12.15.2011 0

Could Ron Paul win?

Ron PaulBy Adam Bitely — Four years ago at this time, Ron Paul was scoffed at for running as a Republican candidate for President in the primaries and caucuses.

Now, three weeks before the Iowa caucuses, Ron Paul is in position to win the nation’s first 2012 contest.

Recent polling data from Public Policy Polling (PPP) indicates a competitive race underway in Iowa. Coming in first with 22 percent is Gingrich with Paul polling just behind him at 21 percent. And momentum appears to be on Paul’s side.

In New Hampshire, which will vote the week following Iowa’s caucuses, Paul is beginning to gain steam as well. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Romney currently leads the pack with 33 percent of the support, with Gingrich in second place with 22 percent and Ron Paul in third with 18 percent. Paul is quickly gaining on Gingrich and could soon be fighting for first place in the Granite State with Romney.

Within the past couple of months, Ron Paul has gone from an oddball outsider candidate to a prominent personality who can be considered a front-runner in the GOP field. Just four months ago following the Ames, Iowa straw poll, Ron Paul was fighting for media coverage following his near victory. With three weeks to go before the results in Iowa are final, Paul has a chance at winning the state.

With a win in Iowa, Paul could begin heading down the path to eventually claiming the GOP nomination. Here’s how.

Momentum from an Iowa victory could propel Paul above Gingrich in New Hampshire. Should Paul finish second behind Romney in New Hampshire, or even beat Romney in New Hampshire, Paul would head into the next round of balloting looking strong. And Gingrich would be reeling from a string of early defeats heading into states where he has virtually no ground operation at present.

South Carolina and Florida the next two contests following New Hampshire and it could quickly boil down to Paul and Romney as the only game in town as Gingrich continues to falter. Paul supporters are very energetic and would be working double time for each and every win down the stretch. A Paul and Romney battle would go down to the end, with the convention even deciding the nominee. Basically for Paul to win in this scenario he has to split the contests with Romney and make sure that he has enough delegates at the RNC convention.

The other path for Paul, and the most likely one at the moment, is that a win in Iowa for Paul will be his one win of all the contests. This win for Paul though could very well determine Newt Gingrich’s fate.

Should Paul knock Newt off in Iowa, and then finish ahead of Newt in Hew Hampshire, traditional GOP voters would rally around Romney as the most “electable” (whatever that means) candidate to beat Obama in the November election matchup.

Paul has several roadblocks that turn him off from the traditional GOP voter. His views on foreign policy and social issues are outside the traditional Republican mold. Paul has always seemed to do better with a diverse audience of libertarians, conservatives and independents than your typical generic Republican.

But in an election season where the economy is the most important issue, Ron Paul has been the most vocal candidate on the issue of the highest importance. And his support of policies that limit the government’s powers to spend incessantly while meddling wherever it pleases in the economy may just be enough to win him the GOP nomination.

Only time will tell, but if Paul had a shot at winning, 2012 is the best chance he may ever get.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

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