Paul Voters Not Necessarily Party Voters
New York Times ^ | December 30, 2011 | MARK LEIBOVICH
Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 3:41:42 PM by presidio9
With Representative Ron Paul performing solidly in Republican presidential polls – and near the top in Iowa – a recurring question nags at political wise-guys: Will the Texas libertarian’s corps of loyal and energized supporters be an asset to an eventual Republican nominee?
Or will they be a liability if that nominee is not named Ron Paul — meaning, they will vote only for Mr. Paul as a third-party or write-in candidate, or stay home altogether, which would probably help the prospective Democratic nominee, President Obama?
Based on discussion with a dozen supporters at candidate events across the state — including a Paul rally of about 500 here Wednesday night – the Paul Posse contains a considerable “Ron or I’m Gone” population.
Of those people interviewed, three said they would vote for the Republican nominee if it was not Mr. Paul, and two said they were not sure. But seven respondents said they would support only Mr. Paul in the general election – either as a write-in or third-party candidate (the latter of which Mr. Paul has not ruled out). Ideally, they said, he would be the Republican nominee.
“If the Republican Party is going to remain viable, it needs to nominate Ron Paul,” said Sean Curtin of Iowa City, who estimates that that “Libertarian-Constitutional” constituency that supports Mr. Paul makes up 25 percent of the Republican Party.
And if they don’t nominate Mr. Paul?
“I would not vote for anyone else,” said Eric Grote, who travelled to Iowa from Turkey, where he lives half the year,
(Excerpt) Read more at thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com …