Is Rand Attracting Ron Paul's Crossover Supporters?
January 4, 2014 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Ron Paul crossed over to very strongly appeal to people who weren't previously politically active and who wouldn't normally have identified as Republican. Is there indication whether or not his son Rand is attracting similar support and excitement among that same crowd?

I'm not looking for personal opinions or anecdotal accounts from your immediate social circle. I'm looking for more widespread evidence (polling data, etc).

And I'm definitely not looking to spur discussion of political philosophy. Please discuss public patterns of response, not doctrine.
posted by Quisp Lover to Law & Government (10 answers total)
Response by poster: Note: links to press articles (or blog pieces from respected writers) on the subject would be appreciated!
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:11 PM on January 4, 2014

In the beginning, yes. Then, no (unlike dad, he voted for some things). Now he seems to be trying to angle for some that crowd - the drone filibuster, and just today, the NSA lawsuit.
posted by 445supermag at 12:50 PM on January 4, 2014

Just to note that I'm not aware of any polls, except maybe the CCES or Annenberg, that would have a large enough sample size to say anything meaningful about a pool as small as Ron Paul supporters. Throughout the season he was typically down to 10\% or less of likely Republican voters, so the standard errors around characteristics of Ron Paul supporters are going to be pretty big.

*Except for the endgame of the nomination season when just about everyone who supported Not Romney switched to Paul, but those people weren't really Paul supporters.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:58 PM on January 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: 445supermag: I don't see him angling for that crowd at all.....which is why I asked. My thesis (which I'm hoping to test against real-world evidence supplied by this discussion) is that his tone and manner (aside from his policies) are much more conventionally conservative than Ron's, and he'll have trouble rousing the crossovers.

ROU - 10% ain't peanuts! But, again, in-depth analysis by good journalists would satisfy me. It's not that I'm looking for super hard data, just trying to avert lots of chiming in of individual opinions.
posted by Quisp Lover at 1:02 PM on January 4, 2014

I think that ROU's point isn't that 10% is peanuts, his point is that most political polls use a small enough sample size that taking the 10% that were Ron Paul supporters and then trying to reach any other conclusions about them is an exercise in futility.
posted by Good Brain at 1:40 PM on January 4, 2014

Anecdotally, there were several things I liked about Ron Paul, including his humble demeanor, and though I never voted for him I didn't dislike him. I don't feel like that at all about his son, who comes across as a generic crazy tea-partier to me.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 2:55 PM on January 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: tyler - I wasn't looking for personal anecdotes, but seeing as how that observation aligns perfectly with the way I see things unfolding, I'll take it! :)
posted by Quisp Lover at 3:16 PM on January 4, 2014

Mod note: OP, this isn't the place for back-and-forth conversation. Thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:04 PM on January 4, 2014

I don't think polling firms poll what you are asking, which is whether people who don't care about politics like Rand Paul (or Ron Paul). Usually polling firms look at whether registered voters or likely voters would vote for someone, or whether Americans support a certain policy. They will also break it down by Republicans, Democrats and "independents" -- but it doesn't tell us much about how politically involved or interested they are. I don't recall seeing that in pools. Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I think what you are asking for is very specific. I think the polls you're looking for, if they did exist, are the kind of detailed and complex polls that would be conducted by Rand's campaign and never released to the public. Campaign polls cost a lot of money and drill down deep into demographics, unlike the ones that are normally commissioned to be done publicly.

Anecdotes about him acting to win over the GOP establishment, like this, may be the best you find. He is definitely being less defiant and impossible to work with... he is trying to be practical whereas when he first entered office, he was all about impractical, useless principled stands.

The thing about Ron Paul is he appealed to a fringe of libertarians because there really aren't many libertarians in our political system. For everyone else, libertarians are too conservative on economic policy and too liberal on social policy to appeal to either side of the spectrum. Ron really only appealed to libertarians, who had no one else to support, or people who didn't really understand his policies (i.e. people who knew he was a Republican who was against the war in Iraq but knew little else about what he supports). Obviously, that didn't work very well for Ron's presidential aspirations so Rand is trying another route. Rand is trying to be a more conventional conservative. (But once the world knows about all the crazy things he has said and supported in his past, I don't see mainstream voters supporting him nor moderate Republicans.)
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:23 PM on January 4, 2014

Mod note: And generally, folks, let's try to stick more to links that address if Rand Paul is attracting similar support as his father, and less to explaining your own interpretations or theories. We all love to chat politics, but Ask Mefi isn't the spot. Thanks.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:06 AM on January 5, 2014

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