Ron Paul Would Be Major Factor if He Went Third Party

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: May 9, 2012 3:55 AM
 Gage Skidmore

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas

A national poll of likely voters released by Rasmussen Reports Tuesday shows that Ron Paul, who is the only major opponent that Mitt Romney faces for the Republican presidential nomination, would be a major factor if he made a third-party presidential bid in 2012.

The poll shows that in a three-way race, former Massachusetts governor Romney takes 44 percent followed by President Barack Obama with 39 percent and Texas congressman Paul in third with 13 percent. While the poll shows that Paul would not garner the level of support that Ross Perot took in his presidential bid in 1992, it also shows that Paul has more of a base than several recent independent and third-party presidential bids, including then-Congressman John Anderson’s in 1980, Ralph Nader’s various presidential bids, Pat Buchanan’s Reform Party run in 2000 and Paul’s own campaign in 1988, when he was the Libertarian nominee.

The poll also shows that Paul has room to grow if he abandons the GOP to run on a third-party ticket. A quarter of those surveyed -- 25 percent -- want Paul to run as a third-party candidate while 61 percent do not and 13 percent are not sure.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken May 6-7 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Besides being the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee in 1988, Paul has expressed some support for minor party candidates before. Instead of backing Republican nominee John McCain in 2008, Paul shed the spotlight on three other candidates -- Nader, former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney who was the Green Party’s nominee and Chuck Baldwin, a minister then based out of Pensacola who was the Constitution Party’s nominee. Paul later threw his support behind Baldwin.

Despite his history, in this election cycle, Paul has shown little interest in bolting the GOP to run as a third-party candidate. His supporters are working diligently at the state level in picking up delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa come August with signs of momentum in recent days including big wins in Nevada and Maine. Paul’s ties to the GOP have also increased since the 2008 election cycle -- namely with his son Rand’s election to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky in 2010.

If Paul does decide to continue his presidential bid as a third-party candidate, he will have to explore his options very carefully. While he ran as the Libertarian nominee in 1988, that party already has a candidate -- former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico who backed Paul in 2008 for the Republican nomination and has made no secret of his desire to reach out to the Texas congressman’s supporters.

But there is one possibility for Paul in the unlikely event that he decides to go third party in 2012 -- the Americans Elect nomination. With less than a week to go until that organization starts its national online primary, there are few recognizable candidates for their nomination besides former Gov. Buddy Roemer of Louisiana and former Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City. As of Tuesday, Roemer has the most supporters than any other declared candidates with more than 4,800 -- but there are more than 9,000 Paul supporters at Americans Elect who want to see their candidate drafted.

While Americans Elect presents a vehicle for Paul if he chooses to go third party, his supporters continue to focus on battling Romney for the Republican nomination.

John Tate, Paul‘s campaign manager, weighed in after his candidate picked up delegates in Maine and Nevada over this past week.

“We’re extraordinarily pleased with the victories Ron Paul supporters achieved this weekend, and we thank these men and women for their untiring engagement,” Tate said. “Republican Party activists with Paul leanings are affirming the campaign’s delegate-win strategy and making lasting inroads into the party infrastructure, broadening the Republican footprint and strengthening the GOP base that suffers from a dearth of enthusiasm.

“Ron Paul victories in Maine and Nevada are occurring at a time and in a manner helpful for unseating President Obama and restoring America’s liberty and prosperity – goals that, naturally, all Republicans share,” Tate said.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (10)

Florida Bob
3:53PM MAY 9TH 2012
Seems like a DNC-inspired con job to repeat the Ross Perot fiasco that gave Clinton his victories.
Andrew Nappi
8:04PM MAY 9TH 2012
There is absolutely ZERO data to suggest that Perot voters would have voted for Bush had Perot not run as a third candidate. Not one opinion poll from July to September favored Bush over Clinton. Mathematics show a closer race without Perot but Clinton winning regardless by five million votes. Perot didnt cost Bush the election anymore than John Anderson cost Jimmy Carter the election in 1980; and Anderson prior to running out of money pulled higher numbers than Perot did.
Stop parrotting mythology and start working for LIBERTY.
12:03PM MAY 9TH 2012
We need a candidate who is running for the US and not Israel
7:01AM MAY 9TH 2012
Romney's foreign policy advisers are neoconservatives from the Bush administration. Neoconservatives believe in continuous, pre-emptive wars and nation building in the name of democracy. Also, just like Obama, Mitt Romney supports NDAA which includes indifinite detention of American citizens without a trial. Neither one of the believe in due process for American citizens.

I cannot support the neoconservative ideology or laws like NDAA. Ron Paul on no one at all.
Robert Lloyd
9:39AM MAY 9TH 2012
>>Ron Paul o(r) no one at all.<<

I like it! Ron is also for state's rights. If we had no one at all, our governors would be our highest officeholders and could govern much more effectively.

And let's get rid of the Supreme Court (as it stands). They should only be ruling on Federal law and NOTHING inside a state's borders. Each state has their own Supreme Court.
10:41AM MAY 9TH 2012
Clearly, you don't like the form of government our Founding Fathers established.

You really are anti-American.
bert sargent-deaf
4:39PM JUL 27TH 2012
the fiat gov as it is today can not be compared with the intended gov. the
u.s. is run for the benefit of the one worlders ,the central banking cartel,
should all be stretching a rope as well as those supporting them. our breakfast,lunch and dinner is being taken by the banksters by the use of
bankers tax aka as inflation .life in the usofa will only get worse until the fed res and the irs is history. only the uneducated,ignorant, want
more socialized gov. b. sargent west colo
Robert Lloyd
8:07AM MAY 10TH 2012
>>You really are anti-American.<<

Absolutely anti THIS America. It is NOT the America of our Founding Fathers. And this is not the USA but rather the USSA (United Socialist States of America).

Many of us living within these borders are now merely enemies of the state. We didn't leave this country, the country left us.
Anthony P
3:06PM MAY 11TH 2012
Couldn't agree more Rob, but the question is, what are you going to do about it? : )
Richard Wicks
6:10AM MAY 9TH 2012
Hopefully he will run 3rd party if he doesn't get the Republican nomination. After all, Romney supports the Patriot Act, supported the Libyan war, supports Warrantless Wiretapping, said he would have signed the NDAA which ended 5th amendment rights, supports all the ongoing wars, supports the bailouts - just like Obama does.

What's the point of having a Republican candidate that is identical to the Democratic incumbent? Just to give the illusion of a choice, that is all.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.