Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign has a good chance of pulling an upset victory in the upcoming Iowa caucuses, but you wouldn’t know it by just reading the newspapers.
The traditional media continues to ignore Ron Paul’s momentum despite his increasingly good polling numbers, as it concentrates its election coverage on new Republican front-runner Newt Gingrich and his palling around with Donald Trump.
But this is not stopping Paul’s fervent supporters who have turned to social media in order to boost the chances of their candidate in the early key states of Iowa and New Hampshire. And it’s working.
A new report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which examined more than 20 million tweets about the 2012 presidential race between May 2 and November 27, found that as opposed to President Barack Obama and the rest of the Republican presidential field Paul received the most favorable ratings, with 55% positive tweets against just 15% negative ones.
This is not surprising given Paul’s early involvement with social media back during the 2008 presidential campaign when young and tech-savvy supporters started harvesting an online grassroots movement, even before Obama made cool the use of Facebook for political campaigns.
Paul’s supporters have been described as ultra loyal and vocal, and they have been rallying around their leader’s message of limited government long before the Tea Party or the Occupy Wall Street movement appeared on the scene. Their enthusiasm has been felt in debate after debate as well as when Paul fires his blunt and painful brand of honesty, which most recently caused him to be excluded from a forum held by the Jewish Republican Coalition because of what some on the GOP think are fringe views on Israel.
But sometimes an outspoken Paul also strikes a chord with mainstream America by injecting common sense into a seemingly irrational Republican primary. One of such moments happened recently when Paul declined to participate in the upcoming Newsmax/Donald Trump-moderated Republican debate in Iowa, rightfully disregarding it as an un-presidential “circus.”
Paul probably won’t win the Republican nomination, or the endorsement of Trump for that matter, but an upset winning in Iowa, achieved by the resilience of a campaign powered by the Libertarian portion of the Twitterverse could redraw the 2012 Republican presidential primary and prolonged it into a longer than expected fight for the soul of the GOP. But the revolution won't be televised.