'Ron Paul effect' has GOP worriedSubmitted by DeMolay on Sun, 12/11/2011 - 04:30
Given the erratic state of Republican politics these days, don't be surprised if a libertarian polls well — very well — in the January primaries.
Ron Paul won't win the Republican presidential nomination, much less the White House, but he is primed for a potentially big run in Iowa and New Hampshire: states that can give a boost to underdog, outsider candidates. Should this happen, Paul can push the Republican Party further toward his libertarian views.
Iowa Republicans are not libertarians, but they are uneasy with embracing Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, and they are very conservative. Hawkeyes detest Obama's health care law, the Departments of Education, Energy, HUD, and Commerce, public broadcasting, and support for the arts. All of which Paul would not just cut, but eliminate outright.
New Hampshire Republicans generally agree, but they are cut from more libertarian cloth (the state's motto — "Live free or die" — sends libertarians into rapture). Granite State voters, especially younger voters and independents, are pro-choice, support gay mar- riage and drug liberalization. They also want defense spending cuts, all of which Paul supports.