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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Isn't It Time to Admit...

the mainstream media was exactly right: Ron Paul is and has always been a fringe candidate in the GOP nominating process? Here are the popular vote totals at present:

Romney: 4,068,009
Santorum: 2,756,427
Gingrich: 2,181,655
Paul: 1,067,740

Paul is losing to the next-worst candidate 2-to-1. He's not even close to the guy who is getting crushed. And far from his "delegate strategy" working out, he is doing even more poorly in delegate count:

Romney 560 34.9%
Santorum 246 29.5%
Gingrich 141 14.4%
Paul 66 6.50%

Yes, I know, in super-secret private delegate counts, "Ron Paul is racking up delegates under the radar," and "it is far more likely that Ron Paul has almost as many real delegates as Romney nationally, if not more," but one crazy idea (the media is off by about a factor of ten in their delegate count) really cannot be used to support another one (Ron Paul has a good chance of winning the GOP nomination).

UPDATE: Real Clear Politics, the source of my figures, miscalculated Paul's percentage of delegates -- I have now corrected that.

11 comments:

  1. 10.6% of the popular vote and 11% of the delegate count is a pretty thick "fringe".

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    1. Daniel,

      1) So now the argument is going to come down to, not whether Paul ever had a chance, but how we define "fringe"?!

      2) I cut and pasted those figures from Real Clear Politics, but obviously they made a mistake: Paul has far less than 11% of the delegates so far, according to their own count.

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    2. Gene,
      That's how you yourself defined the argument.

      You said,

      "the mainstream media was exactly right: Ron Paul is and has always been a fringe candidate in the GOP nominating process"

      You didn't say,

      "the mainstream media was exactly right: Ron Paul didn't have a chance of winning the GOP nomination"

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    3. Daniel, I'm not interested in fussing over the definition of fringe. If you'd like, mentally replace "fringe candidate" with "no-chance-to-win candidate" in my post. It will not change the main point at all.

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    4. It's 11% of the popular vote in GOP primaries and caucuses. Republican-Party identification was 28% in mid-2011; 43% if you count leaners. So Paul's share of the nation's hearts and minds is 3-5% - recognizing that partisan-primary voters map imperfectly to either the party's or the country's voters as a whole.

      Paul's campaign has to count as a spectacular failure. He had, or should have had, coming out of 2008, a set of advantages available to no other candidate but Mitt Romney: name recognition; preexisting organizational infrastructure; plenty of debate practice. He had a clear, if idiosyncratic, ideological profile shared with only one other candidate - the quickly departing Gary Johnson. So he didn't have to work to separate his message from the other candidates. He was alleged to be a forerunner of Tea Party-ism, and the GOP base was alleged to have moved his way - small government! federalism! constitution yay! - in the intervening four years.

      And yet he's getting shellacked not just by the favorite, but by two of the least appealing also-rans ever to drag a campaign deep into the Lenten season.

      If, today, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich were caught in flagrante delicto with each other, Ron Paul would still lose the Republican presidential nomination to somebody.

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  2. Obviously you wouldn't post this unless you wanted to marry Mitt Romney.

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  3. Apart from wishful thinking that Ron Paul could become the next President, would say it is still a huge success, and do you actually think it is good what Paul has achieved and does?

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    1. I'm very glad he did the run and put his ideas out in the mix.

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  4. With politics, most people don't care enough to question the media narrative. I don't blame them since I hate politics myself. Still, it means that Romney's "inevitability" and Paul's "unelectability" become self-fulfilling prophecies.

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    1. OK, traumerei, let's assume that this is the only reason Paul is not winning. OK, didn't the people who said "Paul will win" know about this *before* the primary season started? Shouldn't they then have thought, "Paul might have a chance, except that the media will declare him unelectable, and this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy?"

      Indeed, the above is *part* of the reason I knew he had no chance!

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  5. Most people tend to follow the media lead on politics and leave it at that. Hard to blame them since I myself hate politics. But it does mean that the media narrative of Romney's "inevitability" and Paul's "unelectability" become self-fulfilling prophecies.

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