Ron Paul Insurgency

Ron Paul has thousands of netroots activists, that's for sure. Today, check out the Alexa ratings, where his website traffic has surpassed both Obama and Clinton, for the most traffic (that Clinton pulled ahead of Obama is also of note, as is that Obama's share of traffic has been steadily falling since his Feb announcement):

Over on YouTube, as of 9:59 a.m. ET today, Congressman Ron Paul has passed everyone, and now has the most YouTube subscribers of all presidential candidates -- Republican and Democratic.
Ron Paul        - 5,679
Barack Obama    - 5,678
Hillary Clinton - 2,998
John Edwards    - 2,750
Mitt Romney     - 1,977
The third Republican debate is June 5th on the Saint Anselm College campus in Manchester, NH. CNN is hosting it, with Wolf Blitzer and WMUR & Union Leader moderators. If Ron Paul is going to gain traction anywhere aside from the internet, it's gonna be in New Hampshire, where there's a strong independent vote ticked off about the war that leans Republican, a very strong libertarian "live free" mentality that abhors taxes, and that he is also 100% pro-life makes him acceptable to the theocons as well.

Tags: Ron Paul (all tags)



Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Wow, that Obama dropped below Clinton is significant.

by Matt Stoller 2007-05-21 02:13PM | 0 recs
Not really...

All three major Dem candidates have declined in a similar fashion since their announcements. But, Obama has been consistently holding the lead until this past week with the combination of the Bill Clinton video and then peaking with the "pick our campaign song" effort.

If Hillary were to do more than have a brief blip above Obama and maintain dominance, then it would be significant.

But, for now it's just a topical bump.

(By the way, Obama now has 78465 friends on MySpace -- more than double that of Edwards and, once again, ahead of Hillary.)

by Vermonter 2007-05-21 04:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Not really...

It is significant.  Both of her videos (Bill Clinton and song request) passed the total viewerships of any video Obama ever had on Youtube.   It has become obvious that the Clinton campaign has discovered Youtube to spread the message, and it is working very well.  

Also, her website has by far the highest amount of hits of all contenders.  

by georgep 2007-05-21 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Not really...

Not that I'm arguing with your point, but I would point out that in many cases the Clinton song contest probably attracted a lot of vitriol as well as actually honest hits.  That link was being passed around by everyone from Time to Hotline to RedState.  So while I won't argue that it's significant that she has more traffic for right now, I'd be surprised to see that as positive traffic or anything else.

by Conquest 2007-05-22 07:46AM | 0 recs
not pro-life.


If these people were really pro-life they'd picket graveyards instead of abortion clinics.


by neutron 2007-05-21 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: not pro-life.

yea, that was from their perspective, not mine.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-21 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Howard Dean was always ahead in internet rankings.....he dropped out of the race by South Carolina.

by vamonticello 2007-05-21 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

No one is saying Paul will get the nomination - but perhaps he could turn healthy (and growing) support into a Libertarian run after the convention. If nothing else, he can serve to destabilize the already unstable Republican primary.  

by LandStander 2007-05-21 02:46PM | 0 recs
Ron Paul Insurgency

The Republican Convention is over Labor Day.  The Libertarian convention is over Memorial Day, months earlier.  Ron Paul has explicitly said he is not interested in any third party nomination.  And he is running on conservative, not libertarian, issues, except in the sense that there are some issues where Libertarians agree with conservatives, and some issues on which most readers here should be comfortable with the Libertarian stand, e.g., legalizing medical marijuana.  

by phillies 2007-05-21 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Ron Paul led internet polls in the 1988 presidential election when he was running as a Libertarian (ahead of Bush and Dukakis).

Libertarians formed a majority of online activists from the late 1970's until sometime between the 1996 elections and the 2000 primaries.

A large number of Paul activists online is just a return to form.

Libertarians are much, much more likely to get online than folks of other political leanings.  That is ironic since the internet depends on government regulation for access to telecom monopolies.

The only way other political stances began to outnumber libertarians online is by getting online in numbers that simply outweigh all the available libertarians in the whole nation.  Even with a 100% rate of being online they can't outnumber the Dems and cons now.

by Brian Watkins 2007-05-21 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

What exactly is a 1970's online activist?

by Winston Smith 2007-05-21 11:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Basically computer scientists, professors, and government spies, right?

Actually, I always found it very surprising that there is such a high number of Libertarians among computer geeks but there are.  Maybe it's an anti-government / anti-corporate hacking mentality, or the anti-copyright / anti-patent mentality?  Not really sure.  All I know is that there is a surprising number of computer geeks that identify politically as Libertarian.

And I speak as a progressive computer geek myself.

by Conquest 2007-05-22 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

I was thinking it was along that lines but don't recollect enough to write it out; has anyone written anything about this? I recall a Wired magazine article about it in the early 90's, and it is something of a re-insurgence.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-22 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

I do not understand the details of Republican voters and am curious why you do not include Iowa as a state where being a libertarian and anti-Iraq would work for Paul.  Is it because of what Iowa Republicans believe or the fact that it is a caucus state?  

by hilltopper 2007-05-21 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

I was basing it on the makeup of recent Republicans that have voted in their straw-poll election (it's not a caucus). They have to be registered Republicans, unlike New Hampshire.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-21 02:59PM | 0 recs
Clinton's theme song contest
Rolling that out seems to coincide with the spike in her traffic. Trend lines say Obama would have fallen below her range in the near future anyway
by IVR Polls 2007-05-21 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

It would be great if Ron Paul could make a good showing in some of the GOP primaries and then be the Liberterian nominee in the fall.

by robliberal 2007-05-21 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Yeah, I'm a huge fan of this idea. I'd be curious if any Ron Paul-watchers have a perspective on this. Is this something he might actually do?

I'd also been shocked if any one here was a Ron Paul-watcher!

by LandStander 2007-05-21 03:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

I would not call myself a watcher but I have always found him interesting. At one time he was just about the only GOP voice against the war.

Paul's House seat was formerly held by Bob Gammage who was very active in the Wes Clark campaign.

by robliberal 2007-05-21 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency


Someone totally does not know how to read.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-05-21 04:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Will Paul even be at the next repug debate, or have they succeeded in blackballing him?

by jgarcia 2007-05-21 05:36PM | 0 recs
Democrats AND Republicans Better Understand

Americans - blue and red - like the sort of ideas that Ron Paul is expressing.  He doesn't have a prayer in haites, but that does not change the facts.   Americans, by nature are libertarian.  In this post 9/11, post Iraq world his message has even more meaning.

Contrast him with a Kookcinch and I think you see a guy with a message that Americans would buy if a top tier candidate where to package it.

by dpANDREWS 2007-05-21 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats AND Republicans Better Understand
"Americans, by nature are libertarian" ... BS!
If people.. especially liberals and progressives... knew what a libertarian is and what they stand for and against, they would run away FAST!
by kevin22262 2007-05-22 09:54AM | 0 recs
Americans like freedom, privacy, and individualism

That is what I was getting at .... those are things that libertarians stand up for.  

by dpANDREWS 2007-05-23 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

I'm curious about Paul's audience, and wondering whether all, or even most, of his YouTube subscribers and website visitors can actually be considered his "netroots activists."

I, for one, am a progressive and favor Edwards and Obama, but was absolutely tickled by Paul's performance, and I sought to learn more about him after seeing him on the debate.  Could it be a lot of people like me, who hate, hate, hate the GOP frontrunners and who are grateful to learn that there are actually SANE Republicans out there?

I dunno.  One thing's for sure: it makes things more interesting on that wrinkled raft of old white men.


by fortyseven 2007-05-21 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

It seems like a lot of Ron Paul's support comes from Digg -- I'd heard about him from there first.  That's how he's destroying every online poll, and how his supporters were able to flood Saul Anuzis of the Michigan GOP with all kinds of messages.  They might not be all that politically aware, but they are a very active and devoted group of users.

It does seem that truly decentralized work is happening on Ron Paul's behalf.  This Ron Paul graphic design community is a great example of that.

The fact that the GOP isn't bringing Ron Paul into the fold or capitalizing on this activity is advantageous for us.

by whogotthegravy 2007-05-21 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Ron Paul's support on Digg is a byproduct of an organized effort that violates Digg's terms of service.  It's too late to be pointing that out now, though.

by whogotthegravy 2007-05-21 06:26PM | 0 recs
What Do These Online Stats Mean, Anyway???

It seems to me rather dicey to try and say what any of these figures mean.

In 2003, Dean's popularity IRL rose along with--though certainly not as fast as--his internet popularity in contrast with the war-enthralled Washington establishment.  That was a pretty easy read.

But this time out, Obama exploded--or popped, take your pick--onto the scene, and basically hasn't moved too dramatically ever since.  Yes, he's made some gains.  But there's been a lot more media buzz than there's been poll movement.  And the YouTube stats seem to indicate waning interest, rather than a growing buzz in the online sector.

Ron Paul getting more traffic--surely that must mean something, no?  Well, not exactly.  You can get your Obamarama action from mainstream media channels, so YouTube traffic is more a matter of choice than necessity for his supporters. For Ron Paul, not so much.

These are, of course, my own off-the-cuff speculations, which seem pretty reasonable to me.  But of course, everyone thinks their own speculations are reasonable.  Bottom line, though: we just don't know.

And since it seems fairly easy to construct plausible reasons--as I just did--that undermine the significance of different sorts comparisons, perhaps we simply ought to start taking our grains of salt by the tablespoon, or better yet, the cup.

One of the most instructive calculations and graphic presentations from last year came from Charles Franklin of Political Arithmetik, showing the enormous variance of the relationship between presidential popularity and House electoral outcomes.  It was a powerful incentive to know that major change was possible, and a powerful warning not to take anything for granted.

I think we're in the same sort of situation right now.  Only we don't even have the historical data to tell us how much we don't know.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-05-21 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: What Do These Online Stats Mean, Anyway???

I don't think we're going to be able to measure the effect of word-of-mouth that happens over the internet for some time, but I do know that it is getting bigger, bringing in more people, with more diversity. I don't think a bifurcation is all that possible any longer, you have adoption and and over-it happening with different groups of people amidst a generational shift of media usage.

The only thing that you can count on for sure is that whomever peaks at the right moment, at the point of the first measurable contest, that the moment is there for them, in terms of earned media and word-of-mouth over the internet, to ride it to the nomination.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-05-21 06:37PM | 0 recs
Don't Get Me Wrong

I'm not saying that online communication has peaked in importance. Or that cross-fertalization between different communication and organizing media has peaked.  I don't think we're remotely close to that happening.

What I am saying is that we're now in a phase where these things are changing too unpredictably, too non-linearly, and too diversly for us to have any reliable handle on decent metrics, at least so far as primary presidential campaigns are concerned.

In pasticular we really don't have any idea what it means that Ron Paul's Alexa ratings have topped Obama's.  We don't even know who those people are.  Presumably they represent a lot of the online Republican base that wants out of the war.  But maybe not.  Maybe it's more the libertarian-type defectors who want to go home to the GOP, and see his candidacy as a way to do it.  Or maybe it's the racist/nativist supporters he's never been able to shake, despite seemingly being disconcerted by them.  Most likely it's some combination of all the above and more.  But in what proportions?  And how serious vs. merely curious are they?

All of this is unknown, and necessarily more murky than the Dean phenomena four years ago was.  It cetainly is a sign of some discontent, that's for certain.  And this diary was certainly justified, simply to call our attention to this early signal, whatever it may turn out to mean.  But support for Paul will need to start showing up in the polls--even just a little bit--before we'll be able to judge if it even might become a significant factor somehow.

One of the most important things that we can learn from statistical data is the limits of our knowledge.  Now would be as good a time as any to remember that.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-05-22 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

The best thing we could do is make sure Ron Paul is on the Libertarian ticket as their nominee- its likely they could find another sitting or retired Republican or blue-dog Dem to be running mate-- and its likely they get 7-10% of the vote-- almost all of it from the GOP.
by jgkojak 2007-05-21 07:03PM | 0 recs
ron paul is...

a LIBERTARIAN! Before all of you get all "sweet" on ron, search the Googles for libertarian. He ... ron paul.. is the new love candidate like mccain was!

Becareful what you wish for or WE all might get it... and not in a good way.

All social safety nets would be GONE in a libertarian world.

by kevin22262 2007-05-21 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: ron paul is...

This is a bit hysterical, isn't it? I mean, first of all, Ron Paul's not getting the Republican nomination. But let's say he did, and he won. He's a freaking libertarian; I don't think he's going to be setting up a dictatorship. So the Congress could override his vetoes, if needed, to fund some sort of safety net, if it desired. And if it didn't, and the federal government were dramatically scaled back (and now we've gone really far down the path of things that are not going to happen), then I think it's safe to say that the states would step in and fund at least some barebones social welfare system.

by taliesin 2007-05-21 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: ron paul is...

How many neo-cons would go along with his corporate loving social program and saftey net hating ways?  Think about it.

Hysterical? Not. It is just that I am sick of hearing liberals thinking ron paul is the wonder boy... much like mccain was until he was exposed for who he is.

by kevin22262 2007-05-22 09:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

Enlightening post - thank you.  And as a Ron Paul fan I find it encouraging, too.

I have some more facts numbers, too, in my latest blog post.  What is especially noteworthy is how well the Paul campaign is doing in the face of such opposition and would-be censorship from the GOP establishment.

See my post, "GOP Establishment's War on Ron Paul Backfires," to learn more.

Thanks again,

by Borg Blog 2007-05-22 05:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

So you like the libertarian agenda?

by kevin22262 2007-05-22 09:49AM | 0 recs
Good for Ron Paul and good for

getting us out of Iraq. Paul is another indication of how strong "mind our own damn business" antiwar sentiment is.

by fairleft 2007-05-22 06:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Ron Paul Insurgency

If Ron Paul is so pro-individual liberty, and in favor of reduced governmental intervention in private lives, why does he support negative and intimate governmental intervention into the lives of LGBT Americans? He was (and is) a staunch supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act and although he voted against FMA (while simultaneously pushing for a Marriage Protection Act), he has tried in the past to strip the Supreme Court of the power to issue certiorari to hear cases involving gay rights (as well as abortion and contraception)--in addition to somehow retroactively abrogating whatever precedent in these areas the Court has set (which, to me, is a befuddling notion considering that common law, unlike statutes, are not codified other than in judicial opinions and are subject to much wider interpretation than statutes). We really must be careful for what we wish, as the poster above astutely recognized.

by pennquaker08 2007-05-22 09:26AM | 0 recs


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