Paul's Haul Doesn't Change the Big Picture - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Paul’s Haul Doesn’t Change the Big Picture

As Jim noted below, Ron Paul ended up raising a staggering amount of money online yesterday, a sum that would would be impressive for any candidate, even Hillary Clinton. As of this writing, he is up to about $7.3 million for the quarter. He may outraise Thompson, Giuliani and/or Romney (less personal donations) this quarter. Give the man his due–he clearly has a base of enthusiastic followers.

With that said, I don’t really see what impact he’ll have on this race. There are a few basic ways that a candidate can affect the outcome of nomination battle: either by winning the nomination, pulling support from one of the other candidates, or by dropping out and endorsing somebody else. As enthusiastic as Paul supporters are, there’s no evidence from scientific polls that he has any shot of capturing the nomination. Whether or not his supporters like it, or think it should be this way, the reality is that Paul’s opposition to the Iraq War, indifference to an Iranian nuclear weapon, and his general philosophy on foreign policy, put him at odds with an overwhelming majority of Republicans on the dominant issues of the day. Sure, Paul can use his money to take out television ads and he may have a strong showing in New Hampsire among libertarians and anti-war independents, but he won’t win, nor will he do as well in closed primaries. And unlike Huckabee (who can affect the race by pulling social conservative votes from Romney, Thompson, and possibly McCain), Paul is not likely to pull many votes from any top-tier Republicans, since none of them endorse his anti-war positions. Ron Paul supporters tend to be made up of disillusioned libertarians and independents, many of whom are completely turned off by the Republican Party, and would not be voting for any of the top Republicans anyway. I would even guess that a lot of his supporters would not be voting at all if Paul were not in the race. And it’s not as if he’s going to drop out of the race and endorse any Republican. So, the Paul candidacy is another interesting angle in the most dynamic Republican nomination battle in decades, but let’s keep everything in perspective.

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