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.
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