Ron Paul’s niche support: Solid but not enough

Political long-shot Ron Paul (REUTERS/Richard Clement)

Ron Paul‘s niche support among specific libertarian and right-wing voters keeps him hovering near first place in Iowa as state’s unique caucus primary system approaches but his band of rabid supporters forget one thing.

A win in Iowa doesn’t translate into long-term political success or the Republican nomination for President.

Just ask former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won Iowa four years with support form the same cadres of narrow-interest voters that now flock around Paul.  A few weeks later, Huckabee was history.

“Iowa is a lot of hoopla but little else,” says Michael Jander, who worked for Huckabee in 2008.  “It’s a kind of political drunk.  You feel real good when it happens but the hangover afterwards is a real bitch.”

Four years ago, Paul — a Texas Congressman with a small but loyal and vocal following, generated some campaign buzz with stronger than expected fundraising but that buzz did not bring him many delegates or serious contention for the nomination.

This time around, his campaign organization looks more traditional and supporters point to a stronger showing in New Hampshire polls to bolster their hope that this will be the year, but while Paul is tied with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire with about 14 percent, neither is anywhere close to frontrunner Mitt Romney‘s 41 percent.

Romney isn’t wasting much time on Iowa, where tea party conservatives, home schoolers and extreme right-wingers control the caucus process.

“Iowa is the political pre-season,” says GOP activist Albert Knowles.  “The race for the cut begins with New Hampshire.”

Says David Peleologos, director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center:

Every Republican candidate that surges in the national polls hits a firewall in New Hampshire. We’ve seen this with surges from Bachmann, Perry, Cain and now Gingrich. A Romney loss here is highly improbable, and Romney’s best insurance policy in New Hampshire is Ron Paul, whose fixed support takes 14 percent off the table.

Paul, however, is going all-out in Iowa, hoping that a win there can give him momentum and credibility that his past campaigns have lacked.

“It’s a gamble but one Ron Paul has to take,” says one long-time GOP consultant. “This is his third try and at 76 this is his last shot.”

Paul is the oldest candidate in the crowded GOP field.

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34 Responses to "Ron Paul’s niche support: Solid but not enough"

  1. Jon  November 24, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Would CHB like a volunteer proofreader?

    J.

    • Doug Thompson  November 24, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Do you have something specific?

  2. Sandune  November 24, 2011 at 10:10 am

    beings = begins who cares?

    • Doug Thompson  November 24, 2011 at 10:25 am

      The proofreader shall be flogged :) Thanks for catching that.

      • Jon  December 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

        I don’t think I want to be flogged. It has been awhile, but I recall there were several problems with that one. Most appear fixed now. But it wasn’t just a few transposed letters, it was missing words, sentences that had grammar problems, run on sentences, run on sentences, excessive comma splices, run on sentences, et cetera… ;-)

        I should find a private way to dispatch corrections directly to the editor.

        J.

  3. Bill Cravener  November 24, 2011 at 11:28 am

    If I’m not mistaken Ronald Reagan at the age of 69 was the oldest president ever elected and he was half brain dead from Alzheimer’s disease his second term. Ron Paul is 77 and Reagan was 77 I believe at the end of his second term. Can anyone tell me Ron Paul’s all there and physically able to make it thru even one term? Though he has ideas I most certainly agree with Ron Paul as president would never be able to implement them. Our present bunch of political criminals and their money backers would never allow any of it.

    • Barbara  November 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      You know, there are some very genuine congress people in d.c. They aren’t all awful.

      I think Ron Paul will search those people out, build a coalition, and be very successful….if the republican establishment will realize that he is their rock star and ticket to a guaranteed white house win.

    • jonathan  November 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Ron Paul challenged his competitors to a 20 mile ride when it’s 100 degrees out with 100% humidity…..if they can keep up. Ron Paul is sharp, very sharp, and he keeps in top physical shape.

      google it.

    • Seth  November 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      I love these naysayers who want everyone else to do their research for them. They think they are qualified to vote, but are too lazy to, or incapable of picking up a book.

      Ron Paul is perhaps the fittest member of Congress. He runs or bikes several miles at a time, whenever he has the time to do so. (Interestingly, he’s also reputed to be the only House member in the Genus Book of World Records, for being the only member of Congress to ever hit a ball out of the park in the entire 50-year history of the annual House Democrat-v-GOP baseball game.)

      As for his mental prowess, visit your local library and peruse any of his books, and then sit down at a computer and watch any of the many interviews and lectures given by him (almost all of which are available online, either on YouTube or at Mises.org). Granted, Paul is not so good at these 20 second sound bite debates, but watch him when he has the time to fully explain his ideas at a reasonable pace. The man is whip smart, and he doesn’t talk from a TelePrompter or script his speeches. He can pull the most arcane references out of thin air, just like Gingrich, but without snarking them.

      And unlike Gingrich, he doesn’t want to start yet another war by nuking Iran, he doesn’t want to EXPAND the PATRIOT Act (Paul wants to scrap it), and he doesn’t want to let paranoia, xenophobia or Zionism dictate American foreign policy (Paul wants to end the wars and bring our men and women home so they can contribute to defending and rebuilding America).

      For any human, especially for any liberal, who is not a complete hypocrite, who claims to believe in peace and civil liberties, Paul is the only candidate of either party with a sound platform and the voting record to back it up. Voting for Obama again is like voting for Dick Cheney in black face. It’s deluded and racist. Obama’s administration, through both its hypocrisy and failures, is undermining every non-White’s chance at higher office with each passing day.

      It is tragic that no one in the Democrat Party has the backbone to take that same long walk down Pennsylvania Avenue as did Barry Goldwater in 1974.

    • Edward_pdx97212  November 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Thus you support ONLY those candidates that the political criminals aprrove of you supporting?

      Excellent stratagy Bill. How can we miss by doing what we are told to do, by criminals nonetheless.

      Yikes!

    • Jay  November 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

      So all Paul might be able to do is end the wars, bring the troops homes, and repeal thousands of costly and oppressive executive orders.

      I’ll settle for that.

      That’s a bit more than pro-war Obama has done.

  4. Julian Alien  November 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Ron Paul bicycles 15 miles a day and eats right.Ronald Reagan thought ketchup was a vegetable and got colon cancer from eating processed foods like white bread his entire life which could explain his dementia as well.Although Ron would have difficulties passing his good ideas through Congress,his immediate powers as President would bring the troops home and save us one heck of a lot of money right off the bat.The other choices are more of what ails ya’.

  5. jjs  November 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    The man knows how to take care of his health, he bikes regularly, he’s a physician. His age should matter as much as his hair-style.

    Any accomplishment immediately becomes trivial once Dr. Paul achieves it, isn’t that ironic? (straw polls, online polls, winning debates, winning state caucuses…)

  6. Jeff Austin  November 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    What’s more important and what this article misses is the fact that this time, Paul is being considered as a frontrunner in Iowa. That fact alone, birthed the thoughts that the author used to pen this opinion.

    That said, if one were to look at the bigger talking points being espoused today you will find that they emanate from the Paulian message. “Audit/End the Fed”, eliminating cabinet level departments, bringing the troops home(Obama), and many more. This says that Paul is winning no matter who happens to be the nominee for the GOP.

  7. Vet4RonPaul  November 24, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Ron Paul will give Americans a clear choice for peace, freedom and prosperity. He is anti-war, anti-government intrusions and anti-bailouts. Americans will need to ask themselves; Am I pro-war?, pro-slavery?, pro-bailouts?. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions then all of Ron Paul’s opposition are a good representative for you; but Ron is not.

  8. Alan D. Price  November 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    For the record Paul is now 76. He is healthier than Reagan at a younger age and still mentally quite alert. I would rather have just ONE year of a Paul presidency than 4 more years of Obama or of any of the Republican pretenders.

  9. bill  November 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Congratulations on managing to work a negative into every sentence.

    Did the ” Phase 3: Attack Ron Paul” memo arrive this week?

    You know Ron Paul is in great shape for Iowa, otherwise you wouldn’t spend the whole article talking down its significance.

  10. Grant  November 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    There’s a big difference between Huckabee and Ron Paul; Ron Paul was right about the economy and the impending financial meltdown caused by the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates.

    He and his campaign’s financial adviser, Peter Schiff, were right.

    None of the other candidates, including Romney who ran last time and scoffed at Ron Paul’s economic predictions, had even an inkling of economic foresight. They want to continue spending America into bankruptcy to protect our world empire.

    The GOP didn’t listen to reason then. Maybe they’re ready to listen now.

  11. Daniel  November 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Bill, I think too many people don’t understand what the president actually has control of. There are at least two major things that he can directly effect – that is foreign policy and monetary policy. If Ron Paul were to become president, this is where he would start.

    As far as his age, the guy rides a bike like 5 miles a day and is in amazing shape. I say age is not a big issue with him.

  12. Matt Shelby  November 24, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    It is good that we’re seeing our first wave of “Iowa isn’t all that important” articles. I guess I should have expected it. Once it became clear that Ron Paul was an Iowa front-runner, it became essential to preemptively strike on the importance of Iowa. Sure, Huckabee went just about nowhere after Iowa, as have other prior Iowa winners, but was the mainstream media trying to downgrade the importance of Iowa before the caucuses? Were you talking about how Iowa meant nothing after a Huckabee win? At first people said Ron Paul couldn’t gain any traction at all. Then they said he’d never win a primary. Now when he is very possibly the likely winner of the very first caucus in the nation, people are now saying an Iowa victory doesn’t mean much. What will happen if Ron Paul wins New Hampshire, or comes in a close second, and follows that with a Nevada win?

    Ron Paul is more physically fit than a lot of the other GOP candidate, especially Newt Gingrich. If age is a factor, Newt isn’t much younger and is far less healthy than Paul. Dr. Paul has invited the other candidates to try to hang with him in one of his regular, long bike rides in the Texas heat.

    The Republican candidate will get nearly 100% support from GOP voters, no matter who it is. Ron Paul is the only candidate capable of pulling the ticked off Democrats who feel like they were lied to and the anti-war Independents. Ron Paul is the only candidate with anti-big government, pro-peace cred. Ultimately, Democrats and Independents will flock to him, but not to Romney or Gingrich. The GOP establishment doesn’t want to admit it, but Ron Paul is the only candidate capable of beating Obama. Romney vs. Obama would be Dem BS vs. GOP BS. Ron Paul would force the President to answer questions, not engage in pointless rhetoric. Time to wake up.

  13. Bill Walker  November 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    >Can anyone tell me Ron Paul’s all there

    I just talked to him a month ago (I live in NH), he’s just like he was when I met him in 1988… sharper than most of us. He’s in a lot better mental shape than Mitt (Mitt seemed pretty shaky when I met him), and there’s the big advantage that Dr. Paul isn’t supported by Goldman Sachs!

  14. Robert M. Simon  November 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Ron Paul exercises incessantly and is probably in better shape than somebody like Gingrich (who looks like the Pillsbury doughboy).A win in Iowa would certainly help him in new Hampshire.If the GOP nominates the twin Rino clowns of Romney or Gingrich,it is finished and Obama gets his 2nd term.GOP voters need to get a brain…

  15. Niche Kook  November 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    DC reeks with corruption like never before. Depression is upon us. We are in Permanent War (the war to end all peace). And now we see Ron Paul, the most principled, most economically wise, presidential candidate of the past century. And you think your usual political handicapping approach applies this time? You take the Huckabee example as a rule to apply to the EXCEPTIONAL Paul in an EXCEPTIONAL, make-or-break-our-nation election year? Wake up!

  16. Bill Cravener  November 25, 2011 at 7:09 am

    The way I see it Ron Paul from the very beginning in order to have any chance of becoming president realized that to be endorsed was to be chosen by one of two major political parties. But we all I believe know the man is truly a Libertarian impersonating a Republican. In order to be endorsed by one of our corrupt parties a candidate must win votes during the primary caucus cycle taking place and anyone living in the real world knows this is something Ron Paul can never do within the Republican Party. In an election within the Republican Party Ron Paul doesn’t stand a chance, he is just too Libertarian for that party to swallow. Come on lets be real here, Ron Paul will not win the Republican nomination ever! Again as I stated, he is not really a Republican in any way shape or form.

  17. Eric Dondero  November 25, 2011 at 8:31 am

    If Ron Paul were to somehow magically win the nomination, he’d run off an entire block of GOP voters – those concerned with rising Islamo-Fascism, and support a Strong National Defense.

    Paul offers nothing to Pro-Military/Pro-Defense voters. He’s essentially a surrender-tarian, waving the white flag to Islamism.

    Which is odd, cause Islamism is the exact polar opposite of libertarians; outlaw booze and gambling, require burkas for all women from head-to-toe, jail marijuana smokers, execute gays and lesbians, torture pornographers, ban all free speech.

    Eric Dondero, Publisher
    LibertarianRepublican.net

    • woody188  November 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      Good riddance! Those scared types have had too much influence for far too long!

      I love how you confuse strong national defense with maintaining a global empire. How very corporate media of you.

      I wrote a piece once about those that refer to those opposing US forces as “Islamo-fascists.” It’s a make believe term. They would better be referred to as theocrats. But that isn’t scary sounding enough to get the emotional response desired to block sound reasoning. Point of the article was to never trust anyone throwing around the term “Islamo-fascists” because they are dealing in propaganda and not truth.

      Paul would end the worthless wars of conquest and nation building. We can’t close the borders of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. or even our own borders right now. Maybe 130,000 troops from Afghanistan would help seal up that porous southern border of the USA?

      Now that’s national defense!

      We can’t let the Mexican cartels continue to slay people along our own border. They are coming 50+ miles inside the USA and killing without any justice.

      Not to mention all that soldier pay going to bolster local southern US markets instead of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait markets.

      Call me naive, say I don’t understand the defense realities/responsibilities of a superpower. Whatever. The reality is we won’t be a superpower for much longer if we continue this military empire. And the responsibility of the US government is to it’s citizens, not the world.

  18. Sandune  November 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I joined up with a group of Republicans who had discovered the values of the LP. We met in 1999 in Atlanta Georgia and I brought the information to CHB. I made note of your link and will Get involved. A word of warning….Ayn Rand’s name is unwelcome here.

    BTW, Ron Paul attended this meeting in Atlanta along with Lew Rockwell, Bob Barr and CATO. I wore my gold $ and it was noticed by many of the attendees.

    May I pass on your link to others? There are a lot of us out here in California. Ayn Rand is not dead! Thank you for your information!

  19. Richard Lynch  November 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    Mr. Hilton,

    It is funny that you and many other “status quo” political pundits can’t resist the temptation to sprinkle derogatory words or phrases into articles about Ron Paul. This pathetic attempt to downplay his accomplishments this election cycle is really rather childish. By adding the word “rabid” in front of supporters in your first paragraph, you instantly lost credibility. You could have made your point, without the use of that word, instead, you showed a bias that weakened your entire argument.

    A a fifty something, retired military officer who is very concerned about the direction this country has taken under both political parties during the past two decades, I count myself as one of Ron Paul’s millions of “rabid supporters”. I am pretty sure that Mr. Romney would love to have millions of “rabid supporters”. If he did, you wouldn’t be writing this article about the insignifcance of Ron Paul’s very real shot at a first place finish in the Iowa caucus.

    Sincerely,

    Richard Lynch

    • Carl Nemo **==  November 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      I second your sentiments Mr. Lynch towards editorialists on this site who seem to have a propensity for submarining Ron Paul by using overly animated descriptors of the candidate’s supporters; ie. such as your ‘rabid’ example. / : |

      It’s one thing to analyze polls, campaign strategies etc., but another to add that extra negative bias towards Paul as a candidate and his supporters.

      There’s far worse than Ron Paul running for the Republican nomination yet seemingly the don’t get the ‘jabstick’ as intensely as him on a routine basis.

      What’s up CHB…?!

      Carl Nemo **==

  20. Sanjay Singh  November 25, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Obama = Romney = Perry = Cain = Gingrich = GOP = Democrats. Different puppets, same deceitful/ traitorous Federal Reserve/Bankster masters.

    Gingrich = endless wives, $1.8-Million Freddie-mac bribe, commie Gingrichcare, 3rd world amnesty/welfare, $16-Trillion/bailouts, endless wars/empire.

    Cain = Kansas Federal Reserve thug, “Libya swirls in my head”, unauthorized finger in panties, $16-Trillion/Bailouts, endless wars/empire.

    Romney = commie Romneycare, racist quotas, $16-Trillion/bailouts, abortion, gun control, endless wars/empire, campaign funding by Banksters.

    Perry = Gardasil for little girls, free health/ education/house/food/amnesty for 3rd world invaders, “niggerhead” on farm, “oops, whats the 3rd one?”, “Bank-of-America helping him out”, endless wars/empire.

    End the wars/empire, end the federal reserve/IMF/World Bank/BIS/UN/WTO, end racist quotas/unconstitutional departments, end TSA/DHS/ADL/SPLC and other Orwellian crime syndicates.

    Ron Paul will restore sound money, strong national defense, liberty, free enterprise, local government, strong traditional families, Western Civilization.

  21. Rick  November 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    No more debates! I want an ultra marathon to see who is “fit” to be president.

  22. Tony  November 26, 2011 at 3:29 am

    It seems it’s the time to start saying “Iowa doesn’t count”. What’s next? “New Hampshire doesn’t represent mainstream voters” ” Colarado has always had a Liberterarian culture” “Californians just want the power of the state respected again” and on and on until he wins and all you “corrupted by the system” journalist should either go home or start doing your role of keeping government in check. Not propping it up and hiding its crimes, I’m sick of this and so are all Americans.

    Tyranny dominates most of human history until the constitution was written and followed for 100 years. Then corruptness of Europe and its bankers won in 1913. It’s time we take our country back and vote Ron Paul in. America is waking up and their country is being taken back. End the Fed! End crony capitalism! End the welfare state!

    Ron Paul 2012!

  23. Jay  November 26, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Hilton obviously got the DNC memo about keeping Democrat voters in line, so they don’t stray from voting for pro-war Obama. Hilton is failing.

    “…an 11/22 Poll from Iowa shows Ron Paul leading the field with 25%. Most polls do not take into consideration disenfranchised Democrats or Independents whom will ultimately push him over the top, says the Blue Republican page. ‘Thousands if not hundreds of thousands are registering Republican (from Democrat or Independent) just so they can partake in his nomination.’

    “The Blue Republican movement is in favor of all those who must register Republican for a day in order to vote for Ron Paul, respectively, in their states closed Primary. Ralph Drees from the Blue Republican Facebook page expresses his views, ‘I used to support Dennis Kucinich, and we have many Kucinich supporters helping. Iowa and New Hampshire are good states for this. Even if they only support in the Primary, they won’t support Obama. They will stay home first, just like Ron Paul supporters would. Roughly half of the Kucinich supporters I talk to are going Red for a day.’” (Author: Jack Cole, The Examiner, 25 Nov 2011)

  24. woody188  November 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    You guys keep ignoring Paul’s straw poll win in North Carolina. Proof he is not just big among “tea party conservatives, home schoolers and extreme right-wingers.” Nearly 20% of the voters here claimed they are Independent.

    Republicans hear Romneycare is Obamacare and they won’t vote for Romney. Period. Why hasn’t this been explored more in the debates?

    Because it would immediately blast “their” most wanted bagman out of the race. Softball questions with canned answers that some of the more challenged candidates still screw up, ahem, Perry, Bachmann, and Cain. Oh well, that’s showbiz!

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