President Ron Paul?

ron-paul-flagsIn yet another silly poll sampling attitudes toward a mythical presidential matchup two years away, Rasmassen finds that Ron Paul is in a dead heat with President Barack Obama.

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.

Now, as Michael Barone points out, “Rasmussen’s tight likely voters screen tends to produce a more Republican sample than do most other pollsters, who at this stage of the cycle tend to look at registered voters or all adults.”  He adds, “Still, the specter of the incumbent president leading a fringe figure by Ron Paul by a statistically insignificant 1% is pretty amazing.”

Meh. My strong guess is that most people have no idea who Ron Paul is.  But they won’t tell Rasmussen:

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.

Paul, a anti-big government libertarian who engenders unusually strong feelings among his supporters, was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. But he continues to have a solid following, especially in the growing Tea Party movement.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of voters now consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement, an eight-point increase from a month ago. Another 10% say they are not a part of the movement but have close friends or family members who are.

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of all voters have a favorable opinion of Paul, while 30% view him unfavorably. This includes 10% with a very favorable opinion and 12% with a very unfavorable one. But nearly one-out-of-three voters (32%) are not sure what they think of Paul.

At any rate, I agree with Barone that there is zero chance Paul will be the Republican nominee for president in 2012.  These early polls are mildly amusing but otherwise worthless.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Gerry W. says:

    He’s a nice guy, but you need a president that will do a lot of things and not one dimensional. His idea is just no government. I still think that a country has to be managed. However, the people on the right would compare “managed” to a Soviet style centralized system.

  2. rodney dill says:

    However, the people on the right would compare “managed” to a Soviet style centralized system.

    Actually that would be Obama, on the Left, promoting the totalitarian centralized system.

  3. Gerry W. says:

    Actually, both sides do it. Tax cuts, stay the course, and lose our jobs. Which party is worse? I don’t know. I would think the republicans are worse, however, because they claim to understand economics, but they drive the country with ideology.

  4. Triumph says:

    I’m squarely in the Plain camp since she is from Real America–i.e Alaska, the most representative state in the union.

    She is strong, tough, and a real maverick.

    That said, I think Paul is a brilliant theoretician and an inspiring leader. I think he would be well-served to be Palin’s VP choice, should Michelle Bachman decide to stay in Congress.

  5. Brett says:

    Paul is mostly a useful example in how a small group of very devout followers can raise a decent chunk of money in a primary. Remember some of the “money bombs” they did in 2008?

  6. pete says:

    Gerry W, what planet are you from? I run a small business and tax cuts do more for me, my employees and customers than tax increases. Why don’t you criticize the spending in this country? Too many people depend on the government for their welfare instead of taking responsibility for it. This dependency mentality just fuels the pols to provide it to get re-elected.

    Go ahead and raise my taxes. I’ll pass the increased cost along to you until the market will no longer bear it. Then I will lay off employees to remain profitable. If that doesn’t work,I will close my business, keep enough money to live comfortably and donate the remainder to a charity of my choice. You tax raisers are either uneducated or just plain stupid.

  7. Gerry W. says:

    And what did I see for 8 years? It was 8 years of our jobs going overseas, our money going to Iraq, and the neglect of our country. If tax cuts create jobs, then I did not see it. I live in a small town in Ohio. It is 14,000 people and we lost 3 plants of 2000 employees. There is no jobs here, even if the rest of the country picks up there will be no jobs. You cannot start a small business if you don’t have the factories. All I heard is that “free trade is good” and my town is ruined. With all this ignorance and arrogance, we will have more welfare. I don’t want to see tax increases, but we have to pay for the things that we do. And I do believe that Bush chose Iraq as a war of choice and he has not paid for it. We have to examine what this country wants.

    Now if you want more jobs, then I would propose this.

    1. Fix the antitrust laws that Reagan relaxed. Monopolies and consolidations destroyed jobs.

    2. Invest in your country: That is energy independence for security and jobs. Also a new air traffic control system that will save 12% on fuel. The savings to the airlines can go to build new aircraft. A high speed internet system. Perhaps high speed rail.

    3. Invest in your people: That is mandatory vocational training. We live in a globalized world and you can no longer rely on factories. We have to be an educated society.

    4. Invest in the future: Federal research grants to be given to universities and business to bring out new technologies. Today there are no new jobs to go to for those unemployed. You need new areas of growth. No playing games with embryonic stem cell research.

    5. Consider an “American job elimination tax” on companies that move out of the country. These companies do not pay middle class wages, healthcare, pensions, social security, or city and state taxes.

    6. Get away from failed ideology. We saw it for 8 years. Tax cuts do not solve problems. Does not prevent recessions. And does not create prosperity. You still have to solve problems. Ideology does not solve problems.

    7. Supporting small business sounds nice and it is heard in Washington, but it does not work in my community as the big business left. That means you cannot have small business as people lost their jobs. Besides, small business will never pay what big business paid in wages.

    8. We are losing the middle class. We cannot compete with 2 billion cheap laborers in the world that want our jobs. There are not enough jobs to go around. Competition is good, but it can be harmful also. All we are doing in this country is build the same business environment so that we can knock the other guy out. A person loses his job and has no place to go to. And the reason is that we did not invest in our country, in our people, and in the future.

  8. Gerry W. says:

    I might add, I have no use for ideologies. They mean nothing to me. We saw the “trickle down theory.” We “stayed the course.” We get preached on tax cuts, the constitution, and free market principles-again, it means nothing. We heard that “free trade is good.” So it ends up to be laissez-faire and nothing done. We had that for 8 years. And that is why, I said this country should be managed. Personally, I would have Donald Trump for two years without congress and I think you would see something done.

  9. Mark D says:

    Ron Paul is about less FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, not STATE Government. His stance is that the FEDERAL Government should butt out of most people’s lives, and leave the real issue’s in the hands of the states.

    The most wonderful thing about America is, if you don’t like the state you live in, you have 49 other choices. However, if the FEDERAL government keeps over stepping it’s authority and giving itself more power, then all 50 states start to feel like the same state.

    James, for having a PhD, you don’t seem that smart. Honestly, I find this entire article offensive as an American. You need to wake up, do some research on Ron Paul before you make some silly statements like you did in this article, because it really does show you lack of intelligence and understanding on the FEDERAL vs STATE issue. Geez.

    Here is the Palin track record.
    – She ran with the Neo-Con John McCain as his VP choice
    – She’s a quitter (being Governor of Alaska)
    – She only wants money, and not to help the Tea Party (hence the $110,000 payment for the ‘National Tea Party Convention’ – shame)
    – Endless amounts of video’s on YouTube showing how horrible she is at lying.
    – She has no understanding of foreign issues, and thinks she can see Russia from her back yard (check the map, line of site is 16 miles due to the Earth’s curve)
    – She flip-flopped from the Neo-Con camp to the Tea Party camp who HATES McCain and the Neo-Cons, so yeah, she flip-flopped….again!

    So what do you think she would do in the white house? Youtube “Palin Lies” and “Ron Paul lies”, see which has more hits and RELEVANT content.

    Ron Paul has more experience in politics than Palin by a long mile. Everyone needs to do their homework before you make stupid and dangerous statements, because these statements will translate to votes at some point, and voting for a sellout like Palin over a Doctor like Ron Paul is just as stupid as Palin.

    One last thing, Palin also supported Rand Paul, Ron’s son, for his Congress seat. While this was just a tactic for her to “win” more Tea Party support, it only proves how she flip-flops from the neo-con party to the Tea Party….she’s just chasing the cash folks…..DUH!

  10. Gerry W. says:

    Mark D,

    My only question. How do states compete with the rest of the world of 2 billion people who want our jobs. What state can compete with that? I am at a loss with the laissez-faire attitude. And are we supposed to compete with each other or the world?