I’m not totally surprised by what I see happening on the right. It should be a warning for all the candidates that Ron Paul is fast gathering the disgruntled voters to his horde. While he was just a blog sensation they had nothing to fear, but it seems on the surface as if all that is changing. The impending straw poll in Iowa will help sort out just how much of an inroad he has made into the mainstream electorate.
A few things I have noticed already
1. Google hits at my blog, or I should say server hits relating to Ron Paul have increased by a factor of 10 since sunday mornings debate. I’m not sure the two are related, but reading about Ron Paul from outside the blogosphere has begun to increase. These are likely as not everyday people who happen to have computers, as the numbers were consistent for the 2.5 months I’ve been blogging.
2. The hits seem to be directed at issues which may make this even a little more sinister for the rest of the candidates. People don’t seem to be looking at for/against articles so much as they are looking at issue related articles. Marque and reprisal, earmarks, Nafta Superhighway, and immigration reform articles have received a genuine old fashioned monkey stomp from the search engines.
3. His face is showing up closer to the front page on the main news sources (FOX, MSNBC, CNN), and all you have to do is click the politics tab, and he is present now on a regular basis.
The natural question is why? It would appear that people are tired of the same old song and dance. If you really look at them, what do Giuliani and Romney offer that we haven’t already seen? McCain will almost certainly go down in history as one of the most decent men ever to play the politics game, but he is on the wrong side of some issues that Americans seem to feel very strongly about. Immigration and the war in Iraq are likely as not going to decide this election, and as I said weeks ago, if they let the immigration issue lie dormant it is going to kill the members of congress that are running. Incidentally, Ron Paul is on the right side of both of these issues.
Another reason quite simply is they like what he has to say about foreign policy. The one thing people aren’t looking for here is his foreign policy stance. That would probably be because they already understand it, and they already agree with it.
I’m not sold on Ron Paul, and I won’t be. My vote is hardly the deciding factor. What is apparent, and important, is that people are taking a closer look. Only time will tell if it maters or not.