Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
I don’t expect Paul to drop out, or for very many of his supporters to abandon him when the process comes down to the two-person race many anticipate between Mitt Romney and Herman Cain or Rick Perry. Instead, I could see Paul gaining support, especially if Cain’s candidacy is blown up by sexual harassment charges.Mr. Zogby likens Rep. Paul's candidacy to those of Ralph Nader, in that both have been strong rejections of the existing two-party (or one-party with two faces*) system. In his view, Rep. Paul's candidacy will pressure the other hopefuls to cater more to the libertarian wing of the party -- but notes that the reward might not be worth the risk to candidates, such as Mitt Romney, who will be facing a President Obama posing himself as a "centrist" against the "extremist" GOP.
Mr. Zogby concludes:
Paul gets labeled a fringe candidate. But in this era of a closely divided electorate, anyone who commands the allegiance that Paul does from an activist libertarian movement must be accounted for in the political calculus.I personally do not think a Ron Paul nomination is completely implausible. The media have been feeding on Presidential candidates like piranha in the Amazon, destroying the candidacies of one after the other. I would not rule out the possibility that Rep. Paul might be the last candidate standing come June. With a choice as sharply defined as the one a Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama election would provide, we would know for sure just where the American people want to go.
On a personal note, I know my output has been low this month. I am finishing work on my book (really), and expect to get back up to speed next week.
* As evidenced by their Congressional delegations "failing to agree" on a deficit-reduction package. It's not a failure to agree -- in fact it was the reverse. They agreed to continue business as usual indefinitely.