The Fat Lady Has Sung

OK, I said just what I thought would be a good result for Paul in South Carolina. And he came up well short. Despite two candidates dropping out, Paul's percentage dropped from the previous two contests. Yes, South Carolina could always be seen as a tough state for him, but the point is, as I had predicted, he picked up nothing  from pro-war candidates dropping out -- Paul already is getting all of the anti-war Republican votes. As candidates drop out, their votes will simply shift to one of the other pro-war candidates. But it is Paul losing to Santorum, and by a fair amount, that is really discouraging. Anyone with a realistic bone in their body knows that Santorum, like Paul, has no hope of gaining the GOP nomination. And there were two other pro-war candidates to vote for. So Paul ought to have been able to top Santorum easily. But he apparently did very poorly at the debates, as reported by people sympathetic to his campaign, and blew the lead he had. Not a good night for Paul.

UPDATE: Daniel Larison sees some upside for Paul in the results.


  1. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Regardless of Paul's placing, I do find it odd that Newt won so handily when he couldn't even get a crowd to see him speak just 2 days prior. Then, during his victory speech, there were only about 100 people in the room (including press and staff). Call me paranoid, but that seems a bit strange to me.

  2. Paul's support also probably includes some voters more hawkish than he, who like his federal reserve talk and such, going by interviews with local supporters in various media.

  3. Jim, I'm sure it does. I'm speaking in absolutes when it would be more accurate to say something like, "If Santorum drops out, 9 of 10 of his supporters will go to Romney or Gingrich, while one will go to Paul."

  4. Oh, I get you. I'm just saying that the Peace Pony under all that GOP manure might be even smaller than Paul's vote indicates.

  5. Between today and Super Tuesday we have Nevada, Maine, Minnesota and Washington. He pulled very solid numbers in those states.

    Super Tuesday should also be much kinder to Paul since he did well in Alaska, North Dakota and Idaho. In any case, his support is solid enough that he can hold the GOP hostage in Florida.

    Although Gingrich does have better resources than Santorum, he's just as unelectable. I really see this being a Paul/Romney race.

  6. Just to add more credence to the Paul/Romney narrative (the source may be biased but the article is reasonable nonetheless)

  7. "Although Gingrich does have better resources than Santorum, he's just as unelectable."

    Well, yes, but neither of them are remotely as unelectable as is Paul! He polls what -- 8 or 10 percentage points behind Obama now. But that is only because people are not yet fully familiar with his views! Remember Barry Goldwater? He was perhaps... what, 1/10 as libertarian as Paul? And he lost in a landslide, carrying only 6 states. Paul would lose in the worst landslide in US electoral history. "End the Fed"? Wall Street dollars will flow to Obama about 99 to 1. National Review and Rush Limbaugh would endorse Obama. You thought the newsletters have gotten some scrutiny? The NY Times will feature them every day next fall.

    Look, this would be like your high school basketball team playing the Lakers. It's one thing to hope they do well, but it is living in a fantasy world to think they have the slightest chance of winning.

  8. I wouldn't mind a Goldwater scenario (at least he'd get the nod).

    Listen, I don't think his chances are good but I think that Santorum and Gingrich are also not in Mitt's (NBA) league.

  9. I agree, traumerei.

  10. Anonymous7:51 AM

    I have been convinced, since the beginning, that Mitt was the chosen nominee of the GOP from the beginning. He doesn't represent any change to the organization, he won't rock the boat once in office (i.e. business as usual) and he will maintain the current foreign policy.

    Paul has been the underdog for many years, I don't see that changing now. Certainly, there is a movement behind him, and he has motivated many people to shut off the TV and read a few books, but he won't be able to fight the establishment-- it's far too established and growing.

    While I do agree with Paul's economic policies (big surprise), there is little chance that he could enact those policies even if he became president. The primary reason that I would want him to be president would be his stance on foreign policy, because that is something that he would have the power to change immediately as CiC.

    Unfortunately, the people of this nation aren't opposed to war and murder, no matter how unjust.

  11. Joseph, the "Newt surge" was showing up in the polls for a week or so.

  12. Anonymous8:06 AM

    What the... Now you post it.

    Yes, I know that the Newt surge was shown about a week or so in the news, but I didn't see the boots on the ground. To be honest, with regard to polling, what caught my attention was the online polling. RP has always done well in this area, but all of the sudden Newt showed up at equal footing with RP (even edging him out). It was not as if that happened over a period of time, it was literally within 2-3 days.

    I am not pulling the whole "it's voter fraud" slant, I am just saying that I thought that it was quite strange.

  13. Joseph, this whole GOP election cycle is absolutely bizzare. I've never seen anything like it.

  14. Anonymous8:46 AM

    Me neither. Granted, you're older than I am and have seen far more elections, but this one is certainly different from my recollection. 2 out of 3 states saw one candidate go from near bottom of the heap to number one in about a week's time.

    Like I said, I don't like jumping to the conclusion of impropriety, but SCs AG is saying 953 dead people voted in SC.

    There's also talk of a brokered convention, but I don't know enough about the process in this cycle to make any real determination. I'll just have to do what we are all doing and watch it as it proceeds.


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