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Ron Paul 2012 Campaign Looking A Lot Like Ron Paul 2008 Campaign

Perhaps bruised by the criticism they received for largely ignoring him during the 2008 campaign, the news media spent a good deal of time in the run up to the voting in the GOP Presidential race covering Ron Paul’s campaign for President. He was a frequent guest on all three cable networks, his campaign was being followed around by reporters on a regular basis, and he got far more attention at the candidate debates than he had four years ago. As it turns out, though, Paul’s 2012 effort isn’t turning out any better than his 2008 campaign. He’s fourth in the national polls, fourth in the delegate count with less than 100 delegates, and fourth in the popular votes cast to date with just 10.7% of the vote. And if that wasn’t enough, it looks like his campaign is running out of money, and may be about to lose the support of its SuperPac:

Ron Paul’s flagging presidential campaign is also bleeding cash, spending more money than it raised in February and finding itself with less cash on hand than during any other point this election cycle, federal filings show.

Paul ended February with about $1.37 million in his campaign account — a pittance for a political campaign competing nationally.

The veteran Texas congressman has yet to win a primary or caucus contest, save for a partial caucus victory in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and he badly trails Republican presidential rivals Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in delegates amassed.

At this juncture, Paul winning the GOP presidential nomination is a near impossibility.

(…)

Such declining campaign finance health coincides with the decision by Endorse Liberty, a super PAC supporting Paul, to reassess its efforts and consider broadening its support to other political candidates.

Federal records show Endorse Liberty hasn’t made an independent expenditure on behalf of Paul since March 6, while super PACs supporting Romney, Santorum and Gingrich together have spent millions during that time.

Additionally, earlier this week NBC News pulled the last campaign embed that was following Paul’s campaign around and sent him back to New York City, an obvious recognition of the fact that there isn’t any news coming out of the campaign and no reason to cover it on a daily basis.

None of this is surprising, really. Outside of the core group that has supported Paul since 2008 there isn’t a wide audience for Paul’s peculiar brand of libertarianism in the GOP, and his non-interventionist foreign policy positions are completely outside the GOP mainstream, especially as applied to nations such as Iran and Israel. There seems to be some hope among Paul supporters that Paul will somehow become a power broker at the Tampa convention if none of the candidates manages to garner a sufficient number of delegates to win on a first ballot. That would seem to depend, however, on Paul’s ability to deliver his delegates to a particular candidates, something that is by no means certain. More so than any other candidates, Paul’s supporters are highly devoted to him personally, and this would seem likely to be even more true of those actively involved enough to have put their names up on a delegate slate. I honestly don’t see them listening if Paul urges them to get behind Romney, and I think that even he recognizes that fact. This is why I tend to discount the speculation that has been tossing around for months now about a secret deal between Romney and Paul, if anything the fact that Paul has generally kept the gloves off  Romney can probably be explained by his desire not to annoy the GOP establishment out of concern for his sons political future.

In 2008, Ron Paul responded to the Republican National Convention by holding his own shadow convention in Minneapolis. He may not do the same thing in Tampa this year, but I also don’t expect him to be given a major role in the convention regardless of how many delegates he thinks he can deliver.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. PogueMahone says:

    …there isn’t a wide audience for Paul’s peculiar brand of libertarianism in the GOP, and his non-interventionist foreign policy positions are completely outside the GOP mainstream, especially as applied to nations such as Iran and Israel.

    Ron Paul has performed a great service to this nation. The few times he says something completely sane (think the golden rule), the GOP audience jeers at him for his efforts.

    You keep up the good work, Congressman.

    Cheers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  2. Henry Jacks says:

    Let us see how the delegate count actualcom turns out before we count out the only candidate who still has thousands of people at every rally countrywide. Paul isn’t going to deliver his delegates to anyone at the convention. That isn’t what he wants. If the convention is brokered, he may actually end up with the MOST delegates and the nomination. Fourth place in the “we’re not active enough to become delegates for our man” GOP could mean First place in the “Paul or Bust” Revolution. Watch for delegate counts in Missouri, Maine, Minnesota, Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iowa. These could all be mostly Paul delegates. And the false numbers the media give to the Three Stooges will be cut drastically as Paul competes for first place.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  3. An Interested Party says:

    @Henry Jacks: No offense, but the Paul campaigns have been quixotic at best and delusional at worst…this man will never, ever get anywhere near the GOP presidential nomination…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  4. PJ says:

    @Henry Jacks:

    Watch for delegate counts in Missouri, Maine, Minnesota, Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iowa. These could all be mostly Paul delegates.

    Those 8 states rewards a total of 264 delegates.
    The 20 states that hold caucuses rewards a total of 550 delegates.

    Dream on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  5. ernieyeball says:

    @Henry Jacks: If the convention is brokered, he may actually end up with the MOST delegates and the nomination.

    You better get a good grip on yer balls because reality slipped away from you a long time ago!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  6. Postal DAV says:

    Ron Paul’s voting bloc has increased by 113% so far compared to 2008. If he is not the nominee I will write his name down when I go vote in November 2012

    RON PAUL OR BUST

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  7. Postal DAV says:

    Dont forget voter turnout is down 4% this time around

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. David M says:

    @Henry Jacks:

    If the convention is brokered, he may actually end up with the MOST delegates and the nomination.

    If one of the 4 remaining candidates gets the nomination, it’ll be someone who finishes first or second. If the extremely unlikely situation emerges where the candidate isn’t one of those two, it’s not going to be the person that finished 4th (Paul), it’ll be someone that hasn’t even been running.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  9. Ron Beasley says:

    It seems that every four years it takes people a few months to figure out that the crazy uncle is crazy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  10. gVOR08 says:

    Thank you, Doug, for honestly commenting on this. There is no grand deal at a brokered convention. There is no devious plan to make Rand Paul VP. There is no elevation of Paul’s Quixotic brand of Libertarianism to the national stage. When the dust settles, the eccentric coot will have been an eccentric coot. And his supporters will have to decide between Romney and Obama. Or stay home.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  11. Ramirez says:

    @Henry Jacks: Uh, the race is almost half over. RP’s strategy of playing the caucuses for delegates isn’t working out and there is less than a handful of caucuses left- four to be exact, with only 136 delegates up for grabs. Even if by some miracle Ron Paul were to win all of them he’d still be way behind the front runner and second place runner. Face it: it’s over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  12. Motov says:

    It is obvious the lame stream media fears this man.
    It is obvious the three stooges running will destroy what is left of this nation’s constitution.
    Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate this nation requires, if we want to fix what both parties have broken.

    I just hope people wake up and realize we have but two choices, one that will restore what made this country great, or the rest that will cause the destruction of it.

    Jesse Ventura became governor when every one else said it couldn’t be done.
    I believe lightening can strike again, this time with Ron Paul as POTUS

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Motov:

    It is obvious the lame stream media fears this man.

    Talk about delusions of granduer….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  14. Tiago Barbosa says:

    And i thought that the USA was a modern country, after all, the media is controlled by the governement, ouch.

    Go Dr.Paul, you have been rigged, but as an independent things will change.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  15. deathcar2000 says:

    Dont get me wrong Ron Paul seems like a fine American, but i suspect he might have eaten a paint chip or two as a toddler. Which is fine, not judge’n or anything but the people have rendered their verdict, which is Ron Paul is to leave the island post haste…full stop. He is to no longer play in any of our reindeer games.

    And please stop all this malarky bout not being given a fair assement by the press. His message was heard loud and clear and he was only able to pull 10% support among the people in his party +/- some crossover from people that i have met that are liberals, not liberal republicans not Conservatives but “LIBERALS” and changed their party to republican or not declared so they could vote for him.

    Mabe he should run Indy, 3rd party. . . yeah that’s the ticket!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  16. grumpy realist says:

    @Henry Jacks: Just based on your comments alone……can you even count?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  17. G.A. says:

    Ron Paul’s voting bloc has increased by 113% so far compared to 2008. If he is not the nominee I will write his name down when I go vote in November 2012

    RON PAUL OR BUST

    Sigh

    Cultists to the left of me, cultists to the right, crazy*** libertarians to the left of me…er….

    sigh…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  18. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I’m rather surprised we’re not hearing more from Rand Paul during his father’s campaign. Isn’t the CW that Ron Paul 2012 is setting things up for Rand?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Kolohe says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy:
    Rand Paul in on talk radio and daytime cable news often enough talking about his father. One of the problem with Ron Paul’s campaign is that his son is the *only* person I hear in those venues (beside Ron Paul himself) promoting the campaign, compared with the army of proxies the others (particularly Romney) has on the media circuit every day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Linton says:

    Man I wish Paul had stayed out of the race and endorsed Gary Johnson, almost as much as I wish Johnson had taken some more public speaking classes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Anonymous says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Look up Ron Paul vs. the #HONESTMISTAKE on YouTube for crystal clear examples of media obfuscation. I’ve witnessed plenty more both before and after seeing that video.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. Anonymous says:

    Before a single vote was cast both CNN and FOX News (and perhaps others as well, those were just the two I personally witnessed) were denigrating Paul and stating quite openly that if he won Iowa then Iowa should be disregarded and the relevance of Iowa to future elections should be questioned going forward. It was also said early and often that Paul didn’t have a shot at winning, again before a single vote was cast.

    After many weeks of similar programming of the programmable segments of the electorate to not vote for Paul, leaving him out of coverage at many times and in many forms (even when he was doing better in the same context than some or all of those that were covered at the time), placing him at the bottom of lists regardless of proper order and without another apparent reason for doing so (like an alphabetical list), and maybe a dose of fraud or mismanagement here and there whether at the polls or during the count, now his less-than-stellar results can and are being used as justification for continuing or otherwise enhancing and completing a process that has already been going on for some time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  23. Tal East says:

    I still doubt we have a truly brokered convention (although we could have something like 1976 which is not that big of a deal), but if Paul wants to have an influence he better win a few more delegates than he has. I seriously doubt Romney sells out for the pittance Paul has accumulated.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0