Congressman needs Tea Party support now more than ever

Steve Watson
December 6, 2011

Rupert Murdoch

GOP candidate Ron Paul has placed second in yet another significant poll out of Iowa this week, bettering Mitt Romney and proving once again that his support base is steadily growing.

The poll likely of Iowa Republican caucus voters, conducted by Public Policy Polling, placed Paul in second with 18%, behind former House speaker Newt Gingrich at 27%. Romney placed third with 16%.

The survey indicates that Paul’s support in Iowa has risen 8 percentage points since early October. Romney, on the other hand, has dropped 6 points.

Paul is gaining support from likely caucus voters who are either Democrats or independents. With those voters the Congressman leads Gingrich 28% to 18%, with Romney at 13%.

As we highlighted earlier in the week, it is clear that should Paul manage to secure the nomination, he would clearly be the candidate most capable of winning liberal votes away from Obama, primarily owing to the Congressman’s strong objection to interventionist foreign policy.

Paul also leads Gingrich 23-20% with Iowa voters who “care most about a candidate’s stances”.

Perhaps the most interesting facet of the survey as far as Ron Paul’s campaign is concerned is that just 49% of Gingrich’s supporters have indicated that they are committed to him.

In contrast, 62% of Ron Paul supporters polled said that they will vote for the Congressman without question.

Romney is seemingly in free fall. PPP finds that the former governor’s net favorability has fallen by 27 points in Iowa over the course of the year, and only 48% of those who voted for him in 2008 say they will do so again.

While 43% of likely caucus goers say government spending and reducing the deficit is the issue most important to them, they support Gingrich 34-17% over Paul on the issue.

This is somewhat remarkable, given that Ron Paul is the most consistently fiscal candidate, and the only one who has presented a concrete plan to significantly cut spending and reduce the deficit.

Gingrich, on the other hand, with his intimate ties to Freddie Mac, has attempted to recently adopt financial policies that Ron Paul has been extolling for the best part of 40 years.

Gingrich’s rise of 19% is attributed to the shift of Tea Party support away from Herman Cain. With Tea Party voters, Gingrich is at 35% with Paul in third at 14%, trailing Michelle Bachmann.

The PPP poll clearly indicates that Paul needs to win Tea Party voters away from Gingrich in order to boost his numbers. In itself this is also remarkable given that earlier this year Gingrich denounced the Tea Party as a “militant wing of the Republican Party”, while Ron Paul’s presidential campaign directly influenced the birth of the Tea Party movement in 2007.

Ironically, in order to secure a top three finish in the early voting states, Paul may have to win the support of the very movement he created.

Paul also needs to take heed that 26% of Gingrich supporters listed Romney as their second choice, meaning if and when Gingrich fades, Romney’s campaign could pick up again.

The Paul campaign seems well aware of this, given the announcement that it will air a 60 second ad spot in Iowa concentrated solely on exposing the “serial hypocrisy” of Gingrich.

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“We wanted to ensure this ad reached as many voters as possible, to debunk the myth that the Newt we are seeing on the 2012 campaign trail is the conservative he has been touted to be all along,” said Paul adviser Jesse Benton.

“The voters are looking for authentic conservatives who are able to show a decades-long career of consistently walking the walk of Constitutional principles, limited government, and promoting sound economic policies. Ron Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate with that record.” Benton added.

In a campaign email Monday, Paul also slammed Gingrich and Romney for proposing “half-measures” to fix the economy.

“The truth is, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are both peas in the same Washington, D.C. – establishment pod,” Paul wrote.

“Like Governor Romney, Newt Gingrich supported an individual mandate for health care, which is central to both ‘RomneyCare’ and ‘ObamaCare,’” the Congressman added.

The Iowa caucuses, scheduled for January 3, signal the beginning of next year’s election season.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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