I love it! The Establishment Republicans must be shaking in their boots!
First, Ron Paul won the straw poll at CPAC, then he lost the poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Council meeting in New Orleans, by only one vote to Romney:
Romney's strong showing in New Orleans was due in no small part to a group called Evangelicals for Mitt. They offered 200 free tickets to the gathering to Republicans who made a commitment to vote for Romney in the straw poll. The American Spectator further notes that Romney supporters also received free buttons, bumper stickers and copies of his book No Apology – The Case for American Greatness. Well, at least they weren't saddled with any lousy T-shirts.
And now ...
Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is – virtually dead even.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
Ask the Political Class, though, and it’s a blowout. While 58% of Mainstream voters favor Paul, 95% of the Political Class vote for Obama.
But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment.
Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president.
The news comes via the right-wing political maven Michael Barone, who is amazed at "the specter of the incumbent president leading a fringe figure [like] Ron Paul by a statistically insignificant 1%." Note to Barone: Fringe is a relative term. If this many voters are willing to support a presidential candidate, you might want to find a different word to describe him.
The numbers even look to me as if the GOP itself is warming to Paul — clearly there’s still a quarter to a third of the party that rigidly rejects what he stands for, but most Republicans are simply unfamiliar with him, and a slightly larger percentage than those opposed to him see Paul as a new direction for the party:
Twenty-six percent (26%) of GOP voters think Paul shares the values of most Republican voters throughout the nation, but 25% disagree. Forty-nine percent (49%) are not sure.
Similarly, 27% of Republicans see Paul as a divisive force in the party, while 30% view him as a new direction for the GOP. Forty-two percent (42%) aren’t sure.
Among all voters, 19% say Paul shares the values of most Republican voters, and 27% disagree. Fifty-four percent (54%) are undecided.
Twenty-one percent (21%) of voters nationwide regard Paul as a divisive force in the GOP. Thirty-four percent (34%) say he is representative of a new direction for the party. Forty-five percent (45%) are not sure.
Between this and his second-place finish — a single vote behind Romney — at the recent Southern Republican Leadership Conference, there looks to be a real and growing RP following within the GOP, and with so few Republicans even familiar with the Texas congressman, there’s room for much more growth yet.
Most interesting to me, is that Paul does better with independents than he does with Republican voters, despite the fact that nobody follows the Republican Party's said "conservative principles," more so than Ron Paul. I also believe the "independent" voter is a growing group (and at the expense of both parties). Count me in!
Seriously, if you honestly want limited government, yet voted for McCain ... Isn't it time to come clean with your conscious and vote for the genuine limited government guy?
I know, I know ... There'll be all sorts of excuses as to why the limited government guy is polling so well. But maybe, just maybe ... the Beltway Pundits and wannabes should start grasping the fact that American's really do want limited government!
As was the case in 2008, Republicans are going to have to go with Ron Paul if they want to beat Obama ... they cannot win by putting up another hated servant of Wall Street and the neocons like McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Palin, Pawlenty, and Huckabee ...
[T]he Republican Party leadership would much rather lose to an approved mandarin like Obama than elect a real republican who would threaten the bifactional ruling party.