COMMENTARY | Congressman Ron Paul's supporters are unwavering, and extremely vocal in their desire for a smaller, more Libertarian U.S. government. And, whether you agree with his positions or not, what candidate wouldn't want such a devoted, vocal following? After the Aug. 11 Republican presidential debate, Fox News asked their viewers who they believed won the event, and with 23,079 votes out of the 38,510 so far, a clear majority of site visitors picked Congressman Ron Paul.
The next candidate who viewers felt handled the debate best is Newt Gingrich at 5,814 votes, as of this report. While Fox's survey is as informal as can be, it does speak to the power of Internet campaigning. Whether you agree with his platform or not, his supporters consistently prove themselves to be noisy, determined, and loyal. Party favorites would be foolish to try to write him off as no threat to their possible candidacies.
Many of them believe other Republican candidates to be too supportive of the status-quo of Washington, while his campaign focuses on maintaining the U.S. Constitution as the law-of-the-land, individual liberties and something our grandparents called common sense. His detractors rarely have much to say on the issues themselves, but more often rely on ad hominem attacks, and references to his age.
By the second quarter of 2011, he had raised $4.5 million after the bills were paid. While building his campaign for the 2012 elections, Paul opted to fly commercial and to stay in cheaper hotels. In a rare showing of fiscal responsibility from any politician, his campaign shows a $5 million surplus.
The results of the Ames Straw Poll are not a guaranteed bid for the Republican nomination. Mitt Romney proved that in 2008. But the results will give the selected candidate a clear idea of what's really on the American voter's mind. Whether Ron Paul wins the nomination, or even the Ames Straw Poll itself, it should be evident to career politicians in Washington of the dissatisfaction with business-as-usual.
- Ames Straw Poll
- Mitt Romney
- the U.S. Constitution
- the American voter
- Newt Gingrich