donor-per-capita. That explains states like Montana and New Mexico’s strong showing. Also he’s only capturing donors names and cities so there’s no telling what the total dollar distribution is.

    Even so RonPaulGraphs.com is WAY COOL. Glad to find the chipin page. Good to know there’s a straight forward way around McCain-Feingold

  8. In other news…

    FEC Report Highlights: John McCain’s Campaign Is Virtually Bankrupt
    http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/10/fec_report_highlights_john_mcc_1.php

    Bye Bye Bye, Bye Bye McCain

  9. There is a good article on chattanoogan.com/articles/article 114454.asp stating that Ron Paul is the only candidate who has a chance of defeating Hillary.

  10. I’m depressed about the poor performance of the Buckeye State.

  11. Mica on “Morning Joe”, MSNBC this a.m. referred to the Ron Paul ‘enthusiasts’ as “Paulaholics”. That was right before Joe got a flood of hate e-mail for calling Rep. Paul a “nut” or something.

  12. Lots of Republicans are talking about voting in the Democrat primaries for Obama to keep Hillary out and lots of Democrats are talking about voting in the Republican primaries for Ron Paul. It would be funny if the Republicans nominated Obama and the Democrats nominated Ron Paul.

  13. It appears that my voting State is signing up for RP. Could be bad news for Fred 🙁

  14. Lots of Republicans are planning on voting in the Democrat primaries for Obama to keep Hillary out and lots of Democrats are planning on voting for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries. It would be funny if the Republicans nominated Obama and the Democrats nominated Ron Paul.

  15. I’m depressed about the poor performance of the Buckeye State.

    Why? Alabama North, it is.

  16. It would be funny if the Republicans nominated Obama and the Democrats nominated Ron Paul.

    Funny and better for the country.

    I’m depressed about the poor performance of the Buckeye State.

    They’re just saving up to pay for libraries and monorails they don’t use.

  17. Say if Ron Paul does get the nomination, how well would he run against Hillary? Ron Paul would definitely get votes on the basis of his sincerity. Ron Paul would take the antiwar issue away from Hillary and make her look like a hawk. Would Republicans switch over and vote for her and the antiwar Democrats switch over to Ron Paul?

  18. Would Republicans switch over and vote for her and the antiwar Democrats switch over to Ron Paul?

    I think we’d see a lot of heads exploding which would be very entertaining.

    I honestly don’t know if partisans could get over their party affiliations and vote for the other. Anti-war Dems might like Ron’s Iraq stance, but would hate almost everything else he was for. GOP hawks might like Hillary’s tough-guy stance, but otherwise detest her to the core.

    Like I said, it would be entertaining.

  19. FWIW, here in NC I’ve spotted a number of homemade “Google Ron Paul” signs hanging from interstate overpasses in the last couple of days. At the very least, Paul’s supporters seem to have passion about the guy.

  20. Well, south of I-70, yes Ohio is Alabama. With crappy winters and a weaker economy.

    Interesting that Tenn is a wall keeping Alabama South and Alabama North from linking up. Also, I was always under the impression that Texas was the heart of big government Republicanism. I guess that where Paul’s from too though.

  21. Whoo! I was pumped to be interviewed by the local paper for our RP Meetup, and my friend Walter made a point that I hope will grow into full meme-dom – that “Only Ron Paul can defeat Hillary Clinton.” Although I think it’s a silly focal point, so many Rs hate the Clintons that if Paul is built up as the Anti-Clinton, maybe more team Red guys will vote for him.

  22. “Also, I was always under the impression that Texas was the heart of big government Republicanism.”

    It wasn’t very long ago when Texas was a Democrat state, also Oklahoma.

  23. Warty,

    You take that back!

    Bhh,

    South of 70 is definitely…different. Ohio’s got several disparate cultures within such a relatively small geographic area.

  24. http://ronpaulregistry.com/2.0

    Be counted.

    For those who might like more info:
    (0. Ron Paul: A New Hope) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2PUZoukfA
    (1. National Threat) http://www.ronpaulnation.com/tv.html#controller_general_david_walker
    (2. True cost of gas) http://www.terrarossa.com/?p=225
    (3. America: Freedom to Fascism) http://www.freedomtofascism.com
    (4. The Secret Government…) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82g3KxcFuoY
    (5. Truth about Giuliani) http://www.rudy-urbanlegend.com/
    (6. CIA drug dealing) http://youtube.com/watch?v=1l31x-IIK4E
    (7. Civil Liberties Lost) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8QwTKKSvR8&mode=related&search=
    (8. Money Masters) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936
    (9. Iraq War: Legal or Illegal) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Khut8xbXK8&mode=related&search=

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/straw-poll-results/

    Ron Paul’s Head-to-Head Records (Win-Lose-Tie):
    Ron Paul v. Rudy Giuliani 31-5-0
    Ron Paul v. Mitt Romney 24-12-0
    Ron Paul v. Fred Thompson 21-14-0
    Ron Paul v. John McCain 32-3-0
    Ron Paul v. Mike Huckabee 30-4-1
    Ron Paul v. Sam Brownback 32-2-1
    Ron Paul v. Tom Tancredo 33-1-0
    Ron Paul v. Duncan Hunter 32-2-0

  25. I’m depressed about the poor performance of the Buckeye State.

    I’m surprised myself about Michigan’s low contributions. Lots of gun-owners in upstate Michigan, and the Libertarian Party has always been relatively strong in the state. The only political campaign I ever did serious work for was Mike Brinkman for State Representative. (We even were endorsed by the Michigan State University State News…not that it helped much.)

    Why? Alabama North, it is.

    I spent a while in Ohio myself. North-West Virginia, more like (WV didn’t do so hot either, notice).

    (Great title. Now I have ZZ Top stuck in my head…)

  26. This election is the first time in my life that I’ve seen the libertarian movement even show up as a blip on the national radar. It took me by surprise.

    I think we’ve got us an actual voting bloc on our hands, kids.

  27. No real surprises re: the map. I hear alot about “Michigan gun owners,” but the reality is that rust belters and midwesterners are addicted to government handouts. I would wager that every one of the white or light pink states receives vastly more in government largesse than they pay in taxes. The only exception might be NY, which I’m fairly certain pays more taxes than it gets back from the feds.

  28. Eric Garris is ignorant. You can’t use a new campaign committee to retire debts from a prior campaign. Wacky.

  29. Also, I was always under the impression that Texas was the heart of big government Republicanism.

    Not really. It doesn’t even have an income tax.

  30. This election is the first time in my life that I’ve seen the libertarian movement even show up as a blip on the national radar. It took me by surprise.

    And it’s about time!

  31. Rattlesnake Jake,

    I think you miight have hit upon a great tweak for the electoral process. The nominees _should be_ picked by the opposing parties.

    Then the resulting run-off would be most acceptable to the majority.

    food for thought.

  32. Funny thing – the map almost exactly corresponds to a “places in the US I would like to live” map.

  33. The RLC still hasn’t endorsed Paul, which may end up costing it an opportunity to build its power base within the GOP. Tsk, tsk.

  34. I wonder if the top tier candidates see him as a threat yet?

    He has passed McCain on intrade.com.

  35. “I agree, and I’d add that Keyes is a right-wing Ward Churchill, a disgraceful pseud who should be kept off the campaign trail whether it takes a fleet of cybernetic bouncers or a mere electrified fence.”

    LOL, David! excellent!

    re: ohio, michigan – UNION. nuff said.

  36. Florida is looking fairly dark too! We love Ron Paul down here!

  37. No real surprises re: the map. I hear alot about “Michigan gun owners,” but the reality is that rust belters and midwesterners are addicted to government handouts. I would wager that every one of the white or light pink states receives vastly more in government largesse than they pay in taxes. The only exception might be NY, which I’m fairly certain pays more taxes than it gets back from the feds.

    Actually Michigan is a donor state, so I guess we’re just stupid.

  38. Went to my old fraternity house at MIT yesterday expectign to see that ROn Paul had takent he campus by storm. I brought beer as a gift and some Ron Paul signs hoping. Most of them had never heard of Ron Paul although all of them thought taxes were too high and social security was a scam and they were against the drug war.

    Anyway it was interesting…lots of latent libertarians there….but very very latent…100% skepticism about anything related to politics …so that is good….but I doubt that a revolution of the youth is really taking place. After chatting awhile and declining to “smoke a bowl” I left them with a zeitgeist movie dvd to enjoy while they hung out the rest of the night.

  39. I think the map is a result of the methodology. Specifically, the per capita nature of Patrick’s numbers. As a SD resident, I can tell you that most people here haven’t even heard of Ron Paul, much less support him.

    I think the better metric would be comparitive rankings with the other candidate’s. How does Ron Paul do in Utah versus Mitt Romney, or Giuliani in NY?

  40. He has passed McCain on intrade.com.

    That’s old news. He’s been in front of McCain for weeks at least (months?). But I can’t help but wonder how much of that is over-enthusiastic supporters who are over-confident in a Paul nomination.

  41. Smappy,

    First time Ive seen it, I probably havent checked since last month some time though. Looking at charts, looks like sometime in September.

  42. Went to my old fraternity house at MIT yesterday expectign to see that ROn Paul had takent he campus by storm. I brought beer as a gift and some Ron Paul signs hoping. Most of them had never heard of Ron Paul although all of them thought taxes were too high and social security was a scam and they were against the drug war.

    As the movie Borat illustrated, frat boys often share the “victimization of the privileged” complex that defines modern libertarians.

  43. Oh boo hoo, libertarians are privleged people who pretend they’re victimized!

    You know something, Dan? Let’s say I actually AM privileged. The people who supplied me with that privilege aren’t asking me for anything. It’s only people who had absolutely nothing to do with giving me that privilege who have their hand out. Along with the people who have already received in return exactly what they contributed to giving me that privilege. So what’s the problem?

    The claim that libertarians are people who have “received a lot” but “don’t want to give anything” only makes sense when you leave it in passive voice and don’t start putting together faces and names and looking at the actual political and economic transactions involved.

    So yup, I’m privileged. Quite a bit. But that doesn’t mean I owe you, Dan T., a damn thing – because you had nothing to do with it.

  44. I’m a libertarian because of the opportunities it gives me to crush the little guy. I also look damned good in a top hat and tails.

  45. I’m a libertarian because this is the only group that allows me to keep the Noam Chomsky Blow Up doll heavily armed.

  46. Oh boo hoo, libertarians are privleged people who pretend they’re victimized!

    Fluffy, I wish Frat-Boy Loser Libertarians didn’t exist either, but they do. I met plenty of them working for Mike Brinkman’s campaign–one reason it was the only campaign I ever worked for. Embarrassing being around them in private. I had to wonder if they really took any of it seriously.

    Best I can do about it though is swear never to be like them.


  47. So yup, I’m privileged. Quite a bit. But that doesn’t mean I owe you, Dan T., a damn thing – because you had nothing to do with it.

    Not true at all. I work, contributing to the economy, and pay taxes, contributing to the infrastructure that makes a functioning economy possible.

    Nobody earns their money in a vaccuum.

  48. saw ron paul being interviewed by judy woodruff (i think) over the weekend. multiple times, he was given the opportunity to criticize social security/medicare/medicaid, but not once did he say a discouraging word. all he kept saying was if we bring our troops home from everywhere, we can afford health care for all the people. come on! this guy is no libertarian! what is the continuing fascination with him? i would much rather have a pro-war candidate in favor of privatizing social security than an anti-war welfare-statist.

  49. Paul bombs in the South…

    More accurately he bombs in the “Deep South.” He does a lot better in most of the border states.

  50. Priveledged libertarian here, too. I had $2 when I graduated from High School. My parents didn’t charge me room and board till my 18th b’day. Moved out before I was 19 and am damned tired of others compaining about the bad hand they were dealt. I didn’t deal it, and THEY played it poorly.

  51. Nobody earns their money in a vaccuum.

    Astronauts?

  52. jimmy,
    Dr. Paul isn’t into the “throw the moochers into the streets and be done with it!” school of libertarianism – he has promoted a phased plan to get rid of entitlement programs and transition those who receive federal assistance off it. If you read some of his articles, he’s pretty forthcoming about his plans. When he gets the major media appearances, he sticks with growing the brand on what works best, which is, currently, the anti-war beat.

  53. Dan T,

    On a more serious note, you were already compensated for the work you did that improved the economy. Asking for more from Fluffy afterwards is just scummy. Probably fraud even.

  54. He’s up to 5% in today’s national Gallup results.

    In a poll with a margin of error of 5% …

    *Ducks

  55. Nobody earns their money in a vaccuum.

    Yeah, tell that to the Oreck family.

  56. This is all extremely depressing. It’s a monstrous distraction from the very important idea that everyone should stop voting.

    “The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious, and his success is disgraceful.”

    (H. L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, December 9, 1929)

  57. I finally decided to watch a Ron Paul interview to see what all the hoopla is about. I’d heard of the guy before, but never really paid any attention. Since he’s running for Pres., I wanted to hear what he had to say.

    I was a bit freaked out. The guy’s speach patterns and mannerisms reminded me of G. W. Bush!

    Is he the best the Libertarians got? He needs a voice coach and a serious injection of charisma.

  58. He’s up to 5% in today’s national Gallup results.

    In a poll with a margin of error of 5% …

    *Ducks

    Which means he could be at 10%

  59. Here’s a fun one:

    OK so the fundraising map indicates strong support everywhere *but* the south-east . . .

    But the straw-poll map

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/snippets/37/ron-paul-straw-poll-results/

    or http://tinyurl.com/3b8wyq

    indicates his strongest support residing *in* the south-east (7 first-place finishes there and 2 second-places)

    Just interesting.

    Usually I’m a follow-the-money kinda guy . . . but maybe money isn’t everything, lol.

  60. Dear “Stunned at your source.” I am not “wacky.” It is perfectly legal to pay off old campaign debts with your current campaign, so long as you report it. Look at his filing, that is exactly what he is set up to do.

  61. Nobody earns their money in a vaccuum.

    Not even the Hoovers?

  62. Nature abhors a Hoover.

  63. The Hoovers are basically now kaput (their Korean (?) owners closed the main plant in N. Canton, OH after a few years of taking the company off the hands of Maytag, who did their best to fuck the company up), so they’re making vacuum in a vacuum.

  64. Wow, I’m surprised at Connecticut and Massachusetts. I didn’t know there were that many Paul supporters up in these parts.

    Go Connecticut!

  65. kwais (very first comment):

    Huffington Post has a couple of articles on its fron page on Paul right now. One is a cruel smear attack. The HuffPost doing this kind of thing says that either (1) they (and the Dems) are stupid by attacking the candidate who can potentially take away the GOP nomination from Guiliani (viewed as the real threat by HRC), or (2) thought to shoot down the only GOP candidate who has an anti-war platform (hence, the Dems would have an absolute monopoly over the anti-war movement and appeal to both the left and the right wings of the movement). I think.

  66. After chatting awhile and declining to “smoke a bowl” I left them with a zeitgeist movie dvd to enjoy while they hung out the rest of the night.

    I think I shit my pants reading that. You can go preach your paranoid nuttery all you want, just don’t do it on Ron Paul time!

    If you want to know who the real conspirators are, it’s you and conspiracists like you! You are deliberately marginalizing freedom candidates and preventing them from winning. You don’t care about liberty, you only care about validating your beliefs. You are only using the Ron Paul campaign as a cheap excuse to pass out your zeitgeist and aftf dvds. You would be ecstatic if Ron Paul lost, because it would “prove” that a conspiracy kept him from winning.

    Why don’t you go support McKinney’s campaign? At least she believes the same shit you do.

  67. So yup, I’m privileged. Quite a bit. But that doesn’t mean I owe you, Dan T., a damn thing – because you had nothing to do with it.

    Fluffy, it’s more accurate to say that unless you benefited from Dan through robbery, Dan has already been compensated for however he has helped you, if at all.

    Of course, the “privileged” among us are all being robbed through taxes to benefit other people, which is precisely the evil we need to eliminate.

  68. This election is the first time in my life that I’ve seen the libertarian movement even show up as a blip on the national radar. It took me by surprise.

    As I’ve said before, this compaign shows that it’s better for libertarians to work within the two-party system.

  69. I’ve spent the last three weekends in outdoor book festivals. These are fairly large events, where, along with the local oddballs, one does run into campaigners (book buyers are likely voters).

    1, Baltimore had a Bill Richardson guy who finally pasted his sticker on my Fedex box of catalogues. And there were a couple of Ron Paul people about–though Marxists outweighed both… forget it, Jake, it’s Crabtown.

    2, Aurora, IL–stayed in the West Chicagoland suburbs. Saw a ton of posters for Paul on the way to and from Aurora (three toll roads from Glen Ellyn to the casino). One fellow came by and tried to get me to sign the “put ‘im on the ballot” sheet. I couldn’t do that, as I don’t live in Illinois and didn’t want to give them a challengable signature. He was cool, paid $10 for a returned Talbot Mundy book. Actually, that was very cool. Go Ron Paul Illinois supporter.

    3, Nashville–Obama buttons galore, probably from somewhere–Nashville had twice the attendees of Baltimore, five times the number in Aurora, so I was just fraying in my exhibitor’s tent, selling books like a madman–but there was a small Paul contingent.

    Just thought I’d share.

  70. He’s up to 5% in today’s national Gallup results.

    In a poll with a margin of error of 5% …

    *Ducks

    Which means he could be at 10%

    Indeed. He’s somewhere above 0 and at or less than 10%. This detail, of course, always amused me when Reds tried to argue that he was dead last and irrelevant, as he’s almost always within the margin of error of everyone but the front-runner.

  71. “Here’s a fun one:

    OK so the fundraising map indicates strong support everywhere *but* the south-east . . .

    But the straw-poll map

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/snippets/37/ron-paul-straw-poll-results/

    or http://tinyurl.com/3b8wyq

    indicates his strongest support residing *in* the south-east (7 first-place finishes there and 2 second-places)

    Just interesting.

    Usually I’m a follow-the-money kinda guy . . . but maybe money isn’t everything, lol.”

    These are just online donations and don’t count the other 30% of people who are mailing in checks. I’m wondering if he gets a lot of offline money from the south since the demo tends to skew older.

  72. kept off the campaign trail whether it takes a fleet of cybernetic bouncers or a mere electrified fence.

    I disagree more with this than with anything else that I’ve ever read in Reason or on Reason’s blog.

    I want people to be able to hear Keyes and anyone else who says something different, no matter how stupid. Isn’t that what the free-market of ideas is all about?

  73. Nobody earns their money in a vaccuum.

    Astronauts?

    Actually, they earn their money in a bubble.

  74. These are just online donations and don’t count the other 30% of people who are mailing in checks. I’m wondering if he gets a lot of offline money from the south since the demo tends to skew older.

    Those older folks are also more likely to be polled in the traditional phone polls, which might explain why those areas show up strong.

  75. Sing it with with me to the tune of “Fire in the sky” by John Denver….

    It’s the Colorado Ron Paul Highhhh

    We’re raising money for Dr Paul up to the skyyy

    Friends are around the campfire-and everybody wants to abolish government programs far and wide!!…

    It’s the Colorado Ron Paul Highhh

    Ok-I did that and you didn’t have to actually listen to me try to sing so now let’s have you brainy folks from all over give give give!!

    https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

    BTW, “Fire in the Sky” is about watching the Persiad meteor shower from some mountain location here in Colorado.

  76. I’m surprised he does so well in Virginia and Maryland. Southern Virginia I can see supporting him, but Northern Virginia and Maryland are so dependent on the Federal Welfare-Warfare complex you think he wouldn’t have much support there.

  77. “Nobody earns their money in a vaccuum.”

    Perhaps not, but dust mites make a mighty nice living in one.

  78. Keep in mind though that the data may be less than complete. The guy that does the site to make all the charts has noted he can’t capture everything when it is very busy.

    The campaign itself might as well add this detail and make it ‘official’ since people are hacking it anyways.

  79. “As I’ve said before, this compaign shows that it’s better for libertarians to work within the two-party system.”

    Max, If Ron Paul hadn’t cut his teeth as the Libertarian presidential candidate in 1988, he wouldn’t be having the success he has now. There is a time to work within a major party and a time to grow a third party. If working within a major party means voting for Rudy McRomney, count me out.

    People tend to confuse voting with betting on a winning horse. Voting one’s principles gives a sense of satisfaction and the only chance of good representation. Voting for a winning horse gives you what? Bragging rights?

    I have voted for libertarian candidates for over 30 years. Some say they were wasted votes. I disagree. Everyone of them has helped hasten this day when Ron Paul has a chance to make a big difference.

    I don’t vote for a man or a party. I vote for my principles and the candidate that will best represent them. Ron Paul does that better than any in the current crop of candidates, but if he doesn’t get the GOP nomination, I pray that the LP nominates a strong candidate. A candidate who can articulate what freedom really means.

  80. Here’s a scenario to consider:

    The Iowa and Nevada caucuses have very low turnout, as usual. Ron Paul supporters treat them like a glorified straw poll, and make a mockery of the random telephone surveys.

    The Wyoming precinct captain elections have very low turnout, as usual. Ron Paul supporters score a big win in one of the first actual delegate selection contests (January 5th).

    Libertarian-leaning New Hampshire goes for Ron Paul in a big way. (He was already second in fundraising there in Q3.)

    Democrats continue to shoot themselves in the foot by giving Michigan no delegates and very few candidates, leading to a mass youth movement to the GOP primary and Ron Paul in mid-January.

    That leaves only Florida and South Carolina between Ron Paul and front-runner status going into the February 5th twenty-state showdown…

  81. If Ron Paul hadn’t cut his teeth as the Libertarian presidential candidate in 1988, he wouldn’t be having the success he has now.

    His many successful compaigns for Congress are vastly more important experience than a long-forgotten third party run.

  82. Max,

    I believe that presidential run was what gave him a nation-wide corps of supporters who were willing to contribute to his Congressional campaign and to seed his presidential campaign.

  83. The problem with nations, in general, is that they need a reset/reboot button. After a couple hundred years your memory gets corrupted and you need a reboot.

    [Parenthetically, there are also those who may say that this country needs a statue of a Noam Chomsky Blow Up Doll in the middle of a public square, too. But that’s an entirely different story.]

    In Rome they had massive street riots every 20 years or so, just to put a little humility into the aristocracy. We don’t have that anymore.

    A Ron Paul/Billary Clinton run-off is probably the closest thing to a reboot that we’ll ever see. But I’m going to fall off my chair if Paul actually gets the GOP nomination. C’mon — a guy who advocated doing away with the IRS and the Federal Reserve is actually going to get the Republican nomination?

    But I continue drinking to the hope that it shall be so. I have registered Republican so I can vote for him in the primaries.

  84. [Also parenthetically, if Ron Paul does not get the Republican nomination then I’m damned well going to vote for VM’s Noam Chomsky Blow Up Doll. The Doll, mind you.]

  85. This is….a monstrous distraction from the very important idea that everyone should stop voting.

    Yeah, democracy sucks the big one. But so does everything else that’s ever been tried.

    The only way to really get it how you want it, is to get yourself at the head of a barbarian horde, invade some place, and set up your own show.

  86. Hey David,

    You wrote: Alan Keyes “should be kept off the campaign trail whether it takes a fleet of cybernetic bouncers or a mere electrified fence.”

    Now hang on a minute… I’m most definitely NOT impressed with Mr. Keyes, and I think he’s a bad candidate for president. But he has the right to campaign right along with all the other bad candidates. (Of which there is no shortage!) But let’s not pick on Keyes, or any other candidate.

    I do feel his supporters are foolish not to realize that he “seems” to be running just to get attention & raise money. (To help pay off old campaign debts, perhaps?)

    But you can’t force people to NOT be foolish, they’ll always find a way… 🙂

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