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Opinion: Ron Paul Beats Obama in Iowa—So Now What?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 02:00 PM

Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), waves to supporters after speaking at his primary night campaign rally on January 10, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images/Getty)

A new Des Moines Register poll shows that three of the four Republican candidates would beat President Obama in Iowa if the general election were held today.

Rick Santorum is in a statistical dead heat with Obama—48 percent to Obama’s 44 percent. The picture is similar for Mitt Romney, who would get 46 percent to 44 percent for Obama. Obama would garner 51 percent to Newt Gingrich’s 37 percent in the Hawkeye State.

But Ron Paul would beat Obama with 49 percent to the President's 42 percent, making him the only Republican to beat the margin of error.

Why are we still talking about Iowa, after all the caucuses were held back in January? Because Iowa is considered a swing state in the general election, critical to Obama’s re-election.

Hmm...Ron Paul, eh?

The guy who wants to shrink back from international military activism and conduct a foreign policy based on negotiations and peaceful coexistence? The Republican candidate who's the least socially conservative? The Ron Paul who wants to cut government spending more than anyone else? The candidate who wants to get rid of the Federal Reserve and return to the gold standard?

What does the level of support for Paul say about Iowa voters?

Well, it says that Independents as well as Democrats (included in this poll) in Iowa at this point favor the GOP "back runner" as opposed to the "front runner," whoever that is. (This week it’s Rick Santorum.)

The poll also underscores the great volatility of voters this year, not just in the GOP primaries, but also among the larger electorate: American voters are struggling with President Obama's policies, the still-fragile economy, the ominous and frightening national health care law, which nobody understands and which may be unconstitutional to boot. Obama also faces foreign policy challenges that are daunting. Think Iran, North Korea, the collapse of the Arab dictatorships—Libya falling apart, Egypt still in crisis, Syria descending into a civil war, a drug- and violence-infested Mexico.

Of course this is far too early to say anything definitive about the November general elections.

But there are some numbers we can drill out of polls that have a predictive value. According to the Register, “The president’s job approval is 46 percent in Iowa, just one point above his lowest low of 45 percent in September 2010. No president has been re-elected with a national approval rating under 49 percent, according to Gallup polling dating to 1964. It’s a watershed mark, and about 8½ months from the election, Gallup national polling Saturday had Obama at 46 percent—underwater.”

The poll also raises another highly negative condition for Newt Gingrich: he comes in not just last, but also a long way from beating Obama. It cannot be helpful to Gingrich’s campaign and fundraising to be so thoroughly buried.

I was also interested that at a rally in Kansas this week, Ron Paul said, “We’ve slipped away from a true Republic. Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government and big business and authoritarian rule and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen.”

Wow. A Republican said this? Maybe that's Paul’s appeal. He's a revolutionary, not a Republican.

I wonder if Paul’s supporters can vote for Santorum in November if he gets the nomination. And, of course, I still wonder if voters across the U.S. will actually feel comfortable with Ron Paul’s unorthodox positions, or if in the end they will prefer incrementalism.

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Comments [44]

nosferotica from Northern KY

"Ron Paul doesn't believe in evolution,"

He isn't asking you to abandon your views

" global warming,"

...? He isn't asking you to abandon your views.

" the right to privacy or the separation of church and state."

You're crazy.

" He would dismantle the federal government and allow the separate states to criminalize abortion/sodomy..."

And what US do you think you live in now?

" and mandate the teaching of creationism/prayer in public schools."

You're crazy. Outright lie.

"Like all the other GOP/TP candidates he wants to cut taxes for the wealthy"

and the poor.

"and gut programs and regulations that protect the poor, consumers, workers, women, minorities and the environment."

And the state programs would go... where? Did you forget you live in a state that offers all of these programs?

I would also consider learning something about Ron Paul before you dare talk about him, lest you be called out by every last one of his supporters as the fool you are talking about crap like prayer mandates and demanding schools learn creationism over evolution. Ron Paul's platform isn't whatever you say it is, it is what it is.

Feb. 28 2012 08:13 PM
vulturesign

"The Republican candidate who's the least socially conservative?"

That's like saying Ron Paul is the tallest Leprechaun.

http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/2012/gop-presidential-candidates/

Ron Paul doesn't believe in evolution, global warming, the right to privacy or the separation of church and state. He would dismantle the federal government and allow the separate states to criminalize abortion/sodomy and mandate the teaching of creationism/prayer in public schools. Like all the other GOP/TP candidates he wants to cut taxes for the wealthy and gut programs and regulations that protect the poor, consumers, workers, women, minorities and the environment.

According to Intrade, Ron Paul's chances of winning the presidency stand at 1,6% (vs Obama who currently has a better than 60% chance). Ron Paul might be the lesser of the GOP/TP evils but he is still pretty bad.

Feb. 25 2012 01:48 AM
enlightened123 from ct

CT says ron paul or none at all
vote because you have a voice vote ron paul to keep it that way

Feb. 23 2012 01:56 AM

i support paul and would never vote for santorum or romney and newt. but if paul doesnt get the rep nom, i will still vote but it will shift to a third party person. when you see the power of real grass roots efforts why would you give it all up by staying home. when there are other offices being filled that you vote for. it always amazes me about our apity as voters in america.

Feb. 23 2012 01:16 AM
EDR

Ron Paul or carve your gravestone.

End of story.

Feb. 23 2012 12:43 AM
MI for RP from West Michigan

You sir, are a pioneer for going where few have ventured before. You will be seen as a visionary in the media world when Ron Paul takes the oath to become the next President of the United States. A hero for being able to see through the mud, while so many other writers were lost, and find a way to show people the light they so desperately seek.

..Rather fun to post where I don't have to defend the only true defender of the Constitution.

RP2012

Feb. 22 2012 11:06 PM
john

supporters of the other 3 candidates are like bigfoot. they are supposed to exist...but noone has actually seen one.

RON PAUL 2012

Feb. 22 2012 11:04 PM
Jamie Tine

Sir, you don't understand conservatism, capitalism, or what a Republic should be. When the jokers you support start asking you to back a North American Union and the Amero, while American Sovereignty takes a backseat to Corporate demands, what will you say then? Open your eyes and see your freedom is at stake. The people holding our leash are content to let us have scraps, that will soon dry up. Then what? What kind of republican thinks it's okay to raise the debt ceiling? How do you defend that? I wouldn't mind if you actually were objective, but you are obviously on someone's payroll who has no interest in freedom, and you just attacked the only person in the race who gives a damn. Name another public servant that refuses a Government Pension or returns part of his official budget EVERY YEAR for over 30 years. YOU CAN'T. That fact alone should open your eyes. In Fact, Paul Shares the views of: Kennedy, Lincoln, Jefferson, Jackson just to name a few. We thought they were so great, we put them on our money. I weep for the future.

Feb. 22 2012 10:06 PM

Iowa has been in an uproar since the caucus results were reported, they feel it was corrupted and Ron Paul was robbed of a victory. The MSM has ignored this story even though Iowans have pushed to have their voice heard on this matter. This poll is Iowa giving the answer that wasn't allowed by the GOP when they came to town.

Feb. 22 2012 09:17 PM
Carson from Brandon,Ms

as someone who understands Jesus and God's role in the modern world, neither will do anything in terms of fixing our economy, foreign policy problems, massive debt, or corrupt politicians...Ron Paul will.

Feb. 22 2012 08:25 PM
David from Michigan

As a Christian I can tell you that Santorum follows the values of Judas more than the values of Christ. Christ wanted to lead through example. Judas wanted Christ to try to impose his values into Roman law. Judas got fed up with Jesus for not agreeing with him and betrayed him.

Feb. 22 2012 07:54 PM
Fanjammer from Oregon

I'm a RonPaulblican. Let the rest of the party catch up to me!!!

Feb. 22 2012 07:44 PM
sjosephm from charleston,sc

No way in hell would any Paul supporters vote for Santorum, since you were wondering.

What now? Now you know what some of us have been saying, Paul is the GOP's only chance of beating Obama... the only.

Feb. 22 2012 07:40 PM
kasjun

Ron Paul is the only one that is advocating a full audit of the federal reserve. Don't you think it is high time to audit the fed which has been our central banker since 1913 and we're bankrupt. Might want to know where the money went. Just sayin.......

Feb. 22 2012 07:34 PM
Reggie from Alabam

Ron Paul IS a Republican.
It's the others who aren't.

Feb. 22 2012 07:19 PM
gerace from Georgia

NO ONE BUT PAUL! GET IT? GOT IT? GOOD!

Feb. 22 2012 07:17 PM
Joe Burke

In the Colorado caucus I took four different delegate positions. Our small group of 12 people in our county took 11 delegate positions between us. Name another candidate that has this kind of dedication backing him. All the others will only win because they are NOT OBAMA. Politics as usual is no longer an option. Holding one's nose to vote for the nominee only because he is a republican ( as we did with McCain ) is no longer acceptable. Stand up for your freedom,your country, and your future. Become a delegate, and get involved. Do nothing, get nothing. Sit on your couch and whine and complain. NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU. Get off your duff and become a part of the solution. Just voting once every year or so isn't enough! Politics is not a spectator sport. Become involved no matter who you support or you will soon be licking the boot of your master. Me? My whole heart-ed support as well as my cash and my time are behind RON PAUL!!!

Feb. 22 2012 06:56 PM
John from DC from Washington DC

The reason that Santorum is where he's at is because the GOP is pushing him to this level. Ron Paul is getting pushed aside because he does not fit their neo-con anti-this anti-that pro-wall street bailout criminal American hegemony agenda. It’s the same cliché over and over. Money talks and it talks to the editors of major newspapers. The politician's in Washington love the ignorant masses because it keeps them in power. It's the truth. There's so much BS that comes out of every politician's mouth, but yet the people still buy it. Ron Paul is the only one out there with integrity who isn't bought off. Hopefully enough people will realize this before it's too late. Maybe he won't become president, but every value and word that is being espoused by the incumbent Obama and the other GOP candidates should be interrogated by Dr. Paul.

Feb. 22 2012 06:49 PM
celebs4truth from Denver, CO

It’s imperative that anyone who truly cares about their freedom will do everything they can to spread this article to the far reaches of the globe! Share it all over the internet and all over the social networks…The establishment is openly defrauding the American people, stealing our rights to freedom of choice while voting! “Maine vote fraud official” http://www.examiner.com/conspiracy-in-denver/maine-vote-fraud-official

Feb. 22 2012 06:47 PM
jeremy

One thing it may reflect is voters who were disenfranchised. The exit polls had Ron Paul winning so its fair to say he may have received the most votes in Iowa however the final tally didn't reflect that so no Iowans are even more for the Ron Paul or bust theory.

Feb. 22 2012 06:38 PM
soot

You will never get a Ron Paul supporter to vote for Rick Santorum. It won't happen.

Feb. 22 2012 06:28 PM

Thank you for a nice article. Considering the new Time came out today and I could not find a mention of Dr. Paul, anywhere!!!! Time, you should be ashamed of yourselves....

Feb. 22 2012 05:42 PM

Same exact thing in a recent AZ poll: Paul is beating Obama - others are not.

Feb. 22 2012 05:32 PM
Jeff Bowman from Garner, NC

Mr. Schmidt,

This is one of the most balanced, intelligent and unbiased articles written in this election so far. Congratulations.

Four years ago, I thought Dr. Paul was a nut; even a fringe candidate. Honestly, all I had to judge him on was few media sound bytes from debates and opinions of others. This year, I made a promise to myself: look much closer at the candidates, their platforms, and what they are really stand for.

My goal: find the very best "nerds" as my candidates. I mean "nerd" in the most positive sense, as someone is so passionately intelligent about something to an extreme. I want my accountant to be a "nerd" about my taxes to save me money. I want my meteorologist to be a "nerd" about weather, so he gets it more right the rest. I want my auto mechanic to be a "nerd" about engines, so he finds even the hidden problems. Get the picture?

I decided that I wanted my government representatives to be nerds about the US Constitution and the way our gov't works.

And why not? I thought if our politicians were vetted the way most applicants are for jobs, most would never make it past the first round or resume reviews. However, in politics Instead of getting experts and the best technicians for the jobs, we keep getting the richest, best used car salesman that can be presented; yet who are not experts on our Constitution, democracy or with proven experience.

When I stopped to listen closely, I realized that there was only one real "nerd" running, and it was Dr. Paul.

Then I listened closer and realized he actually had the most solid plans to correct the mistakes of decades of politicians that have gotten us into growing messes and has the most sound democratic doctrine that lines up with our Constitution, sound money management, and the proper place of gov't in our person lives.

Before Dr. Paul, I was not involved or vocal about politics. I just voted for the least common denominator from year to year and keep quiet about it. I am now so frustrated by us printing money to fund ridiculous wars that ruins our economy and our safety around the world and by politicians getting distracted by silly social issues that the gov't has no place in anyway. All the while, losing one personal liberty after another, that I can be silent no more.

On side wants to legislate morality. The other sided wants to legislate fairness. Both want ME to pay for it. No more!

My "nerd" this year is Ron Paul (and everyone who agrees with him. He is not as smooth an orator as Obama. he is not as handsome or "obliging" as Romney to popular opinion. He is not as young as Santorum. But he is the smartest, most passionate, and the "nerd" I want handling the problems of this gov't.

NO ONE but PAUL this year. I do not care which party, or if I have to write it in myself. He's the "nerd" I want in the white house, a true public servant, not a professional politician.

Thank You, Jeff Bowman

Feb. 22 2012 05:20 PM
Political Pop from lol america lol

END OF WORLD ANYWAY BUT NOT CAUSE OF 2012 CRAP

Feb. 22 2012 05:00 PM
Jesse from Kansas

I'm still not sure how Santorum ever came back in this race. I mean, he acted like a petulant child throughout the debates, then, 2 days before the Iowa caucuses, he suddenly gets this surge from 7% to winner? Something fishy there. Nothing about him has ever come off as likeable. Truly, I'd rather have Obama or Mittens than that creep. Possibly better than Gingrich, though only marginally. Regardless, I won't be voting if Paul isn't on the ballot.

Feb. 22 2012 04:59 PM
Tony

I plan on voting for Ron Paul. No Paul supporter would ever support Santorum. Santorum frightens me because he seems like the type of personality that could push this country over the edge into a complete dictatorship. I may actually vote for someone I dislike just to keep him out. Something about Santorum not only strikes me as plastic, but evil incarnate.

Feb. 22 2012 04:55 PM

Some decent people in Iowa left...

Feb. 22 2012 04:38 PM
Jeff B from Canada

Wow, Steffen. It sounds like you are waking up to this idea that the people actually prefer Ron Paul to the status quo "front runners" that are being force fed into the brains of the general public by the MSM. For that I congratulate you! Although I do not believe he is not a "back runner" as we all have been led to believe. He is the real front runner.

You are right in that he is a revolutionary. he is exactly what America needs. Time will show that the intellectual revolution that is Dr Paul's message today will be the better option to the one the American people will be forced to make happen if the current path of government is continued.

Feb. 22 2012 03:58 PM
Chris

No one but Paul, it's as simple as that. The only alternative is the status quo and America is clearly sick of that.

Feb. 22 2012 03:56 PM
scott

Paul won Iowa and Maine. It baffles me how Ron Paul can double or triple his support from 2008 in every state but in Iowa; it remained the same. In a poll of Iowans by the Des Moines Register shows that he is the front runner to defeat president Obama in the general election.. as the only candidate to surpass the margin. 49% to 42% for Ron Paul. I'd never vote for Santorum because he's an corrupt insider like Romney and Gingrich. "contrast?" He's a war-monger and supports the NDAA but somehow that makes him a "contrast" to a party of.... war-mongers and NDAA supporters.

Feb. 22 2012 03:50 PM
Bob Waters

It doesn't matter. Ron Paul is too commonsense for America. Let corruption and hypocrisy live on!

Feb. 22 2012 03:44 PM
beyond_hate

"I wonder if Paul’s supporters can vote for Santorum in November if he gets the nomination. "

Spoiler alert: We can't.

Feb. 22 2012 03:32 PM
Evgenia from CA

RON PAUL 2012!!

Feb. 22 2012 03:26 PM
Bill

I am a Paul supporter who considers myself a 'former' republican after the way my candidate has been treated by the party. My vote is not transferable.
In the past I have fallen in line and voted republic despite not liking any of the chosen candidates. During this election cycle I have lost all loyalty to the party and look forward to supporting Ron Paul to the end.

Feb. 22 2012 03:21 PM
Duda

If Ron Paul doesn't win, I want Obama to win. Why? Obama is the same as Mittens or Ricky. I'd rather the GOP field have another primary in 4 years where Rand Paul might make a jump for the nomination instead of 8 years of more disaster, if the country can make it past that point without failing entirely.

Feb. 22 2012 03:10 PM
arthur from Maryland

No one but Dr. Paul. He's the only consistently honest politician who will tell you the truth rather than the flavor of the week.

Ron Paul supporters will not support Ricky or Mittens Romney, because Ron Paul supporters are aware of what is happening in this country. Did you hear about the Veterans who marched in DC on President's day in support of Ron Paul? The mainstream media did not mention it, but Ron Paul has received more support from the military than all the other candidates combined, including Obama. Ron Paul had received more money than all the other candidates combines, but the number of donors is what is really impressive. There are so many more supporters of Ron Paul who are in the armed forces. The people who are asked to give their lives for this country support Ron Paul.

There are two options, not four, in this election. Ron Paul or the Status Quo. The status quo is unsustainable. The truth is leaking out.

Ron Paul 2012

Feb. 22 2012 02:59 PM
Tony from Everytown, USA

People need to wake up. Theres no difference between both sides. Rick/Newt/Mitt same as Obama.
GW Bush= TARP, Patriot Act, torture, DHS, Obamacare, Iraq/Afghan,
Obama= Bail-outs, NDAA, gitmo, TSA, Prescription drug act, Lybia/Pakistan
Who's ready for 4 more years?

Feb. 22 2012 02:56 PM
jason from new york

I agree with the previous 2 posts. What most establishment GOP members, consisting of neo conservative a.k.a. FACIST PIGS,fail to realize is that RON PAUL's vote is nontransferable. WE WILL NEVER VOTE FOR ANY OTHER CANDIDATE other than RON PAUL. THE MILITARY SUPPORTS RON PAUL and I support the military. If the military turns their back to the establishment and fights for the people, which they will, then our country will be returned back to a democracy. I FULLY SUPPORT RON PAUL and JUDGE NAPALITANO in 2012 and nobody else. YOU WILL NEVER SUPPRESS US and our movement.......NEVER!!!!!!!!

Feb. 22 2012 02:43 PM
Lou Cypher

This is a very refreshing article, Mr. Schmidt. Well done. I didn't spot one shred of negative innuendo, or the standard distortion of facts that I have grown accustomed to witnessing on a near daily basis as it pertains to Ron Paul. I'm going to go out on a limb and take a guess here: You used your brain to exert centralized control of your muscle activity as opposed to the diametrically opposite?

Just a guess.

Ron Paul 2012! (Because Rick Santorum doesn't like me very much)

Feb. 22 2012 02:41 PM
Sonya

No way Rick Santorum will get a SINGLE Dr. Ron Paul vote. Tough Luck.

Feb. 22 2012 02:41 PM
Geoffrey Prentiss

Dr Paul supporters will never support Rick "The Theocratic ThuG" Santorum

Feb. 22 2012 02:36 PM
Rienone from Texas

There is NO WAY that I, as a Paul supporter would vote for the self-righteous Santorum. I still dont understand who is voting for him... I guess devout christians who place issues like gay marriage and abortion above our HORRENDOUS economic situation, our OUTRAGEOUS debt, and our HUGELY unconstitutional and debilitating wars! Let's save this country from collapse first, then according to Paul, you and your neighbors can figure out how much you hate gays getting married and when it's OK to kill a baby! Please vote to save our counrty! RP2012!

Feb. 22 2012 02:31 PM
jason from Michigan

I can tell you right now Ron Paul supporters will NEVER support Ricky period.

Feb. 22 2012 02:24 PM

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