Ron Paul fans got some good news yesterday when the Texas Republican announced the formation of his exploratory committee.
We argued afterwords that thanks to the change in popular beliefs since 2008 — the GOP electorate is way more anti-Fed and anti-war this time around — Ron Paul should be a much bigger force this time around.
And actually, polling is already bearing this out.
Here are a few nuggets from Public Policy Polling. His favorability is fantastic:
– In Iowa Paul’s net favorability with GOP voters is +38 at 55/17. The only Republican more popular with the base than that in the state is Mike Huckabee. Paul’s numbers trump Tim Pawlenty (+32), Mitt Romney (+30), Sarah Palin (+29), and Newt Gingrich (+21) as well as a cadre of other less well known candidates. Paul has part of the same problem Palin showed in her polling earlier in the year- a disconnect between the extent to which people like him and their willingness to spend their vote on him- but those are still some pretty good numbers.
– On our ‘main’ ballot test in Iowa Paul gets 6%, tying Pawlenty and slightly edging Michele Bachmann’s 5%. In a field without Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin- something entirely plausible- Paul gets 16%, putting him in third place in the state.
We’re pretty sure he never polled like this in 2008, when his ultimate vote total was anemic.