Politics and Public Opinion

Republican negativity toward Ron Paul

Ron Paul has failed so far to win a major Republican primary or caucus in 2012, but he has managed to increase his vote share over 2008 in just about every state. In an election that has seen candidates rise and fall week after week, the stability of Ron Paul’s vote share stands out. He has also managed to give a strong voice to libertarians seeking electoral clout. But two important patterns appear in recent polling data and exit poll results. It’s far from clear that Paul has moored libertarians to the GOP ship for the long haul, or that Republicans want Paul to be an anchor for them.

Ron Paul Vote 2012 and 2008

State

2012

2008

% Point Change
Iowa

21%

10%

+11%

New Hampshire

23%

8%

+15%

South Carolina

13%

4%

+9%

Florida

7%

3%

+4%

Nevada

19%

14%

+5%

Colorado

12%

9%

+3%

Minnesota

27%

16%

+11%

Missouri

12%

4%

+8%

Maine

35%

18%

+17%

Arizona

8%

4%

+4%

Michigan

12%

6%

+6%

Wyoming

21%

0%

+21%

Washington

25%

8%

+17%

Virginia

40%

4%

+36%

Oklahoma

10%

3%

+7%

Massachusetts

10%

3%

+7%

Tennessee

9%

6%

+3%

Vermont

25%

7%

+18%

Ohio

9%

5%

+4%

Georgia

7%

3%

+4%

Idaho

18%

24%

-6%

North Dakota

28%

21%

+7%

Alaska

24%

17%

+7%

Kansas

13%

11%

+2%

Alabama

5%

3%

+2%

Mississippi

4%

4%

-

First, Ron Paul supporters aren’t exactly embracing the GOP. Exit polls across several of the contests so far show that Ron Paul supporters say they would probably not support Mitt Romney if he was the GOP nominee and they will not vote for the GOP nominee if their candidate does not win.

Second, Republicans are increasingly wary of Ron Paul. Nationally, most Republicans and Republican leaners have a mixed opinion of him. In Gallup’s latest survey, 50 percent have a favorable opinion and 41 percent an unfavorable one. But within the primary and caucus states so far, views of him are much more negative. In Public Policy Polling’s surveys, Paul enjoyed a higher favorable to unfavorable rating only in Minnesota (+10). In Tennessee and Mississippi, his favorable to unfavorable ratio was -27 and in Alabama it was -30.

Opinions among Republicans who self-identify as very conservative are even more negative, as the chart below shows. These negative assessments persist despite the fact that Ron Paul won voters who thought being a true conservative was the most important candidate quality in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

Competing for the Republican nomination, including participating in the seemingly endless debates, has been an enormously powerful vehicle for Ron Paul’s message. It has allowed him to broadcast his views to a large audience and has forced GOP leaders to take his libertarian message seriously. But the cost has been enormous disapproval among GOP voters.

This estrangement threatens any future electoral cooperation between the two groups at a time when Republicans and the Ron Paul libertarian coalition need each other more than ever. Ron Paul has brought young, independent, and new voters into the Republican primaries and caucuses. This is something the other GOP candidates have failed to do. At the same time, it’s clear that Ron Paul’s views are not shared by a majority of Americans, particularly in the South. At the age of 77, it’s unlikely that Paul will run for president again. But how Republican leaders deal with his libertarian supporters remains a crucial question for GOP’s electoral success in 2012 and beyond.

28 thoughts on “Republican negativity toward Ron Paul

  1. The GOPs failure to embrace Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012 is the reason the Ron Paul supporters feel the way they do. They believe 100 percent in their candidate and his positions, especially economic and foreign entanglements. The dismissive tone in the media and total lack of support by the GOP is the reason. Ron may not win the nomination but has won a lot more supporters and has become a force in 2012. It will be difficult if not impossible for the GOP to win the general election without his supporters and we know it. The disrespect and lack of fair coverage in the media will allow me and millions to vote for Ron if he runs third party or for Gary Johnson who shares a lot of his positions. I will not accept the lesser of two evils, Obama or Obama lite or bush 2.0 whatever you want to call it. Good luck in the general to the GOP they will need it. Wise up and nominate Ron at the convention or be doomed. Only Ron Paul truly cares about the average American. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich only care about their big donors and big government and more wars, reckless spending etc. Obama is no different then the other three only Ron paul can get us growing again and has the common sense to go to congress before going to war. Ron Paul or Gary johnson in 2012.

  2. Romney+Obama=Obomney=Same shiz, different smell.
    All Ron Paul supporters know this to be true. The battle between the 2 is who controls the way the ship sinks. Their is no “Lesser of two evils” situation here. It’s evil or evil. That’s it.

    It’s Ron Paul all the way because we will not vote for these treasonous cowards.

    ~Ron Paul 2012~

  3. Great article. The moral of the story: the Death of the GOP as we know it. There are two types of Paul-haters. Those who are uninformed or mis-informed by the media, and those neo-cons in the Establishment who are VERY informed of Ron Paul and are worried that he will cut into their Blood Money “Public Debt and War for Profit” scams.

    The Dollar, the economy, and the Country is finished if Ron Paul is not POTUS in 2012. Far fetched? Watch and see.

  4. I’m sure these polls are every bit as accurate as PPP was in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania. The truth is IVR programs miss a great deal of Americans today. I, for one, do not own a home phone. In addition, with caller id, most will not pick up for unrecognized numbers. These polls are skewed toward the less tech savvy individuals. I don’t buy it. But if you want to see good results for Ron Paul, look at positivity ratings after debates conducted via online or text. Ron Paul wins them, hands down.

    • John, I’m really glad you brought up those issues. PPP polling uses automated phone polling using Interactive Voice Technology. Their polling has had a particular problem underestimated Rick Santorum’s supporters in this election. It think that’s because Santorum draws a high level of support from less educated and more rural voters — precisely where many (but by no means all) less tech savy voters would reside. For example, PPP polling had Rick Santorum at 29 percent in Alabama and 27 percent in Mississippi. He received 35 percent of the vote in Alabama and 33 percent of the vote in Mississippi. Both of those fall outside the margin of error. However, PPP polling also overestimated Ron Paul’s support in both Alabama and Mississippi. I think the consistency and dramatic polling results state by state, showing dramatic unfavorables toward Ron Paul, were enough (in my judgement) to overcome any concerns about problems with PPP’s methodology. But I’m glad you raised the issue.

  5. you should create a chart that shows voters with principles and voters without principles, and another chart that shows voters who care about freedom, liberty and prosperity. i can safely say those who support principles, freedom, liberty and prosperity will vote for Dr. Paul.

    voters who vote for parties have been deceived for the last 50yrs. obama is a classic example. one example is he swore to uphold the constitution, what did we get? we got the national defense authority act. a whopping $650 billion bill that we have to pay for. what does it do? to make it short we loose the right for due process, no attorneys, no phone calls, no court, can be subjected to torture or simply terminate your life. romney, gingrich, and santorum also support this bill. no difference.

    for freedom and liberty, prosperity and happiness vote for Dr. Ron Paul

  6. I will ONLY be voting for Ron Paul in 2012! All the rest are just more of the same. Our country is dying, and we can’t continue to apply poisonous band aids!

  7. “…at a time when Republicans and the Ron Paul libertarian coalition need each other more than ever.” Well, it is true that the GOP desperately needs the youthful demographic that Ron Paul brings, but this phrase still belies the fact that RP is running for the office of the Presidency, not just to bring about change in the party.

    Remember all those much ballyhooed delegates that Paul keeps telling the media he’s acquiring in those caucus states, that delegate count that is supposedly highly disproportionate to the volume of his vote-getting because of the raw enthusiasm of his supporters? Who do you think those new GOP officers are going to vote for if RP isn’t elected? Do you really think they’ll fall in line behind a Romney or a Santorum?

    Ron Paul’s potential 3rd party candidacy could be the most influential in the history of American politics. Tally your support/non-support for the Ron Paul phenomenon at ronpaulitic.com – the only worldwide realtime Ron Paul geo-tag map on the web.

  8. i would like to say that the republican party lost my support in 2012 with how they have treated Ron Paul, but the truth is they lost my support several elections ago.

  9. You should show a chart of people who believe 9/11 was an inside job that voted for RP vs other candidates or a chart that showing people who believe in UFOs who voted for RP vs. those who didn’t. And those who smoke pot three or for times a day who voted for RP? The biggest part of the problem for RP is RP’s supporters. With the schizos and weirdos embracing him, why would the rest of the GOP or even the nation care to? That should be a red flag for voters but for some reason there are still those who just won’t step back and look at the bigger picture.

    • Your response is full of judgements. Ron Paul accepts all people. It’s called America, my friend. Every vote counts and in my mind, it means more coming from the common man. His supporters are real people, not suits. When the other GOP candidates can fill a room with thousands in every county, I’ll buy their legitimacy. Instead, they have trouble filling a bathroom stall with wallstreet brokers and political insiders.

  10. So if Ron dosent get the nod you guys wont vote in 2012 for the GOP nom? really? WOW! I’m sure Obama will be very happy to hear that.

    • Sure, I’ll vote. I’ll vote for Ron Paul (write in). I find it sad that most Americans are such followers that they cannot stand up for what they believe to be right. I will vote my heart, not what the GOP wants my heart to feel.

  11. ummmm , Ron Paul won the Virgin Islands popular vote .. So your stating that he has not yet won one primary or caucus is WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    • Jay, you’re absolutly right that Ron Paul won the popular (but not delegate) vote in the Virgin Islands. While I love the Virgin Islands as much as the next person, I said in the post that “Ron Paul has failed so far to win a major Republican primary or caucus”. While the delegates in these terriroty contests can add up, they are by no means major contests.

      • You do realize that you are following the path laid out by the mainstream media by representing facts in such a way. Wording your responses with opinions such as “major” just so that you can say he has not won is misleading to those that are not aware of the facts. Jay Tea was right! I knew what you were doing when I read it, but you are no different than Fox News. Trying to influence Ron Paul favorability with misrepresentation of the facts.

  12. Please note Ron Paul DOES NOT represent the libertarian movement. He is a pale-leftist. His views on foreign policy are entirely anti-liberty.

    We libertarians oppose Islamo-Fascism. We don’t want our wives/girlfriends forced to wear ugly black burkas from head to toe. Ron Paul appeases Islamism.

    In the future I’d ask you please do not apply our libertarian label to Ron Paul.

    • Eric, I’m not sure what you mean by the libertarian movement. First, to be a Libertarian, one must support the Libertarian Party and its Platform, which it appears you do not, as Ron Paul, who is a Republican not a Libertarian, does often state the Foreign Policy of our party quite accurately:

      3.3 International Affairs

      “American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.”

      Often those who speak as Libertarians do not represent our Platform, which can be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. If the readers here want to know what Libertarians believe in, they should visit: http://www.lp.org/platform.

    • What happening in USA for the last 10 years and what will happen in the next few looks like a firs step to Fascism. If you can not see that one coming you must be vary busy Libertarian, or you are watching only the MSM. Hitler gat the perfect propaganda machine like the MSM.Gues who tell them what to tell you for all this years and who pay them.
      Wake up!!! It looks like to me worst then the dictatorship I used to live for 30 years.

  13. I consider myself a Liberian, but I’m also a realist. While I agree in large part with Mr. Paul on his domestic policy, his foreign policy is completely unacceptable. That policy may have worked in 1900 but with today’s weapons the country that waits to be attacked will loose. A single missile launched from a cargo ship just outside our territorial waters, armed with the most primitive nuclear device, detonated above the center of the country would decimate this countries electrical infrastructure and lead nation wide chaos and collapse from which we would likely never recover.

    • In reply to myself. Anyone with a with enough U235 and access to the internet can build a crude nuke, Iran has the U235 and plenty of North Korean Scientists to build one and they have been practicing ship board missile launches.

  14. We all scream about the blind obama worshipers and their blind following of the bummer. Well guess what, this site is full of Ron Paul worshipers just as blind and just as dumb.

    The GOP primary is to pick the GOP candidate, it is not your presidential vote.

    It is only the primary, after that it is :

    Obama or the GOP Primary winner
    Third party vote equals Obama win

    Fight for your choice in the Primary
    Fight against the bummer in General Election

  15. Libertarians do not need the GOP. The GOP is a dying message. The Ron Paul message is creating a group of voters from the Democrats and the Republicans. This is far more transformational than you realize.

    The RP camp does not worry about attracting old chicken hawk GOP voters. Guys like John Bolton will all be dead in 15years and we can write books about their thirst for blood and hatred of other humans. The intent has been to reach out to the the few who think for themselves. The rest will crumble under their dying ideology.

  16. Why is it that the media keeps twisting and wrongfully calling the Neocons and Theocons Conservative?? It looks like no one understand the meaning of that word anymore. A true Conservatism is true to our constitution and and fundamental values our nation was founded on, not the recent time worth of attacks on all our fundamentals by both Democrat and republican party members.

  17. According to figures from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Military_budget_of_the_Unit​ed_States) the 2010 Military Budget of the United States, including ‘overseas contingency operations’ amounted to $663.84 billion. If I am not misreading Ron Paul’s program, he will, if elected President, immediately save probably 50% of that money (50%, no more, on the understanding that 200,000 persons employed by the military should not be at once, and before they are given the necessary re-orientation training, be made redundant). Therefore, if my arithmetic is correct, there will be for an average family of four, tax savings in the first year amounting to $8,800. Placed in a savings account for say 16 years, the money thus deducted from the family’s taxes, together with interest money on the savings, will amount to over $500,000, Such money would enable the average family of two children, to send both children to Harvard, Yale or MIT, if they are academically gifted, but if not gifted in that way, the money can be used to give them a thorough training in the hightech skills of tomorrow, as well as enough capital to enable them make a good start in life. The impact on employment and the economy in general will be stupendous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>