Ron Paul

McCain's Comeback, Sasquatch, and Other Delightful Myths

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The Boston Globe noticed what I saw on Friday, an uptick in GOP primary interest by New Hampshire's undeclared (non-Democrat, non-Republican) voters. All year they'd been preparing to vote in the Democratic race by about a 2-1 margin. Now almost half are mulling the GOP race. The Globe take:

[This] could hurt Obama and help Republican John McCain, who made a direct pitch yesterday to independents with the nation's most famous independent, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, at his side.

That's a theory: McCain won the 2000 primary, after all, by scoring 61 percent of the undeclared voters who cast Republican primary ballots. So he must be surging with New Hampshire independents, right?

Yes, McCain is pulling less than one-quarter of the undeclared vote, putting him in third place. And note where I got this graph: From the Globe story.

Making this post a little bit stale is the release of a new CNN New Hampshire poll today… but it shows McCain winning 23 percent of the undeclared vote to Giuliani's 25 percent and Romney's 30 percent. In other words, pretty much the same result. And the proportion of undeclareds who will vote in the primary is down again, from 46 percent to 40 percent. There has been no bounce whatsoever from the LieberMcCain endorsement. But I'm confident we'll be hearing the McCain comeback story all the way until the brokered GOP convention. "John McCain has only 13 delegates and a rusty jeep, but will the Grand Old Party turn to him to save the day?"

Other factoid from this poll: Ron Paul has the firmest support in the field, with 41 percent of his voters decided for him. Romney is next with 28 percent.

(The original Globe article was co-written by Sasha Issenberg, whom if I'm not mistaken was the eagle-eye who debunked some anecdotes in David Brooks' Bobos in Paradise.)

NEXT: Another Strike for the Chosen One!

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  1. I can’t believe McCain is wasting his and our time by running. He’s got no chance. Which, as someone who wants the Dems to win the Presidency (though lamenting the fact that it would have to be HRC or Obama), is a good thing since I think McCain would whoop the crap out of the Dems.

    Did anyone catch Ron Paul on Glenn Beck last nite? Beck is one of the dumber of the dumb right wing talk hosts, therefore it was no suprise to see him totally fail to understand Paul’s answers and position on a North American Union. That guy is sharp as a balloon.

  2. All the polls show that McCain does the best in theoretical head-to-heads with the Democrats.

    I’ve never seen one with Ron Paul, but I suspect he’d do well, too. Too bad for the GOPers that they won’t nominate anyone who isn’t in complete partisan lockstep.

  3. the nation’s most famous independent neocon who runs as a democrat, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut

    There, fixed.

  4. He doesn’t run as a Democrat anymore.

    The Connecticut Democrats took care of that.

  5. joe,

    Ive seen the Paul head-to-heads. He does worse than just about all the other republicans. However, I think it is a name recognition problem. As his name rec goes up, his vs Clinton/Obama numbers go up.

    I havent seen this, but from a comment on the site of one of the articles linked by H&R, the SC poll in which he had 11% support showed him at only 25% name recognition. IF that is true, that is an amazing result.

  6. Can’t believe Paul’s only pulling 5% in NH. That seems like territory where he needs to do well.

  7. robc,

    I’d love a link. I suspect that there are huge “Don’t Knows” in those numbers.

    Brian24,

    Huge number of undecideds and leaners in New Hampshire, and they make up their minds late anyway.

  8. Even as an anarchist, I’m a pretty staunch Paul supporter. That said, we need someone to carry his message (ideally, an improved version of his message) who is rich, already famous, or more charismatic. I mean this from a purely tactical standpoint given the realities of the current political climate.

  9. joe,

    quoting myself:

    I havent seen this…IF that is true

    I would give you a link if I had one.

  10. Maybe I can answer my own question. From this article: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=071219025640.f3ah47mv&show_article=1

    “There is no candidate that an atheist would vote for … other than maybe Ron Paul,” Shermer said, naming a Tennessee lawmaker, a long-shot Republican contender.

    Glad they’re paying close attention.

  11. robc,

    I was talking about the head-to-heads you say you’d seen.

  12. joe,

    This is the only one I can find. It has July and October numbers, Paul increases by 3/4 pts between July and October in both. I havent been able to find anything more recent.

  13. As I suspcted, the undecideds/no answer are much larger then the margin.

  14. Just to add on, I think I saw one about 2 weeks ago, where Paul had higher numbers but still lagged the other Pres candidates vs Hillary. I just cant find a link.

  15. joe,

    Yeah, beacause he didnt have the name rec. The “I dont want to vote for Clinton but I have no idea who this Paul guy is” voter is going to say undecided.

  16. MNG,

    Did anyone catch Ron Paul on Glenn Beck last nite? Beck is one of the dumber of the dumb right wing talk hosts, therefore it was no suprise to see him totally fail to understand Paul’s answers and position on a North American Union. That guy is sharp as a balloon.

    I tried to go back and forth between Alan Keyes on Hannity’s American and Ron Paul on Glenn Beck…

    It was a rough hour of TV watching, let me tell you…

    Keyes’= nutjob, but man he has the gift of gab.
    Paul = awkward at any speed.
    Beck = scary AA guy on too much coffee
    Hannity = well, you know.

    FWIW, do you understand Paul’s position on the North American Union? I find them baffling.

    Does he also have a position on the emerging Cylon threat?

  17. joe,

    In a 2 person race, if the leader has less than 50%, the undecideds MUST be greater than the margin. Duh. Thats just basic math.

  18. New Mejican,

    Does he also have a position on the emerging Cylon threat?

    Montana can handle it.

  19. The only good thing about McCain running is that Lieberman endorsed him and now I can take joy in both of them losing miserably.

  20. robc,

    Montana can handle it.

    R U talking Hannah Montana?

  21. Would the invasion of the Canadian/Cylon alliance be led by Count Baltar?

  22. I am pretty sure that Count Baltar would out flank Hannah Montana in the negotiations.

    But her hordes of fans would tear apart the Canadian robot hordes…

  23. robc,
    In a 2 person race, if the leader has less than 50%, the undecideds MUST be greater than the margin. Duh. Thats just basic math. That’s why I wrote “much larger.” In the link you gave, the two were about ten points apart, with about a 16 point “no answer/undecided” response.

  24. joe,

    PvC October margin 10, unknown/other 14.

    Clinton at 48, Paul at 38. What do you know, if you add on the unknown to Paul you get 52, which is 100-48.

    The difference between the unknowns and the margin will always be 2 times (50 – leaders #). The further the leader is from 50, the bigger the difference between margin and unknown.

    The key is, Clinton isnt getting 50% vs Paul. Normally, in an incumbent situation, an incumbent scoring less that 50% this far out means trouble. While Hillary isnt an incumbent, considering Paul’s name rec, its fairly similar.

    I think Clinton’s problem is she probably maxes out in the high 40s versus anyone.

  25. I haven’t seen anyone top 50% on a consistent basis. Obama, Edwards, and Hillary all top out just below 50%.

  26. …we need someone to carry his message (ideally, an improved version of his message) who is rich, already famous, or more charismatic.

    But we already had Harry Browne, who was rich, a best-selling author, looked presidential, and perhaps the most articulate person who’s ever run for president. He earned 0.4% of the vote.

    Why is Ron Paul doing so much better? Partly it’s because he’s running as a Republican this time, and getting in the debates. A lot of it is because (at least some) voters see him as credible and qualified, as a 10-term Congressman.

    Part of it is what has happened to the country in the past 10 years or so — an unwanted and unneeded war, runaway spending, trillions more in debt, a collapsing dollar, torture, renditions, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Real ID Act, spying on American citizens, etc.

    All of which makes me wonder whether the Libertarian Party will start making a serious run at the election, with the help of a few money bombs of their own, or if it’s back to the sidelines for the next 20 or 30 years, until we can elect and groom another 10-term Congressman, who somehow keeps getting reelected while voting against pretty much everything.

  27. Ron Paul has the firmest support in the field, with 41 percent of his voters decided for him.

    I am not even close to understanding what the fuck this means…what 41% of those who support Ron Paul support Ron Paul??

    Seriously, what what the hell are you talking about Weigel?

  28. Seriously, what what the hell are you talking about Weigel?

    Forty-one percent of Paul voters say they are absolutely, 100% sure they will vote for Paul. Not “leaning,” not on the fence. The rest of the GOP candidates have fewer solid supporters (although some have more “leaning” supporters).

    After a while, yeah, polling lingo sounds like the strange languages twins invent to talk to each other.

  29. whom if I’m not mistaken was the eagle-eye

    It’s who, dammit, who. It’s the subject of the verb “was.” The “if I’m not mistaken” is a parenthetical clause that has no effect on the case of “who.”

  30. I am a new Reason reader and now have a new interest in politics thanks to Ron Paul. I am only 17 years old, but I am confused on who the majority Reasonites support.

    Can anyone explain the lack of respect and support for Ron Paul on this libertarian site?
    What draws people away from him? In the same sense, what draws you to other candidates?

  31. “Can anyone explain the lack of respect and support for Ron Paul on this libertarian site? ”

    there is?

    Besides Edward (aka “Edweirdooooo”) there is generally Ron Paul admiration on this board. Check out the various posts.

    You might be seeing some of the conservartarians reacting against RP, but, for the most part, you’ll find that there is an enthusiastic following.

    And that this site is a little crazy 🙂

  32. True, there was a little flap yesterday because Dr Paul said he doesn’t believe in evolution at a campaign stop in SC. But, aside from that, it’s been pretty consistently pro-Paul.

    Well, as long as you don’t pay attention to Eric Donderooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  33. I’ve never seen [a head-to-head poll] with Ron Paul, but I suspect he’d do well, too. Too bad for the GOPers that they won’t nominate anyone who isn’t in complete partisan lockstep.

    Ron Paul gets creamed in the head-to-head polls versus Democratic frontrunners, getting mid-to-high 30s.

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. *ducks*

  34. Sorry, posted before reading through the thread. My bad.

  35. I am confused on who the majority Reasonites support.

    That just shows you’re paying attention.

    Ron Paul gets creamed in the head-to-head polls versus Democratic frontrunners, getting mid-to-high 30s.

    Probably has a lot to do with name recognition and familiarity. Back when he was just getting onto the big stage, Obama polled way behind Her Hillaryness too.

  36. You forgot another myth: Ron Paul has a fucking chance and will make an impact”

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