As it turns out, the conservative Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have something in common with yours truly: The more they see of Republican candidates for president, the less they like them.
According to Politico, the candidates show an inverse relationship between time spent with constituents in Iowa and New Hampshire and their polling numbers.
“The candidates atop the GOP polls have spent the least amount of time meeting with voters and the cellar-dwellers are the ones who have hit the hustings the hardest,” the article states.
This is a complete reversal of the usual trend in presidential politics, where early-voter states like Iowa and New Hampshire almost demand that presidential candidates meet just about every voter in the state. Some candidates go so far as to temporarily move to Iowa ahead of the caucuses, or New Hampshire ahead of the primary.
Yet, that seems to be backfiring this time around. Mitt Romney hardly pokes a toe in Iowa, and he’s in good shape there. Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich are hawking books like they’re the true Mormons, and one of them might win Iowa. Meanwhile, Santorum has personally begged each and every voter in Iowa, and he’s polling right around “satan” in the recent batch of polls.
What does this tell us? I would argue it’s one of two things.
On the one hand, perhaps this is simply a shift in presidential politics, brought on by technology. Once upon a time, Iowa and New Hampshire sort of did their own thing with the candidates, and the rest of the country paid attention after they were finished.
Now, the other 48 states are just as involved in the process as Iowa and New Hampshire are. The magic is gone, as the Internet and cable news brings the presidential nomination process down to the masses far earlier. Thus, Iowa and New Hampshire, while they retain some quirks, largely mirror the overall national polls.
The other concept is that perhaps voters just don’t like what this batch of Republican candidates are selling. Under this theory, the more that voters see a candidate, the more they dislike him or her, which is what we’re seeing in the polling data.
If you think about it, this makes the most sense, doesn’t it? What do any of the Republican candidates offer in the form of new, exciting ideas? What do they even stand for, other than “Hey, I’m not Obama”? Mitt Romney basically IS Obama-lite. Rick Perry wants a flat tax, which was a dumb idea 30 years ago. Herman Cain wants to raise taxes on poor people with his insane 9-9-9 plan. Michele Bachmann wants, well, whatever the voices in her head say. Newt Gingrich is rehashing all the bad ideas of the 1980s and 1990s. Rick Santorum wants everyone to know he isn’t gay…
Is it any wonder that these folks can’t gain any traction? There is no positive message there. There is no Reagan optimism. There are just a bunch of crazy, angry people muttering about Marxism and socialized medicine. As someone who was a Republican for more than 20 years, it’s disheartening to see what the GOP has become.
There are, really, only three Republicans running for President who stand for anything: Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, and Buddy Roemer. Johnson is like a younger version of Paul. Roemer wants to get money and corruption out of politics. Neither one can get above one per cent in the Republican polls, in large part because they’re not crazy.
They don’t say ridiculous things or wear pimp hats. They don’t have a history of sexually harassing women. They’re not scandalous. They’re good people who would do a good job in the campaign, fight Obama on the issues, bring about real change, and probably win. Naturally, they’re in last place.
Meanwhile, Ron Paul sits anywhere between first place and fourth place, depending on your pollster. He’s read the Constitution, and like I keep saying — even though I disagree with a lot of what he stands for, I appreciate that he makes the stance. He’s an honorable man who takes principled positions on liberty and the Constitution. He is everything the Tea Party voters would want in a candidate, and yet… crickets. He should be sitting at 30 per cent and in first place. He should dominate the primaries and caucuses, as he’s the only major candidate who has any new ideas.
He’s also the one candidate to buck the trend and see increases in support when he appears more often. His money-bombs raise millions, and his supporters are dedicated to Paul in a way that even cultists are not devoted to their leader. He has momentum, dedication, and money to fight on. He has some votes, and he doesn’t seem to scare voters away like the others do.
Will it be enough to win? Or will the newfound attention on Dr. Paul cause voters to turn on him the way they have on Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and others?
Like my stories? You can subscribe for my free newsletter here.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.