Over in the D.C. Examiner, Timothy P. Carney has a shrewd piece exploring why it is that "With Tim Pawlenty out of the race, only two active Presidential candidates scored more than 10 percent in Saturday's Iowa straw poll. Following the media coverage Sunday, you would never guess Congressman Ron Paul was one of them." Excerpt:
Why do the mainstream media and the Republican establishment persist in ignoring and dismissing Paul?
There is no one answer. You cannot chalk it all up to Paul's perceived long-term viability problems: I know no serious forecaster or GOP operative who gives Bachmann a significant chance of being the Republican nominee, yet she is showered with coverage at every turn.
In part, the media ignore Paul's success at events like Ames and the Conservative Political Action Committee because they think he's almost breaking the rules by having such a dedicated following. True enough, a cult following often does not translate into support broad enough to win an election. Is Paul the Right's Lyndon LaRouche?
Still, Paul climbed from 5th place in the straw poll four years ago to a virtual tie for first yesterday, doubling his number of votes. So he is surging. And don't forget Democrats nominated a guy last election whose strength was winning caucuses due to a dedicated core of support.
So, again, why doesn't Paul get the attention he seems to deserve? Mostly because the mainstream media and the Republican establishment wish he would just go away.
One reason the bipartisan establishment finds Paul so obnoxious is how much the past four years have proven him correct—on the housing bubble, on the economy, on our foreign misadventures, and on our national debt. […]
Again and again Paul has dissented, been laughed at, and been proven correct. That may be one reason he evokes so much scorn in certain corners of the Right.
But also, Paul lacks the eloquence and self-control to win over the barely-attentive voters that make up most of the electorate. He rambles, sometimes slipping into incoherence, and seems to eschew efforts to cast his outside-the mainstream ideas in a more palatable light. Some GOP disdain for Paul likely comes from a—not unfounded—belief than Obama would wipe the floor with him in a general election.