TIME: Ron Paul’s Novel Coalition Faces Its Major Moment in IowaSubmitted by legalizeliberty on Tue, 12/27/2011 - 15:39
Go to any Ron Paul event and the audience is part of the tale. They’re younger, rowdier, more socially diverse than Republican rally regulars. Any one of them might have driven across the state to see Paul speak or be able to riff at length about Austrian economic theory. Any one of them also might be a Democrat or an independent, a fact that’s poised to play a big role in Paul’s story in 2012.
The partisan breakdown of Paul’s current coalition is striking. Byron York writes:
In a hotly-contested Republican race, it appears that only about half of Paul’s supporters are Republicans. In Iowa, according to Rasmussen, just 51 percent of Paul supporters consider themselves Republicans. In New Hampshire, the number is 56 percent, according to Andrew Smith, head of the University of New Hampshire poll.
The same New Hampshire survey found that 87 percent of the people who support Romney consider themselves Republicans. For Newt Gingrich, it’s 85 percent.
The fact that roughly half of Paul’s primary supporters are Democrats or independents is probably an asset in selling his general election viability, which his fellow Republicans have frequently called into question.