Congressman Ron Paul’s popularity has continued to decline among Republican Voters since he brazenly stated his foreign policy position in the Republican Debate a few weeks ago. In a series of polls since then, Paul has gone from a top tier candidate to a middle of the pack candidate. In two national polls released this week, Paul is the pick of only six and seven percent of Republican Voters respectively, after climbing to as high as fourteen percent in a poll just a few weeks ago. Similarly, in a poll of Likely Voters released yesterday, Paul is now trailing President Obama by ten points. This same pollster had Paul within one point of President Obama just over one month ago. In the poll yesterday, Paul received the support of only sixty-one percent of Republicans surveyed.
When a candidate defines his position clearly and the people that would need to nominate him with their votes reject it, the message should be apparent. They disagree with him. In this case, Republican Primary Voters are saying they prefer someone else at this stage of the game. Thus, Paul’s chances of winning a Republican nomination seem slim.
This might come across as sobering news for many of Paul’s passionate supporters, some of whom read this column. It has some of his supporters quietly calling for an Independent run.
Another strategy the Paul campaign might employ is to go after the Conservative Establishment in talk radio and television and in the Conservative Blogosphere. This is the power center that finds Paul the most objectionable. Many commentators on the airwaves have been quite vocal about their distaste for Paul and they were particularly displeased after Paul stated his position on endless war in that debate. The Congressman could use his considerable funds to run advertising that draws a favorable contrast between his views and the standard fare among the Establishment. The goal would be to offer a competing view to the groupthink that often passes for truth on the airwaves. The Conservative Establishment has controlled the Republican Party narrative for three decades but recent trends seem to be suggesting their influence may be starting to fade.
This would be a risky strategy. However there appear to be few other options if Paul wants to win the Republican nomination. In my opinion, this would not only be a good campaign tactic it would also be good for the Country. A new independent conservative governing coalition is starting to emerge in America that is more libertarian, more humble, less bombastic, better educated, and more inclusive. Congressman Paul could help to usher in this new coalition.