Ron Paul… Not So Popular in Home State, Texas

While Ron Paul may have a national following of supporters, apparently he’s not so popular in his home state, Texas. The Hill reports, “Paul finished third in a straw poll of 1,300 Texas Republican activists who had been delegates to recent Republican conventions.”

The congressman corralled just 17 percent of the votes cast, trailing California’s Duncan Hunter with 41 percent.

This outcome says Texas Republicans aren’t terribly concerned about viability. Otherwise, one of the national front-runners like Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney would have beaten these long-shots. But if they were willing to “waste” their votes on Hunter, why didn’t most back a fellow Texan? The truth is that Ron Paul, the angry prophet, has little honor in his own land. He’s about to lose his congressional seat.

Paul, it is assumed will “seek reelection in the Republican primary next March, at the same time he’s still running for president,” and that could spell trouble…

It’s entirely possible that Paul will be wreaking havoc in early-primary states across the country just as his base in Texas implodes. What kind of impact would that have on his presidential candidacy? It would be like a NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station hearing that his home back in Texas burned down and firefighters discovered a meth lab in the smoldering embers. The trip home would, at once, be both devastating and embarrassing. Because NASA is based in Paul’s district, the metaphor may fit.

Angst over Paul has been building for years. In 2004, disgruntled Republicans asked me to find encouragement for challengers. We polled his suburban Houston district and found that voters resist his contrarian and stark libertarian perspective that even sells out local interests. When told that “Ron Paul consistently opposes taxpayer funding for NASA and wants to eliminate the agency,” 61 percent of Republican primary voters said this information would make them less likely to vote for Paul’s reelection. Similarly, a 54 percent majority said they’d be less likely to vote for Paul when told he “was one of only four Republicans in Congress to vote against President Bush’s plan to encourage faith-based charities.” The list of negatives was long.

The Hill predicts, “If Paul files to run for both Congress and the presidency by the Jan. 2 deadline, he’ll likely lose” to challenger Chris Peden, Chris Peden, a “mainline social conservative,” on March 4. I don’t believe Ron Paul has a snowball’s chance in the presidential primary. If he loses both his bid for Congress and the presidential nomination, Paul supporters will be left high and dry.

RELATED POST: Ron Paul’s Cult Effect

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18 Responses to Ron Paul… Not So Popular in Home State, Texas

  1. Diane says:

    Jeez, you guys just won’t quit with the lies and distortion will you?

    “David Hill, a Texas Republican pollster, writes in today’s issue of The Hill that Ron Paul “is about to lose his congressional seat” while he’s out campaigning for president. Considering Paul’s outspoken opposition to the war, and his general eccentricity, it is not an unreasonable proposition on its face — that is, until you actually read Hill’s piece.

    As evidence for his point, Hill cites a push poll that he took in Paul’s district in 2004(?). Here is what he had to say about it:

    …NASA is based in Paul’s district…When told that “Ron Paul consistently opposes taxpayer funding for NASA and wants to eliminate the agency,” 61 percent of Republican primary voters said this information would make them less likely to vote for Paul’s reelection.

    That’s interesting — except that NASA is based in the neighboring Houston-Galveston district of Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Tex.). Or at least, that’s what Lampson’s office and his website tell me. This should not have been too difficult to check. (Paul’s press secretary notes that there are several NASA employees and retirees living in Paul’s district.)

    Hill’s other piece of evidence is a September straw poll in Dallas (six hours from Paul’s district), which Duncan Hunter won with 41 percent. None of the major candidates participated in the poll, partly because it was limited to current and former party convention delegates and alternates. Paul, despite being in his home state, received only only 17 percent of the votes cast. Paul did not do as well as he’d hoped, but how this is representative of anything that’s going on in Paul’s district — or anywhere — is completely beyond me.

    Finally, Hill cites a phantom poll from “another pollster” from this year. He gives no numbers or questions, but suggests that one of Paul’s challengers, Friendswood City Councilman Chris Peden, has a shot at beating him in the March primary. Well, maybe he does. But considering that Peden began his campaign in May and had just $400 in his campaign account at the end of the last quarter, is this assertion worth an entire column in The Hill?”

    LINK

  2. Diane

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. Brian says:

    The Straw Poll eligibility rules were constructed by a hostile, anti-Paul Texas Republican party establishment specifically to make sure Paul did not win.

    Even a cursory review of the press and blog coverage available from the day of the poll would make it clear that the overwhelming majority of Texans present at the venue that day were Paul supporters. They just weren’t allowed to vote in the Straw Poll.

    The disinformation campaign out there is OK by me, though. Paul may not win the Republican nomination, but every last one of his voters will bail on the eventual Republican nominee, and that means 6%-8% of the party and climbing. That’s more than enough to make sure that the party of Bush goes down to the flaming defeat it so richly deserves.

  4. FZappa says:

    Pamela, are you kidding? Diane just sent you to a National Review post that torpedoes the entire thesis of your post, and your response is “Thank you for sharing”?

    How about “I was completely wrong and should have done five minutes of Googling before I posted. I’m sorry”?

  5. FZappa

    Are you kidding? I’m not a Ron Paul supporter and in our free country, I have a right called freedom of speech.

  6. Diane says:

    “Are you kidding? I’m not a Ron Paul supporter and in our free country, I have a right called freedom of speech.”

    I just wish these bloggers would pretend to have some objectivity regardless of their political persuassian. It’s called responsible. It’s not about freedom of speech, the government isn’t censoring this post of yours. It’s about responsible journalism and self-respect.

    and i like how the pretend that the problem is with Paul supporters… as they call us juvenile names no less.

  7. FZappa says:

    At issue is not your right to free speech, Pamela.

    At issue is whether you’re a person who concedes points when they’re wrong. The answer appears to be “no.”

    Proving the old adage: anyone can blog.

  8. Diane

    I quoted a piece from The Hill and made one personal observation that I don’t think Ron Paul has a chance in the primaries. For that you jump all over me here claiming I’m wrong because I choose to quote The Hill. WTF? In my circle of political persuasion the National Review which you quoted is worthless rag. Let’s leave it at that.

    You Ron Paul supporters are like vultures waiting for carrion. You pounce as soon as someone posts something you don’t agree with. It’s rude and obnoxious.

  9. FZappa

    What is at issue is that you Ron Paul supporters would like bloggers and journalists to agree with you and there are bloggers and journalists that won’t. Now honestly having been involved with political blogging for over 4 years, I understand your passion for a your chosen candidate. In the last election, I had a chosen candidate that I was passionate about and I defended him on the internet. But I didn’t force my opinion all over the web, asd Ron Paul supporters seem to do.

    The only actually personal opinion I made here was I don’t think Paul has a chance. Other than that I quoted a news piece and I am not obligated to quote something that Ron Paul supporters say I should.

    Got it?

  10. FZappa says:

    Well Pamela, could you at least engage a point or two in the Freddoso piece? I mean, he refuted all 3 of the Hill piece’s underpinnings for its thesis. You offer no counterpoint to any of those rebuttals, and don’t even seem interested in debate.

    Why blog if you’re not going to engage in reasoned debate when your blog posts are challenged? Why even have a comments section if you’re so disinclined to discuss?

  11. fletch says:

    Now honestly having been involved with political blogging for over 4 years, I understand your passion for a your chosen candidate. In the last election, I had a chosen candidate that I was passionate about and I defended him on the internet.

    Except, your “candidate” was a mendacious, traitorous, two-faced, self-involved gigolo- who wasn’t even smart enough to beat GWB.

    (I’m just saying… I voted Badnarik.)

  12. Pingback: Chuck Adkins » Ron Paul Slips in Texas, The Hill’s David Hill shows his Bias

  13. FZappa

    Unfortunately I don’t always have the time to engage in discussion or debate, because I also run a business. And again, I’ve made it clear what my perception is of Paul, it’s not likely any one will change my mind.

  14. Fletch

    “I voted Badnarik”

    Go figure… Really. I never would have guessed.

  15. Fletch writes: “Except, your “candidate” was a mendacious, traitorous, two-faced, self-involved gigolo- who wasn’t even smart enough to beat GWB.”

    LOL. My, my, how a post about Ron Paul has brought out the kooks in the Republican party. BTW, “fletch”, excepting voter fraud in Ohio, the election was won by Kerry.

    I actually voted for Ron Paul back in my first presidential election in 1988. I couldn’t stomach either Bush pere or Mike Dukakis. But in those days, Paul was much closer to the libertarian philosophy that I agreed with.

    Today, despite his anti-war plank, his platform reads like typical conservative kookiness: pro-life, pro-death penalty (the conundrums), pro-war on drugs, and pro-build a fence.

    Sorry, but he ain’t no libertarian. Not by a long shot.

  16. Darrell Prows says:

    I’m getting in a little late, but I can honestly say that both sides of the argument can be found here. That they were not both written by the same person carries no weight at all with me. An article that actually exists was cited. Persons who don’t like the point made in the article freely (albeit not always politely) expressed themselves. Advocates advocated. I’ve seen a hell of a lot worse things than that in life.

    P.S. Paul is in favor of the destruction of modern life as we know it. A realist would expect something like that to be a tough sell.

  17. ironxl84 says:

    My 2 cents….

    Does Ron Paul realistically stand a chance at winning the Republican Nomination? Probably not.

    And is there in fact an overwhelming internet based grass roots movement who support him? Undoubtedly.

    And does this result in severe spamming? Unfortunately yes.

    But let’s get back to the basics here, OK?

    Things here in the USA right now are almost as bad as they could possibly get. Everyone is frustrated. The only thing we know for sure is that the US Public is fed up with the status quo, they want change – real change.

    And what does Ron Paul offer? Real change.

    That is why there is so much enthusiasm about him.

    and Darrel,

    “Paul is in favor of the destruction of modern life as we know it. A realist would expect something like that to be a tough sell.”

    I respectfully must disagree with your conclusion here.

    In case you haven’t noticed lately, “modern life as we know it” sucks. Big time. It’s begging for “destruction” IMO.

    Tom

  18. Darrell Prows says:

    Tom: Point taken.