View Full Version : Ron Paul: the GOP Front-Runner

12-23-2007, 10:20 AM
www.thngstff.blogspot.com (http://www.thngstff.blogspot.com/)

We have entered a new era of politics and it is time to discard the old ways of analysis. New technologies have changed how we live and how we get our information. Politics is fundamentally the same, as it always will be, but elections have undergone some important changes and if we want to properly analyze them, our methods must be adapted to the new landscape. Right now, political pundits are marveling over the seeming surge of Mike Huckabee as he overtakes the anointed Republican “front-runners” of Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney. But a more careful analysis of the situation leads to a different conclusion. In all likelihood, Ron Paul is the strongest Republican candidate and the one most likely to take the GOP nomination.

The only measure by which Ron Paul is doing poorly are the telephone polls. He is slowly growing even by this measure, but generally lags well behind the other candidates. Even while marveling at some of his successes, talking heads always remind us that he is “nowhere in the polls” and quickly turn the discussion to questions of how a candidate who obviously does not have much support could possibly be doing so well in other respects. It is time to acknowledge that the polls are flawed, and the only thing that needs explaining is how a candidate with so much popular support could be doing so poorly in them.

The explanation, once given, is immediately clear and compelling. The telephone polls do not give us a representative cross section of the voters who will show up to vote in the Republican primaries. First of all, polling companies may not call numbers on the Do Not Call List. It has been suggested that the people who most desire to be left alone will more likely skew libertarian. I think this is possible although the assertion by itself remains a bit tenuous, but it is not hard to imagine that the polls have a non-representative sample from the very outset. Caller ID also reduces their response rates, and while John Zogby himself has said that he believes this is not yet enough to invalidate telephone polling, even he foresees a day when telephone polls will no longer be useful. At the very least, the ever-diminishing response rate is problematic.

These first considerations cast doubt on the process, but do not necessarily lead us to conclude that the polls are skewing against Ron Paul. For that, we must consider their culling process. When the polls finally do get a response, they do not necessarily count it in their final analysis. Indeed, only a small minority of responses are typically counted. Apart from the respondent’s candidate preference, the pollsters inquire into other things as well, such as if they voted in the last election, if they have voted Republican before and other similar issues.

What they seek to do is peel away people they believe are unlikely to vote in a Republican primary. This might be valid for most primaries, but Ron Paul is a different sort of candidate. The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming that Ron Paul is drawing huge support from Democrats, independents, Libertarians and libertarians, lapsed and disaffected Republicans and people who have never voted before. None of these groups is registering in the polls. John Zogby himself has said that Ron Paul probably has support above 15%, and possibly above 20%. My own opinion is that it will eventually prove even higher than this.

Remember, the polls are essentially measuring the support candidates have among those who voted in the last Republican primaries. But four years ago George Bush was an incumbent president. He had not only proved himself a douche bag but was guaranteed the victory. Ron Paul is polling, nationally, at about 8% among who showed up to vote for a douche bad who was going to win anyway (presumably this 8% has realized its mistake)!

In the end, we must remember that voting in a primary is a self-selecting process, but being called to give your opinion beforehand is not. To solve this, pollsters whittle away at their responses until they get something that they think resembles the group of people who will self-select themselves into voting booths when elections come. It should be quite apparent that their responses are coming from a sample of people quite different from what is going to show up on Election Day.

Every other indication suggests that Ron Paul is doing exceptionally well. For instance, he has finished first in every post debate poll except the first, where he finished second. These polls represent tens of thousands of votes, and despite the deliberately misleading comments made by Satan Hannity, only one vote per phone can be texted in; there is no way to manipulate these polls on a large scale (as if the other candidates wouldn’t be doing that if it were possible). I would suggest that the people who care enough to watch the many debates and text in their vote are at least moderately representative of those who will show up to vote in the different state primaries. By this measure, Ron Paul was strong from the beginning and getting stronger.

Also indicative of his success is all the activity of his enthusiastic supporters, activity quite apart from the official campaign. A Ron Paul blimp is, as I type these words, flying over the eastern states, the money for which was raised independently of the campaign by people who have been inspired by Ron Paul’s message. Ron Paul has many active Meet Up groups and members, more than any other candidate. He has more Myspace members and more Google searches than anyone else.

But the single most important measure of his campaign’s strength is the money he has been able to raise. In the third quarter, when all the other candidates saw a drop in raised funds, he more than doubled his second quarter contributions, exceeding $5 million dollars. This raised a lot of eyebrows and garnered him some deserved attention. When, on November 5th, the date of the first now-famous Money Bomb, he raised $4.3 million dollars on a single day, nearly all of it from online contributions, and set the record for actual funds raised in a single day, it was grudgingly conceded by the Main Stream Media that he was a serious candidate (John Kerry’s supposed record haul of $5.7 million on the day he accepted the Democrat nomination consisted largely of pledges, not actual donations. Furthermore, the Clinton campaign’s claims of a record day of fundraising are not supported by the papers she filed with the Federal Elections Commission). On December 16th, when he raised $6.04 million and set a new record, one that bettered even John Kerry’s dubious mark, he served notice that he was unequivocally the leading Republican candidate for president.

So far, Ron Paul has raised about $18.5 million dollars this quarter and looks to finish at about $19 million, unless another surge of money comes in to end the quarter. This will far outstrip anything the other candidates are raising. The supposedly surging Huckabee campaign, when they tried to initiate a Money Bomb of their own, got all of 186 pledges in the initial days. Contrast this with the 60,000 individual donors for the December 16th Money Bomb. Now, apart from the free Internet attention he has been getting, Ron Paul will be able to outmuscle the other candidates in the more traditional areas of marketing. Ron Paul’s average donation, at least on his Money Bomb days, is just over $100, an amount far below what other candidates typically get. Ron Paul, you must understand, does not sell future favors for campaign contributions, and so does not get big corporate donations. Therefore, $1 million raised by Ron Paul represents many more votes than $1 million raised by Rudy McRomnabee Thompson. When Ron Paul not only has more votes per dollar raised, but also more dollars raised, you know the other candidates are in trouble.

The others are pro-war candidates, and they will split the vote of this smaller segment of America. Meanwhile, Ron Paul is all by himself as a pro-peace candidate and will without serious competition collect votes from the 70% of the American public who are sick of the war. It has long been demonstrated that Ron Paul demolishes the rest of the field among those who have heard him speak. Now he has the money to reach well beyond the Internet.

My prediction is this: Ron Paul will finish in the top three in Iowa, possibly even winning it, and will take New Hampshire and South Carolina, thus forcing the MSM to treat him as a front runner. Strong finishes, perhaps even victories, in Michigan, Nevada and Wyoming will solidify him as the favorite whereupon he will clean up on Super Tuesday. I am quite confident that he will go into the Republican Convention with the most delegates, and while I am not as optimistic as some that he can win a brokered convention, I think he stands a very good chance of having more than 50% of the delegates and obviating this process. If Ron Paul can get 50% of the delegates, Ron Paul is our next president. No Democrat stands a chance against a Ron Paul that the MSM cannot ignore (they can attack him, besmirch him and distort his views all they like, if they can’t ignore him he’ll win).

And when Ron Paul becomes our next president, a new prosperous era in American history, and in world history, will have begun. Long live Ron Paul.