Ron Paul and Polls

As a Ron Paul supporter who’s watching net news with bated breath, I’ve noticed that the good doctor’s supporters seem to be rather distrusting of polls. The reasons range from criticisms of questionable statistical practices (e.g., land lines vs. mobile lines and so-called “likely voters”) to conspiracy theories. Having finally looked at some aggregated poll results, though, I think it’s time the Paulites start caring about polls.

Check out and you’ll see a number of charts showing aggregate poll trends. Among them, you’ll see a chart showing a finishing order and percentages for the Iowa GOP caucus that agree quite well with the actual precinct reports. Looking at the same chart, I also see that Dr. Paul’s popularity grew at a slow and steady quadratic rate. Meanwhile, Romney and Huckabee seem to have had some PR troubles leading up to the caucus, as McCain and Thompson saw an upswing in their popularity. Not much can be said about Giuliani’s tanking popularity in Iowa, since he didn’t even bother to campaign there. These developments should be encouraging to Paulites, because they seem to indicate that our candidate is largely insulated from conflicts between the other candidates.

Now, let’s move on to New Hampshire, where the first primary will be held. McCain has made a strong comeback there, but Huckabee’s win in Iowa might add momentum to popularity ratings that were already on the rise. Again, Thomspon (aka Prince Valium) is receding back into the political obscurity he came from. Romney seems to have run into the same PR snag he hit in Iowa, suggesting that he’s vulnerable. Giuliani’s strategy of ignoring the early, more conservative states is having the expected disgruntling effect on New Hampshire voters. Somewhat disconcerting to me is Dr. Paul’s plateauing popularity. Were his numbers more like Romney’s, I might worry less. At this stage of the game, though, he can’t afford to lose momentum.

What about national polls, you may ask. Well, the picture is even less comforting there, though there is reason for hope. Giuliani’s campaign strategy is either deeply flawed, or will kick into high gear too close to Super Duper Tuesday to see it working right now. His national popularity, following the early state trends, is taking a nose dive. Sleepy Thompson is going back into hibernation while Romney enjoys a steady rise and Huckabee shoots for the stars. How long Huckleberry will be able to keep it up, I don’t know. We can only hope he continues to make stupid comments of Dubya proportion. McCain’s slide has leveled out and he may be on the verge of a national resurgence. So, the good news is that Hunter is off the radar, Thompson seems to be following him, and Giuliani is finding that more and more people are realizing what a jackass he is. Huckabee’s popularity is soaring, but Romney’s slow and steady gains may win out if folks start to realize that the Huckster is all style and no substance. Then again, so is Romney.

In my humble opinion, the only remotely respectable man running for GOP nomination, other than Paul, is McCain. If Huck and Rom can pummel each other into irrelevance, and Giuliani can continue to be his own worst enemy, Ron Paul might have a shot at going toe to toe with John McCain. Character and integrity wouldn’t separate them enough to make much difference, so it would come down to policies. I think Paul could win people over with his policies. But I digress.

So where does that leave Ron Paul’s campaign? Well, things aren’t looking too good. His national popularity is at best plateauing and at worst declining. He needs very badly to do well in the next few states. This is why we Paulites need to care about polls. Dr. Paul has a chance to build some early momentum to raise the nation’s awareness of him and his ideas. The success of the entire campaign may depend on what happens in New Hampshire, Wyoming, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida, and Maine. We can’t just claim polls are unreliable and ignore what they tell us. The polls modeled the Iowa caucus well, and I suspect the other state and national polls, taken in aggregate, are also fairly reliable.

What these polls show us about Ron Paul’s popularity should motivate us to act, and we ignore them at our campaign’s peril. The good doctor’s campaign is in need of immediate attention and a major injection of funds. If you haven’t done so already, get involved with your local Ron Paul meetup. Tell your friends about Ron Paul. Given them informational slim jims and DVDs. Lastly, it would be nice if money didn’t make the world go round, but it does, and the Paul campaign needs money to reach the millions of disenfranchised voters who’d flock to him if only they knew he is. Please, for liberty’s sake, consider making a donation. No amount is too small. If we each do our part to promote the causes of liberty and small government, and pay attention to how we affect state and national poll numbers, we might yet beat the system.

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About Funky Dung

Who is Funky Dung? 29-year-old grad student in Intelligent Systems (A.I.) at the University of Pittsburgh. I consider myself to be politically moderate and independent and somewhere between a traditional and neo-traditional Catholic. I was raised Lutheran, spent a number of years as an agnostic, and joined the Catholic Church at the 2000 Easter Vigil. Why Funky Dung? I haven't been asked this question nearly as many times as you or I might expect. Funky Dung is a reference to an obscure Pink Floyd song. On the album Atom Heart Mother, there is a track called Atom Heart Mother Suite. It's broken up into movements, like a symphony, and one of the movements is called Funky Dung. I picked that nickname a long time ago (while I was still in high school I think), shortly after getting an internet connection for the first time. To me it means "cool/neat/groovy/spiffy stuff/crap/shiznit", as in "That's some cool stuff, dude!" Whence Ales Rarus? I used to enjoy making people guess what this means, but I've decided to relent and make it known to all. Ales Rarus is a Latin play on words. "Avis rarus" means "a rare bird" and carries similar meaning to "an odd fellow". "Ales" is another Latin word for bird that carries connotations of omens, signs of the times, and/or augery. If you want to get technical, both "avis" and "ales" are feminine (requiring "rara", but they can be made masculine in poetry (which tends to breaks lots of rules). I decided I'd rather have a masculine name in Latin. ;) Yeah, I'm a nerd. So what? :-P Wherefore blog? It is my intention to "teach in order to lead others to faith" by being always "on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers . . . or to the faithful" through the "use of the communications media". I also act knowing that I "have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors [my] opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and [I] have a right to make [my] opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard to the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward [my and their] pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons." (adapted from CCC 904-907) Statement of Faith I have been baptized and confirmed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I, therefore, renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements. I hold and profess all that is contained in the Apostles' Creed, the Niceno- Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church. I am obedient to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. That is, I promote and defend authentic Catholic Teaching and Faith in union with Christ and His Church and in union with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St. Peter. Thanks be unto Thee, O my God, for all Thy infinite goodness, and, especially, for the love Thou hast shown unto me at my Confirmation. I Give Thee thanks that Thou didst then send down Thy Holy Spirit unto my soul with all His gifts and graces. May He take full possession of me for ever. May His divine unction cause my face to shine. May His heavenly wisdom reign in my heart. May His understanding enlighten my darkness. May His counsel guide me. May His knowledge instruct me. May His piety make me fervent. May His divine fear keep me from all evil. Drive from my soul, O Lord, all that may defile it. Give me grace to be Thy faithful soldier, that having fought the good fight of faith, I may be brought to the crown of everlasting life, through the merits of Thy dearly beloved Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Behind the Curtain: an Interview With Funky Dung (Thursday, March 03, 2005) I try to avoid most memes that make their way 'round the blogosphere (We really do need a better name, don't we?), but some are worth participating in. Take for instance the "interview game" that's the talk o' the 'sphere. I think it's a great way to get to know the people in neighborhood. Who are the people in your neighborhood? In your neighborhod? In your neigh-bor-hoo-ood...*smack* Sorry, Sesame Street flashback. Anyhow, I saw Jeff "Curt Jester" Miller's answers and figured since he's a regular reader of mine he'd be a good interviewer. Without further ado, here are my answers to his questions. 1. Being that your pseudonym Funky Dung was chosen from a Pink Floyd track on Atom Heart Mother, what is you favorite Pink Floyd song and why? Wow. That's a tuffy. It's hard to pick out a single favorite. Pink Floyd isn't really a band known for singles. They mostly did album rock and my appreciation of them is mostly of a gestalt nature. If I had to pick one, though, it'd be "Comfortably Numb". I get chills up my spine every time I hear it and if it's been long enough since the last time, I get midty-eyed. I really don't know why. That's a rather unsatisfying answer for an interview, so here are the lyrics to a Rush song. It's not their best piece of music, but the lyrics describe me pretty well.

New World Man He's a rebel and a runner He's a signal turning green He's a restless young romantic Wants to run the big machine He's got a problem with his poisons But you know he'll find a cure He's cleaning up his systems To keep his nature pure Learning to match the beat of the old world man Learning to catch the heat of the third world man He's got to make his own mistakes And learn to mend the mess he makes He's old enough to know what's right But young enough not to choose it He's noble enough to win the world But weak enough to lose it --- He's a new world man... He's a radio receiver Tuned to factories and farms He's a writer and arranger And a young boy bearing arms He's got a problem with his power With weapons on patrol He's got to walk a fine line And keep his self-control Trying to save the day for the old world man Trying to pave the way for the third world man He's not concerned with yesterday He knows constant change is here today He's noble enough to know what's right But weak enough not to choose it He's wise enough to win the world But fool enough to lose it --- He's a new world man...
2. What do you consider your most important turning point from agnosticism to the Catholic Church. At some point in '99, I started attending RCIA at the Pittsburgh Oratory. I mostly went to ask a lot of obnoxious Protestant questions. Or at least that's what I told myself. I think deep down I wanted desperately to have faith again. At that point I think I'd decided that if any variety of Christianity had the Truth, the Catholic Church did. Protestantism's wholesale rejection of 1500 years of tradition didn't sit well with me, even as a former Lutheran. During class one week, Sister Bernadette Young (who runs the program) passed out thin booklet called "Handbook for Today's Catholic". One paragraph in that book spoke to me and I nearly cried as I read it.
"A person who is seeking deeper insight into reality may sometimes have doubts, even about God himself. Such doubts do not necessarily indicate lack of faith. They may be just the opposite - a sign of growing faith. Faith is alive and dynamic. It seeks, through grace, to penetrate into the very mystery of God. If a particular doctrine of faith no longer 'makes sense' to a person, the person should go right on seeking. To know what a doctrine says is one thing. To gain insight into its meaning through the gift of understanding is something else. When in doubt, 'Seek and you will find.' The person who seeks y reading, discussing, thinking, or praying eventually sees the light. The person who talks to God even when God is 'not there' is alive with faith."
At the end of class I told Sr. Bernadette that I wanted to enter the Church at the next Easter vigil. 3. If you were a tree what kind of, oh sorry about that .. what is the PODest thing you have ever done? I set up WikiIndex, a clearinghouse for reviews of theological books, good, bad, and ugly. It has a long way to go, but it'll be cool when it's finished. :) 4. What is your favorite quote from Venerable John Henry Newman? "Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt." 5. If you could ban one hymn from existence, what would it be? That's a tough one. As a member of the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, there are obviously a lot of songs that grate on my nerves. If I had to pick one, though, I'd probably pick "Sing of the Lord's Goodness" by Ernie Sands.

6 thoughts on “Ron Paul and Polls

  1. Pingback: Eastward, Catholic Soldiers!

  2. Steve Nicoloso

    I thought “Paulites” were to be referred to as “Paulistas”, an early term of derision that has been embraced… Kinda like “papist”.

    Other than that, right on target Eric. I think there are simply too many GOP party regulars that have drunk the kool-aid of big-state, perpetual war “conservatism” (which is, of course, nothing of the sort). It therefore looks bad for Dr. Paul, but that isn’t any reason not to support him. Maybe it sets him up for an independent run. And if that independent run is against a lineup of Obama/Hillary and Giuliani/Romney, I have no problem pulling the lever for Paul… and sending him money… even if he cannot win. He’s fighting for the soul of conservatism (rightly construed). Win or lose, the fight is what matters, and he might very well (a la Goldwater/Reagan) open the door for a future, more coherent, more populist conservatism.

  3. Funky Dung

    Frankly, at this point I think the word “conservative” has been twisted, spun, mutilated, and mauled to the point that I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 meter cattle prod. I have no desire whatsoever to be attached to it. If asked my political leanings, I’ll likely answer “constitutional libertarian”.

  4. Pingback: Reminder: Ron Paul and Polls @ Ales Rarus

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