Could Romney Have Won With The Support Of Ron Paul Supporters?Submitted by everlasticity on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 03:25
I wanted to do my senior thesis on the Ron Paul effect this election, to determine if Romney may have won or lost at the hands of Ron Paul supporters. I had planned to do a statistical analysis to make my determination. But I chose a different topic.
One of the reasons I did not pursue this was that I anticipated that the race between Romney and Obama would not be close enough. However, the race was so close that it may be worth doing this analysis. So I wanted to put my hypothesis out there for anyone who may be interested in doing the analysis themselves, I do not have the time right now, maybe next semester.
My hypothesis was that since in 2008, according to Nick Gillespie, only 38% of Ron Paul supporters voted for McCain in the general election, that this could cost the republicans a victory if the race was close enough. 38% in 2008 means that about 750,000 of 1.2 million Ron Paul primary voter did not vote for McCain in the general election. These 2008 numbers alone would make up the difference in this years popular vote in favor of Romney, but in 2012 primaries, more republicans voted for Ron Paul, so the effect might be greater this year.
Nevada went to Obama, and we know about the Ron Paul take over of the GOP there, so one may argue that with the support of the Ron Paul base, Romney may have won Nevada. The math might support this analysis.
There is a lot of value to an analysis along these lines, and I really encourage someone with the math skills to attempt this. Right now, the pundits are talking about the demographics that Romney lost, like latinos and women. If we allow this discussion to persist without challenge, then the republican party might potentially abandon its conservative values because they don't win elections among these demographics (not saying anything about latinos or women here, just that they may not have been the only reason for losing the election).
Another reason a study like this could be valuable would be to show that the treatment of Ron Paul supporters by the GOP, in states like Maine and Massachusetts, caused more harm to the republicans chances of winning than it did to help them. Instead of courting us, they alienated us. It seems to me that this could have been the worst mistake of the Romney campaign. So I think it would be valuable to show the establishment that our constituency is more valuable than they imagined, and that they would do better to promote candidates that we support, rather than jamming the likes of Romney on the republican party.
I would be interested in working on this study if someone shows interest. I just don't have time right now to do it myself because i am writing on a different topic currently. But I can help if someone is interested. I have taken some statistics classes at Harvard, and I have the research skills. So if you are interested in discussing what a study of this sort might look like, and how to approach doing it, I would be happy to discuss my ideas.
If you are interested in discussing this further, please comment. Or you can email me at this address:
EDIT: for clarity.
EDIT: the margin of victory for Obama in the popular vote has widened to a couple million votes. So a study of this sort may best be restricted to determining if Romney could have won any of the swing states that he lost.