Monday, February 13, 2012

Meet The Most Electable Republican: Congressman Ron Paul

While some Ron Paul supporters always have said that their man is the most electable Republican, virtually nobody else thought so, including me. But as Romney struggles, Gingrich falls again, and Santorum surges to a 38% to 23% national lead in the latest Public Policy Polling poll, Ron Paul is the most electable Republican.  He also is the most intriguing figure in politics.

A national poll taken from February 1-3 finds both that Ron Paul is the most electable Republican, trailing the President 44 to 40 and that 20% of Republicans are leaning toward re-electing the President.  By contrast to the close race with Congressman Paul, President Obama leads Governor Romney 48-41 and crushes Senator Santorum 49-34 in the World Net Daily/Wenzell Poll.

Still another poll--the Fox News poll published on February 10th also--finds that Paul runs better against Obama than either Gingrich or Santorum, though not as well as Romney.

According to the Wenzell poll, part of Congressman Paul's strength is that he loses just 19% of Republican voters, while the other candidates lose 20% or more, numbers that are a huge warning to the GOP.

The vitriolic attacks by Gingrich and Romney on each other and soon by Romney on Santorum are mutually assured political destruction (MAD).  The attacks by each on the other are making toxic the reputations of all engaged in MAD, even to the 20% of Republican voters who are considering voting for the President or possibly not voting at all.

The sustained, intensifying negative Republican attacks on each other and the strengthening economy add up to continued good news for President Obama, who in the Rasmussen February 10th poll opened a 10- point lead on Romney and whose approval rating hit 51%.  The only recent bad news for the President is that the election was not last week but is still more than 8 months away, an eternity in even a normal political year.

Much can yet change between now and election day.  The improving economy could stall.  War with Iran is possible. The only certainty is that certainly the President's rising political prospects of the last 2 months could reverse and still fall enough for him to lose the election. Yet, the President's good news includes that the Republicans remain certain not to nominate the man who has amazingly become their most electable candidate--Ron Paul.

Paul's status as the most electable Republican reflects the growing weaknesses of the other Republican candidates, as well as Paul's uniquely authentic profile and his issue mix that constitutes a political wild card, in a year when a standard Republican campaign may be doomed by an improving economy.

Paul would attack the President from both the left and right simultaneously, with his strong opposition to a war with Iran and the bailout of Wall Street and with his support for drug legalization, a massive government downsizing, abolishing the Federal Reserve and basing the dollar on gold. This issue mix and his record of attacking both parties enables Paul to rally supporters of theTea Party and Occupy Wall Street. 

Paul actually does something very difficult to do to any political opponent.  He eats into a portion of  his opponent's base or in the case of President Obama--college educated, mainly white voters under 35.  Paul joins in this respect President Reagan, the last Republican who had the ability to peel away a significant portion of the Democratic base, the famous Reagan Democrats.

Paul also so far has been bruised but not destroyed by the MAD nature of the Republican primary. Most of the tens of millions of dollars of negative attacks have been fired at someone other than Paul so he may be able to hold as much or more of the Republican base as Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum, while peeling off some Obama voters.

All that adds up to Ron Paul being the most electable Republican candidate, even though he has no chance of being elected, since he will not be the GOP nominee. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.


  1. But do you really think that someone with a documented history of extreme racism can win a national general election in the year 2012? Surely not. Moreover, can someone who says he doesn't believe in either evolution or global warming really win the votes of young college-educated liberals? Doubtful.

    I think Ron Paul polls well at the moment for two reasons: 1)his glibness disguises his idiocy, and 2) he is a trendy, outside-seeming candidate whom it is fashionable for young people to align themselves with. But during a general presidential election, his racism, his opposition to even the most well-established of scientific ideas (evolution and global warming), and the silliness and dangerousness of his economic ideas (a return to a pre-1933 - not just pre-Nixon - gold standard) would become more well-publicized, and educated young people would realize their mistake.

  2. You could be right that Paul would not survive scrutiny and I am not saying that he is the favorite to be President were he on the ballot. I am saying he is the most electable today. Given an improving economy, standard Republican politics would be doomed is my assumption. Paul is a wild card, a reshuffling. A war with Iran would make the reshuffle even more uncertain and would split the Democratic party if Paul were the Republican.