Many commentators have pointed out a seemingly strange phenomenon: Over the course of his campaign, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s appearances have pulled in enormous crowds. For example, Mr. Paul attracted a crowd of 5000 in Illinois, 2700 in Missouri, and well over 1000 in Washington state. His crowds are so large that it is often a problem finding a venue large enough to hold all of his fans. However, the Texas congressman has been unable to translate the size of his rallies into election victories, save for the Virgin Islands caucuses.
In many cases, supporters are so numerous at Mr. Paul’s public appearances that they have had to wait outside while the GOP candidate makes his speech. Often the crowds that flock to see the Texas congressman speak have outsize those of his GOP opponents. And yet, Mr. Paul is trailing the other candidates in the delegate count and the number of elections won. Given his popularity, something does not add up.
Some pundits have attributed his lack of election wins as election fraud, messy caucuses, or a widespread expectation that Mr. Paul will not win, which leads to sloppiness in reporting. One commentator for All Voices pointed out that after Mr. Paul won his first caucus in the Virgin Islands last week reporters announced that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had won. In Maine, the commentator went on, many of votes for Mr. Paul were never counted. In Washington state, where Ron Paul drew the largest crowds of the four men involved in the GOP race, hundreds of voters were turned away in Kennewick because of insufficient space capacity in the hotel where voting was conducted.
Most of Mr. Paul’s donations are made during his money bombs, with individuals giving small amounts throughout his presidential campaigns. This type of fundraising seem to suggest a broad base of support, rather than a few wealthy supporters. What could the explanation be?
Many of Mr. Paul’s supporters are Independents. Because Mr. Paul is seeking the Republican nomination, voters interested in casting ballots in his favor would have to register as Republicans the day before a caucus—this may be expecting a lot, given that many of them may never have registered as Republicans before. This means, therefore, that only the most dedicated voters are likely to do so, Red State observes.