Why Ron Paul Did so Well in New Hampshire in 2012
by, 01-21-2012 at 05:20 PM (7148 Views)
Ron Paul received more than 18,000 votes at around 8% of the vote in 2008. In 2012, Paul received just fewer than 57,000 votes at around 23% of the vote. This dramatic lead happened, despite only twenty-one candidates on the ballot in 2008 compared to the thirty candidates on the ballot in 2012. The question is, why did support for Paul grow so much between 2008 and 2012?
Ron Paulís 2012 winning formula was a combination of many things. Extra volunteers, be them the youth volunteers that spent the last week of the campaign in New Hampshire, or the volunteers from around the county that called New Hampshire homes for weeks leading up to the Primary. Paul really helped himself with a fantastic debate performance on the Saturday night before the Primary. A little known issue outside of New Hampshire, Northern Pass, helped to positively set Paul apart from Mitt Romney. There is no doubt that Free State Project participants were also critical to Paulís second place victory. The ideas Paul talks about implementing on the national level are in many ways ideas that are currently being implemented in New Hampshire. From Paulís idea of deep government budget cuts to his ideas of tax and regulation reform, itís currently happening in New Hampshire so the voters are familiar with it.
Paul had one of his best debate performances of the campaign season during the Saturday night debate before the Primary. Combine that with all of the Ron Paul ads that played during the debate, including the Revolution PAC ad, and you have a winning formula.
In the rural, scarcely populated north county, Northern Pass was a big issue in the election. Support for the project is so thin that only 15% of northern NH voters favor the use eminent domain to complete Northern Pass. Not only did Paul come out strongest against eminent domain use for Northern Pass, but he came out strongest against the project in general among all of the candidates. Romney gave a wishy-washy answer on the issue and word got out that one of Romneyís main fundraisers was a key player in Northern Pass. The Union Leader and a Ron Paul activist used this issue to help Paul and hurt Romney. The majority of the towns where the power lines Northern Pass calls for may theoretically go, perhaps with the use of eminent domain, went to Paul including: Ashland, Bethlehem, Chichester, Clarksville, Colebrook, Columbia, Dalton, Hill, New Hampton, Northfield, Northumberland, Salisbury, Stewartstown, Thornton and Whitefield.
The youth volunteers and other volunteers from around the county gave Paul an extra boost in 2012. For the Iowa Caucus, Paul had 100s of youth volunteers. The volunteers along with other factors, helped over double Paul share of the vote from 10% in 2008 to 21% in 2012. Even though Paul only had around 100 youth volunteers in New Hampshire in 2012, they were a welcomed addition that helped his campaign make phone calls, go door-to-door and with other programs. Out-of-state volunteers called New Hampshire residents for weeks on behalf of the campaign. To some extent, other campaigns had similar programs but perhaps only Romneyís efforts matched Paulís in New Hampshire.
Between the 2008 and 2012 elections, the number of Free State Project participants that moved to New Hampshire doubled. While the FSP didnít officially get involved with the Paul campaign, as it doesnít get involved in politics at all, some people that moved to New Hampshire as part of the FSP spent the last few years talking about and helping gain support for Paul in New Hampshire. FSP movers and friendly locals were at 100s of sign waves, phone banks and door knocking events for Paul. They appeared on local TV and radio shows and wrote articles in newspapers about their support for Dr. Paul. There is no doubt that without the support of these activists, Ron Paul would not have finished second in NH.
Partly due to tea partiers, libertarians and free staters, the ideas Paul talks about are currently happening in New Hampshire. Paulís major domestic issues are reducing government spending and reducing regulations and taxes on both people and corporations. The New Hampshire government just reduced government spending by more than any state has ever reduced government spending since the World War II era. Those reductions, along with regulation and tax reform are what the New Hampshire Republican leadership considers the main accomplishments of 2011. Donít take my word for it. Go to the accomplishments paper and read about how 43 laws to reduce regulations passed and how both fees and taxes were cut. BTW, Dr. Paulís theory about additional jobs being created if regulations and business taxes were reduced worked in New Hampshire, as the unemployment rate was over 6% at the start of 2011 but was under 5% by the end of the year.