Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Looking through some of the metrics I have put together for this year's election cycle, its been hard to deny the rise of Ron Paul.... In almost every metric I have tracked (except his poll numbers), Ron Paul has consistently risen over the course of 2007. There is no doubt he is a force in this election cycle.

So why the low poll numbers? His message seems to be resonating. Interest in him in the blogosphere and the web far out paces his other republican rivals. Yet, he continues to be in the single digits in poll numbers. So whats the deal? Here are the TOP 3 REASONS...

1] Traditional polls based on 'home' telephone interviews
Traditional polls are done via telephone interviews conducted at peoples homes. While in the past, this may have been an effective form of identifying interest in a particular candidate, today, this absolutely skews the results in at least 2 ways. First, it skews the results to those folks who want to spend 30 minutes doing a phone interview at home. These people will generally be older and have less going on than a younger demographic. Second, this assumes people still use a 'home' phone. More and more people are switching to a completely mobile infrastructure for their communication needs which automatically excludes them from most traditional polling. By excluding these folks from the polling the numbers will be skewed to more traditional candidates who have dominated the MSM coverage of this election cycle.

2] Polling largely based on name recognition
It is clear that the more a candidates name is mentioned and they are talked about by the mainstream media, the more likely they are to become a so-called 'top-tier' candidate. In both the republican and democratic primary cycles, the MSM has 'anointed' their top-tier candidates and given them a tremendous boost in polling by simply talking about them constantly. Would Fred Thompson or John McCain really be polling as well as they are if they had a tenth of the mainstream press coverage they are getting? Not likely. But this is the position that 2nd and 3rd candidates find themselves in. With Paul, it is much more obvious than other candidates because there is such a discrepancy between his MSM coverage and the interest in him via other forums (ie. web visits, blogs, youtube, meetup, etc.). [Note: interesting to see how Paul dominated the polling in a recent Zogby "blind poll"]

3] Some, not all, but some of Ron Paul's support is from registered democrats and independents
This is an interesting one. It really appears that Paul has positioned himself in a niche where small government republicans converge with pro-privacy democrats. As such, his support from an exclusively republican perspective may be smaller than his overall support in the general populous. Does this mean that Paul is more popular than republican polls have let on... almost certainly. Does it matter? Nope. Because those are the folks who will decide if he becomes the Republican candidate or not...

Your thoughts?

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