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Post-Debate Polls Show Rep. Ron Paul Seen as Lopsided Victor in GOP Debates


By Mark Anderson

When the American people hear the truth, they apparently recognize it. And perhaps they sense that it will set them free. Case in point: Nearly all the major online polls show that, in the minds of many Americans, Rep. Ron Paul (RTexas) trounced his opponents in the May 3 Republican Presidential Debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

The 10-term Texas congressman, one of 10 hopefuls to participate in this first GOP debate in the 2008 presidential race, left John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and other big-name candidates in the dust with his theme of a smaller, less intrusive, non-interventionist, far less expensive but vastly more constitutional government—a theme that mainstream Americans rarely hear from the controlled mass media.

But when a sizable cross section of Americans finally did hear Paul, a medical doctor and columnist, articulate this theme, many reacted with enthusiasm, according to several indicators.

“Congressman Ron Paul,” stated a press release from Paul’s Virginia campaign headquarters, “finished first in the MSNBC poll following the GOP primary debate. . . . Dr. Paul received 43 percent, beating the second-place finisher [former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney] by five points and crushing the rest of the field.”

Paul, loved by Americans from all 50 states who make up the nation’s embattled but resilient “constitutional minority,” is not so well known by the average mass media-reared American. But as Paul’s campaign chairman, Kent Snyder, noted: “Last night (May 3) Americans met Ron Paul and loved what they heard. Dr. Paul’s message of freedom and limited government resonates with Republicans hungry for a return to their party’s core values. Ron Paul is the only true conservative in the GOP race. Americans saw that last night. The campaign looks forward to further debates and opportunities so even more Americans will discover Dr. Paul’s message of freedom, peace and prosperity.”

The other candidates, besides McCain, Giuliani and Romney, are Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Jim Gilmore and Sam Brownback.

A look at network polls, including ABC and MSNBC, conducted soon after the California debate showed Paul to be the clear winner. For example, an MSNBC

“live vote” poll, with a little more than 62,000 respondents, showed that Paul had 45% of the vote from those asked, “Who stood out the most?” The next closest for that question was Romney who had about 22%. The others were as follows:

Giuliani, 16%; McCain, 7.6%; Huckabee, 3.6%; Thompson, 3.3%;
Tancredo, 2.8%; Brownback, 2.4%; Hunter, 1.8%; and Gilmore, 1.3%.

The percentages were nearly the same for the question of who showed the best leadership qualities. Paul got 41% of the vote for that question at one point in the survey. An unscientific ABC News poll, which asked the question, “Which Republican came out on top?” reported that Paul received a whopping 86.5% of the vote with 8,306 people responding. Notably, 8.5% responded that it doesn’t matter who was on top because they do not want any Republican in the White House. From there, 1.2% of respondents responded that “none” came out on top, and the remaining candidates got 1.1% or less.

Paul was also credited with some good “one liners,” though he’s not generally known as a one-liner guy. “It’s government’s job to protect the autonomy and privacy of its citizens, not the secrecy of government,” said Paul. He was referring to the Real ID Act, the law passed by Congress to create new state drivers licenses that adhere to federal regulations and point toward a full-fledged national identification system of potentially Orwellian proportions.

As a congressman, Paul is well known for consistently sponsoring legislation to get the United States out of the United Nations, and he’s a stalwart opponent of the federal income tax, runaway spending under big government, and the military occupation of Iraq.

Asked by AFP whether Paul will be able to keep his congressional seat even if he loses in his presidential bid, Press Secretary Benton said: “Ron got 60% of the vote in 2006—a tough year for Republicans nationwide.”

Benton was referring to the pervasive anti-Bush sentiment that affected Republican candidates at all levels of government.

Benton also added that while Paul had to miss a few congressional votes to participate in California, he plans to continue serving the 14th district of Texas and will miss very few congressional votes even as he campaigns for president.
Paul’s campaign office, Ron Paul 2008, can be reached at 850
N. Randolph Street, Suite 122, in Arlington, Va. (22203) or on the
web at

American Free Press reporter Mark Anderson can be reached via email at
[email protected].

(Issue #21, May 21, 2007)

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Updated May 12, 2007