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Friday, August 26, 2011

Ron Paul Rising ... Up to a Point

Gallup reports that Ron Paul is the presidential choice of 13 percent of Republicans nationwide, behind Perry and Romney but ahead of all others.

Gallup also reports that Paul would be in a statistical dead heat with President Obama in a general elections.

And yet the Project for Excellence in Journalism shows that the media tend to ignore him. Jon Stewart has made the same point:

Lee-Anne Goodman writes at The Canadian Press:

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul says he's the Rodney Dangerfield of U.S. politics, griping recently that he gets no respect from the media in terms of coverage even after finishing a close second to Michele Bachmann in the often game-changing Iowa straw poll.

The media, Paul said at the time, "is frightened by me challenging the status quo and the establishment."


Dennis Simon, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said there's little doubt Paul is pushing America's buttons on a larger scale than he did in his previous two attempts to get the Republican nomination, most recently in 2008.

"He's resonating, there's no question," Simon said in an interview Thursday.

And unlike in '08, the issues that Paul has been railing about for more than two decades as a congressman have suddenly gone mainstream.

Paul has long been critical of the Federal Reserve Board, for example. Public opinion polls now suggest Americans overwhelmingly agree with his call to audit the Fed.

He's consistently called for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. In fact, he railed against America's monstrously expensive overseas wars so passionately during the most recent Republican debate that he got the biggest and most prolonged cheers of the night, something that went largely unreported.

He's not alone _ the majority of Americans now want U.S. soldiers to come home as soon as possible.

Paul has also passionately advocated smaller government and a drastic reduction in the national debt, and refused to vote earlier this month in favour of legislation that raised the country's debt ceiling as the U.S. teetered on the brink of defaulting on its US$14 trillion debt.

Simon doesn't think Paul can soar much higher, however.

"I think that he's got an upper limit and he's approaching it," Simon said.

"After one of the Republican debates in 2008, his online fundraising shot up _ we've seen it happen before. But he and Bachmann and Gov. Perry are all chasing the same Republican voters, so that's where I think he'll soon run into a wall."