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Washington Post: 2012 looks like Groundhog Day for Ron Paul

By Scott Clement

If Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) ran against President Barack Obama today, he’d run about even with the incumbent, according a new Gallup poll. Such a performance is noteworthy, as longtime front runner Mitt Romney holds a within-the-error-margin 48 to 46 percent edge against Obama. It’s also a stark change since Paul’s last try in the 2008 election cycle - more than seven in 10 of Republicans and GOP leaning independents couldn’t recognize Paul’s name or offered no opinion of him in an October 2007 Gallup poll October 2007 Gallup poll (dataset available via Roper).

Despite Paul’s increased visibility and competitive general election prospects, his 2008 primary race was marred by poor performances in almost every primary and caucus across the country, begging the question of whether 2012 will be Groundhog Day for Paul. The news media seem to have picked up on this narrative, devoting less time to Paul than most other candidates, including those who trail him in national polls for the GOP nomination, according to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

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