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Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia Test Romney and Paul Support

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Tuesday's primaries are three of the nine contests in the 2008 and 2012 cycles held when the presumptive GOP nominee and Ron Paul were the only active candidates left in the race

ronpaul11.jpgWhile the most closely-watched contest on Tuesday may be the Indiana Republican U.S. Senate primary battle between six-term incumbent Dick Lugar and Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, there will still be a few things to keep an eye on at the top of the ticket in the Hoosier State, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

For these three presidential primaries will be the first in which Mitt Romney faces only one opponent on the ballot who has not yet suspended his campaign - Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Paul's campaign has had a bit of a resurgence of late, with strong showings in the delegate selection phase in caucus states like Iowa, Minnesota, and Maine.

The primaries on Tuesday in Indiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia will be a good test both of Mitt Romney's popularity at this stage of the campaign vis-à-vis John McCain in 2008, as well as Ron Paul's own base of support.

These three states, along with the upcoming primaries in Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, and South Dakota, each also featured two-man races in 2008 with McCain and Paul.

And so, with Congressman Paul's support significantly higher this cycle throughout the primary season, as well as voters not coalescing around Romney's campaign compared to other presumptive nominees in Republican Party history, expect more scrutiny over Romney's ability to turn out the GOP base in November if he fails to receive at least two-thirds of the vote Tuesday.

Only one of the remaining 12 primary states, Montana, is in classic "Ron Paul country" - the Texas congressman has excelled in both cycles in northern border states - although he also may perform particularly well in Oregon and South Dakota in the coming weeks.

So how much of a boost can Paul expect to receive in his one-on-one challenge against the former Massachusetts governor?

In 2008, Congressman Paul averaged 7.4 percent in the 41 state primaries and caucuses held before Mike Huckabee dropped out of the race on March 4th - leaving the field open to just McCain and Paul.

That left just two active candidates in the race (with the occasional ex-candidate still lingering on the ballot) for the remaining 12 contests.

Paul averaged 12.4 percent of the vote in those dozen primaries, or an increase of only 5.0 points when he had a one-on-one matchup against John McCain.

In 2012, Paul has averaged 15.7 percent of the primary and caucus vote through the first 37 contests (excluding U.S. territories).

Representative Paul has at least doubled his percentage of vote received from 2008 to 2012 in nearly half of these contests (17 states): Ohio (+100.0 percent), Arizona (+104.8), Iowa (+114.0), Florida (+118.8), Georgia (+127.6), Wisconsin (+138.3), Delaware (+152.4), New York (+153.2), Missouri (+171.1), Oklahoma (+190.9), New Hampshire (+197.4), Connecticut (+221.4), Massachusetts (+251.9), South Carolina (+261.1), Rhode Island (+266.2), Vermont (+283.3), and Virginia (+800.0).

That includes double-digit improvements on his 2008 tally in seven states: Iowa (+11.4 points), Maine (+17.8), New Hampshire (+15.2), Rhode Island (+17.3), Vermont (+18.7), and Virginia (+36.0).

The only two states in which Paul has received a lower percentage of the vote in 2012 compared to 2008 are Idaho and Pennsylvania.

However, when Paul won 15.5 percent in Pennsylvania in 2008, he was the only active candidate in the race other than McCain. Paul fell just shy of that mark in April with 13.2 percent with Gingrich still officially in the race tallying 10.5 percent.

The same is true in Idaho, where Paul and McCain were the only candidates on the primary ballot in 2008 when he notched 23.7 percent of the vote. In the 2012 Idaho caucuses, Paul was one of four active candidates on the ballot when he won 18.1 percent.

In Tuesday's primary states four years ago, Paul only received 7.7 percent in Indiana, 7.2 percent in North Carolina, and 5.0 percent in West Virginia.

Change in Presidential Primary and Caucus Vote for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012 by State

State
2008
2012
Change
% Change
Virginia
4.5
40.5
36.0
800.0
Vermont
6.6
25.3
18.7
283.3
Rhode Island
6.5
23.8
17.3
266.2
South Carolina
3.6
13.0
9.4
261.1
Massachusetts
2.7
9.5
6.8
251.9
Connecticut
4.2
13.5
9.3
221.4
New Hampshire
7.7
22.9
15.2
197.4
Oklahoma
3.3
9.6
6.3
190.9
Missouri
4.5
12.2
7.7
171.1
New York
6.2
15.7
9.5
153.2
Delaware
4.2
10.6
6.4
152.4
Wisconsin
4.7
11.2
6.5
138.3
Georgia
2.9
6.6
3.7
127.6
Florida
3.2
7.0
3.8
118.8
Iowa
10.0
21.4
11.4
114.0
Arizona
4.2
8.6
4.4
104.8
Ohio
4.6
9.2
4.6
100.0
Maine
18.4
36.2
17.8
96.7
Illinois
5.0
9.3
4.3
86.0
Alabama
2.7
5.0
2.3
85.2
Michigan
6.3
11.6
5.3
84.1
Minnesota
15.7
27.2
11.5
73.2
Tennessee
5.6
9.0
3.4
60.7
Maryland
6.0
9.5
3.5
58.3
DC
8.0
12.2
4.2
52.5
Colorado
8.4
11.8
3.4
40.5
Alaska
17.3
24.1
6.8
39.3
Nevada
13.7
18.7
5.0
36.5
North Dakota
21.3
28.1
6.8
31.9
Louisiana
5.3
6.2
0.9
17.0
Mississippi*
3.8
4.4
0.6
15.8
Washington (caucus)
21.6
24.8
3.2
14.8
Kansas
11.2
12.6
1.4
12.5
Pennsylvania*
15.5
13.2
-2.3
-14.8
Idaho*
23.7
18.1
-5.6
-23.6
* Ron Paul was one of only two active candidates on the ballot in 2008 in these states. Note: There was no comparable data for Hawaii and Wyoming from the 2008 cycle. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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8 Comments


  • This is the opportunity to show the super delegates how weak of a candidate Romney the socialist is, hopefully this will intice one of the super delegates to propose a open vote on the convention floor and we could be represented by a true constitutionalist. If not, this movement will continue on, the race does not end, we fight on through 2016, because we all know there is little difference between the ineligible Barry/Obama or the northeastern socialist that was born of a father born in Mexico....

  • OK, Eric, we will all vote for the Ronster. The only problem with showing Mittens weakness is that we get Obummer back.

    You are a maroon.

  • WJR,

    As a voting Republican for 18 years, I feel what you lack in common sense you make up with conventional wisdom. Of course this year conventional wisdom has been proven wrong time and again.

    1. Try to understand our distaste for having a Keynesian running who instituted socialized medicine in his home state and is questionable on pro-life issues. Limited government is important to us and we don't feel it is to Romney. Rather he is running as a more efficient version of Obama. He will repeal Obama legislation and replace it with Romney legislation.

    2. The notion that Romney is a shoe-in is intellectually dishonest. Romney all but guarantees the election will be close, but President Obama will win. Given the anti-DC feel of the electorate and Johnson running 3rd party, on top of a highly motivated democrat base it is a mistake to write off Ron Paul and his highly motivated base.

    3. Both will have a hard time against the President, but Paul represents the only chance at a blow out. If Mitt wins the nomination, the party will be weakened and the grassroots(which we need for the most important contests in legislature) will suffer. If Paul wins nomination, even if he loses in the general the GOP will be stronger, we will do better in the legislative contests and the constitutionally-limited government movement will continue to grow.

    Overall I think you are missing the renaissance going on and Paul is certainly a voice within it. We know what happened when the establishment told us in 76 that the revolution can't win. Let's not make that mistake again. It is important that the principles of Liberty are embraced by the next generation.

    Only sheep bleat: Ron Paul votes equal Obama victory. I could be wrong, but I ask to at least think it through. I don't think you are even considering the math.

  • I don't care if Mittens is the first cousin to Jojo the dog faced boy. He has a much greater chance to get elected than Ron Paul.

    I agree with a lot of what Paul says but he is simply too weird for most of the voters. We need to stop the arterial bleeding right now. Mittens is a poor choice, I agree -- I certainly would not have (and did not) pick him in a primary.

    Any president is in a unique position. He or she can appoint bureaucrats and define the scope of the executive branch. And, t turns out, there is not much congress can really about it. If Republicans can gain control of both houses and if we can kick Obama out then we have a chance to control the agenda. Mittens can be dealt via congress with but Obama cannot be.

    Don't throw away the good -- or, well, reasonably decent -- for the perfect that cannot be had. Paul makes getting rid of Bummer just that much harder.

  • I don't think you get it, more than half the Republican party despises Romney. A good 20-30% most being Paul supporters see him as an absolute antithesis of liberty, and freedom and would not vote for him for any reason what so ever and that includes the near certainty of getting Obama again.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. That is EXACTLY what you are doing and proposing we all do. In short your insane.

    Simple math proves Romney has basically no chance of beating Obama, no republican can for that matter without the support of a block of voters as large as Paul's which is ever bit of 20%-30% or more and growing every single day. Get it? EVERY SINGLE day Romney chances get worse and worse.

    Insanity.

  • One other thing to consider if Mittens gets the win. That would mean a potential of 8 more years of another poor choice. At least if Obummer won again, we could have another shot at the Presidency in 4 more years. If REAL conservatives were to control the Congress and STAND UP to Obummer and company in 2013 and beyond, then we could still exist as a country a while longer. If Mittens wins in 2012, then no matter if Republicans control the Congress, they will most likely go along with whatever Mitt Man wants and that could be trouble.
    The only real choice for America to survive as a strong republic into the future is Ron Paul, he has my vote and financial support!

  • wjr,

    You are completely wrong when you state that Congress can reign in Romney, just not Obama. On what sufficient grounds can you duly state this and expect not to be laughed at? Romney has already displayed characteristics in favor of authoritarianism via his admission he would have signed the NDAA into law. This is delusion and misinformation you are spreading and it needs to be stopped. The simple truth is Romney and Obama agree on a lot of issues and have a similar track record considering they are both liberals. Voting for Romney is voting for Obama. Just watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWDJEc92d38&list=FLfmLHrg9RIiZfGfP8PlOWMw&index=4&feature=plpp_video

  • Well we shall have no fear of martial law or disruption of the election. As the insiders fully control both candidates Romney and Obama. No matter which one of lthese two wins as nothing will change.
    Once again America has been duped thanks to our own ignorance and being made docile by fluoridation.

  • Leave a comment


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