Why are Democrats Attacking Ron Paul?

Bloggers sympathetic to the Democratic Party are revving up attacks on Ron Paul. After last night’s strong performance in the Iowa Republican caucus, there will be even more incentive to go after Paul who finished a strong third in Iowa despite the typical indifference of the corporate media. (Image from video: Antiwar ad for Paul)

Democrat’s generally rely on taking a majority share of independent voters to win national elections. With the supposed partisan split in the electorate, voters identified as independents are even more important this year as a key to winning any national election.

In 2008, increased registrations prior to the general election were primarily by those identifying themselves as Democrats and independents. President Obama took 41% of those identified as independents in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. His Iowa win established credibility that allowed him to survive losses in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. His triumphal procession through Mid-Atlantic States that followed those losses might not have happened without those Iowa independents providing an early win.

The Ron Paul numbers from the CNN Entrance Poll show an appeal to traditionally Democratic groups critical to the 2012 general election. (An entrance poll surveys voters on voting preference and demographics before they vote). The Republican independents may not be a perfect match for independents in 2008. However, where else could Iowa independents vote yesterday?

Paul Appeals to Key Age Groups

Ron Paul came close to a majority of Iowa caucus voters with 49% of the 17-24 year old vote. Nationwide youth unemployment is at record levels. Iowa has some insulation from the national trend. This makes the Paul appeal to youth a potent indicator. If he polls like this in Iowa, how will he do in the larger states, DNC types may be asking? Paul also took 36% of the 30-39 age group. If you are new to the job market or getting ready for your prime earning period (the 30 something’s), you are listening to Ron Paul’s anti-establishment message.

Results in charts from CNN Entrance Poll, 2012 Iowa Republican Causes

Paul Appeals to Lower Income Voters

Democrats rely on a secure base among low income voters, particularly minority voters. Iowa is a predominantly white electorate. However, these numbers must be cause of concern. Paul support increases as they go down. This is a Libertarian Republican campaigning for a tightly restrained foreign policy and a pro small business, anti big government platform. But look at this.

If you are an Iowan and make less than $50,000 a year, you’re likely to prefer Paul.

Paul Preferred by Moderate to Liberal Voters Surveyed

Once again, Paul confounded expectations. The more moderate to liberal you are in Iowa, the more likely you are to support Ron Paul.

He edges out soon-to-seem moderate Mitt Romney by four points with a strong showing of 39% of those surveyed in the CNN entrance poll.

And How About those Independents?

Paul’s preference by 44% of independents in the entrance poll exceeds Obama’s share of independents in the 2008 Iowa Democratic caucus. In the CNN entrance poll for the January 3, 2008 primary, Obama took 41% of independents. We don’t know if Paul’s 2012 44% share of independents in representative of the 2008 Obama population of 41%. But there was only one place for Iowa’s independents to vote this year, the Republican primary.

Iowa is not the nation but there are some trends worth watching. When a Libertarian who opposes foreign adventures, bloated defense budgets, and big government takes a near majority of the youth vote and 44% of independents, it’s time to look at the president’s vulnerabilities among youth, middle and low income voters, and independents.

The attacks will ramp up and the corporate media will, no doubt contribute. In 2008, the Paul campaign staged a national convention parallel to the Republican festivities in Minneapolis (with nearly as many in attendance). While the Democratic power structure in St. Paul was making up excuses to arrest those exercising their First Amendment rights to protest at the Republican convention, some Paul supporters were there with the antiwar demonstrators. The rest were at the Rally for the Republic supporting a candidate who opposed Middle East wars from the start.

If the Democratic National Committee brain trust wonders why Paul might appeal to some Democrats, the answer may be found in these questions.

How many Democrats running for national or statewide office ever ran an advertisement like this – Not a Penny for Empire? Of those who stood against endless war and the national security state, how many did the Democratic Party support?


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Michael Collins

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  • is on record as opposed to the Civil Rights Act. If pressed he may even be opposed to the various worker rights laws like reasonable hours, workdays and weekends, child labor. If really pressed he may be opposed to women’s suffrage and the emancipation itself (not actually in the constitution after all). He is opposed to social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare in any and all its forms, bank regulation, anything which protects and preserves any semblance of equality and fairness in this country. He’s probably opposed to libraries, fire departments and public transportation. It’s unbelievable really. He generally would seek to move the country as near to the 1840s as possible.

    He’s an old school ‘States Rights’ racist who couches his language today in ‘libertarian’ PC language. Now it is about government hurting ‘privacy.’ No one goes out these days and argues the higher moral standing of slavery cause that was lost in the Civil War. But it’s like any evil character in movies, they re-morph themselves into the next iteration. Ron Paul has done it for years.

    He is a conspiracy theorist who believes the twin towers were knocked down by the Jews. He believes America will descend into a race war. He is against the wall along the US / Mexican border because the United States will be able to use it to keep white people in this country when the race war finally breaks out.

    He’s a declinist who does not believe in the core value of the United States which is EQUALITY.

    I have had enough of this bigot.

  • It’s already conventional wisdom that the Dems most fear Romney. If anything, Dem bloggers should cheer on a Quixotic Paul run so that Romney would get a nice drubbing before the general.

    Also, your polls showing Paul is popular among the ‘kids’ probably doesn’t mean much since they are notoriously no-shows on election day.

    I loved that Paul ad about the foreign occupying army – lots of love for the ending the drug war too.

    But don’t you think it’s a stretch to say the Dem party is shaking in fear of Paul? They love Paul because he might stay in the primary long after it’s clear he can never win.

    BTW, when Howard Dean finished third in Iowa in 2004, it was considered a mortal blow to the candidate.

  • I viscerally dislike Ron Paul and obviously that comes through in my post.

    I will say he is the kind of person who makes a great congressman in the house of representatives. Not a great Senator or President. I accede his foreign policy and drug war views are a breath of fresh air, even as all his other policy views are just plain nuts.

    It works in the House of Representative because everyone can ignore the crap that comes from his mouth, and he can make an eloquent case for ending military conflicts and the drug war. In other words the HOR is a crucible of ideas and the unbalanced can work in that environment.

    Senators and Presidents have to have a more balanced persona and policy view. True of State Governors as well. In fact, in the history of the United States I don’t believe there has been a President who came from the ranks of the House of Representatives, or maybe one or two at most. It is not a path to the White House for this very reason.

    Bachman and Newt are unbalanced in the exact same way having come from the same chamber as Paul.

    Perry is a Governor, but from a weak governor state meaning the office in Texas is really just a figurehead. That is why he can be such a puff and still hold office there.

    This is an incredibly weak field, and that is how Romney can sit in the position he is. The real Presidential contenders, frankly, are holding their powder for 2016.

  • I don’t exactly know.

    How many anti-Rick Santorum threads have been posted here? Anti-Romney threads?

    Moot point anyway.

    The man got 21% of the vote in a state that allows independents to vote in the Republican primary. Ron Paul got almost half of those votes.

    He got a third of the votes of those calling themselves moderates or liberals and only 16% of those calling themselves staunch conservatives.

    Figure about half of the vote would go to Obama and the man comes in where he always has, with 10% of the electorate.

    So why do people waste their time attacking this man?

    I did inhale.

  • This is not an endorsement, although I admire his stand on foreign policy and the national security state. The point is that there is nowhere to go for many people who should find a home in the Democratic Party.

    When there’s an inverse relationship between Paul’s support and income, we are through the looking glass.

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  • I can see why the Dems fear Romney. It’s a better manequin than Obama at his best. Romney is Disney World material. There’s no there there and it’s been vacant for a long time.

    But I say, the Democrats wouldn’t know who to fear if the candidate bit their leg off. They stand for one brand of nothing and the Republicans another.

    The kids are showing up to occupy and in 2008 the youth vote was really there, just not well recognized on election night. I think they’re a hard sell this time for anybody. When you’ve got a lousy job or no job, you know it. No happy talk will get you where you need to be. A curse on both houses. They’ll stay home and cause havoc, probably.

    These primaries are a joke. Two states that are entirely unrepresentative of the country are supposed to define the entire selection process. It’s not just getting old, it’s rotting.

    With Congress at near negative numbers in approval and two stiffs lining up to poke at each other with their plastic appendages, the anti-campaign, whatever that turns out to be, will be the main force.
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  • That’s the perfecta of politics as I’ve seen it –

    1) there is something really wrong, kinda nasty, about the other guy and
    2) our guy has to say what he ways to get elected but once he/she is in, he/she will do the right thing.

    We’re not running on fumes, it’s virtual reality time for the idiots with all the power. They have stolen so much for so long, there isn’t enough left to create the illusion of stability or even modest prosperity in the future.

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  • They’re going after Paul with a special vengeance, real tear down stuff. I can’t even comment on the veracity of the charges, just the phenomena. Paul takes “Moderates and Liberals” in Iowa. What a statement.

    I know you’re bitter that your fave Michele is getting knocked around. She was headed to be a made gal in The Money Party. Then they told her to take a hike. I heard her on the radio, without knowing who she was. After listening for about 3 minutes, I thought, “My God, this person is a total lunatic!” (I assumed she was with the Obama Dept of State with all the bombing suggestions she had.) When they said her name, I thought of you:)

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  • Some of that lib/prog vitriol is at least sincere, given the ’90’s newsletters.

    I think that ending the drug war would be the most massive rollback of local, state and federal jackboot tyranny in the history of the nation. That’s GOT to help black men more than anyone, since they are largely the sacrificial lamb in the drug war – I think in many ways, the drug war could be seen as a mere ‘proxy war’ against black people.

    Then again, I’m a white man, so I don’t have those visceral feelings of hatred if I read about ‘rioting stopped so they could pick up their welfare checks’ and so forth.

  • I’ve read about the newsletter and also the denials. If it is true, then it’s an automatic dq. But it doesn’t disqualify the remarks about the Empire project and invading other nations.

    The comments on the drug war are dead on. Its a racial assault but also an assault on those of the lower/lowest SES. The “war” has turned Mexico upside down and caused about 20,000 deaths due to narco-cartel shootouts in the middle of city streets. Here, the costs are endless.

    The merits that we’re discussing won’t matter long. The bloggers are just the initial attack on Paul, driven, as you suggest, largely by ideology. When corporate media loads up and fires off a salvo, he will be finished. I expect NH to be really nasty at the end.

    They’d better hurry up. Here’s a UNH poll on the 18-34 year old vote:

    Who might the youth vote favor this time around? A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll released Friday afternoon offered some insight. Among *18- to 34-year-olds* likely to vote in the Republican primary:

    • 45 percent plan to vote for Ron Paul.
    • 35 percent favor Mitt Romney.
    • 4 percent support Rick Santorum.
    • 2 percent support Jon Huntsman Jr.
    • 2 percent support Newt Gingrich.

    Christian Science Monitor Jan 6

    In Iowa, as above

    17-24 – 50% Paul – 25-29 – 45% Paul. The former group was 10% of the voters and the latter 5%. That’s a chunk.
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