Home > Ron Paul > Would Ron Paul Make A Viable 3rd Party Candidate?

Would Ron Paul Make A Viable 3rd Party Candidate?

The more I watch the presidential debates on TV and read election coverage on the internet, the more intrigued I get about Ron Paul as a presidential candidate.  Granted, I think he can come off as a little not all there at times but I think he’s got the right idea with some of his proposals and is certainly anything but the generic vanilla presidential candidate.

Unfortunately, despite how good of a candidate I may or may not think Ron Paul is (although from what I’ve read Paul certainly seems to have the most zealous and fervent admirers by far), it seems like a longshot at best that he’ll win the Republican nomination.  Recent polling shows that Paul is in a distant third place right now behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

The speculation therefore has turned to whether or not Paul might run for President as a third party candidate – possibly as a Libertarian or just a straight independent.  This tactic has been used several times in recent elections – the most successful being in 1992 when Texas billionaire Ross Perot garnered almost 19% of the popular vote running as an independent.  The infamous Bush-Gore election in 2000 may have had the greatest impact from a third party candidate.  Green Party candidate Ralph Nader earned almost 3,000,000 votes in an election that was decided by about 500,000.  Could those votes have helped Al Gore make it to the White House?

We’ll never know for sure but this seems like the year where Paul running as a third party candidate could make an impact.  There’s no chance that he’d win the election but I think there’s a very good chance that his presence could have a say in who does.

Think about it.  Whose candidacy does Ron Paul running as a third party candidate hurt more?  Does it hurt Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney more because Paul would theoretically be stealing Republican votes away from the party’s nominee?  Does Paul steal votes from Barack Obama as people get tired of how things have gone the past four years and don’t like Gingrich or Romney as a viable option?

Like I said before, I think Ron Paul supporters are the most loyal outspoken of any candidate’s in this year’s race.  I personally think having Ron Paul in the mix would make for a very interesting race.  I’m not a huge Ron Paul fan but I do enjoy hearing him speak and I think the debates between him, Obama and either Gingrich or Romney could be some of the most enlightening and entertaining in recent memory.

I still think there’s maybe a 20% chance that Paul decides to run.  I just don’t think he’s the type of guy who will break party ranks just to get on the ballot.  I really hope though that he remains a part of the campaign at large for as long as he possibly can though.  While I don’t agree on a lot of his views, I think his voice is one that is worth hearing.

What say you?  Would you want to see Ron Paul run as a third party candidate in the 2012 Presidential election?  Feel free to comment below.

  1. December 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    While I don’t think Paul’s going to win the nomination either, I think he may do better than many people think. Though he’s polling 3rd in Iowa, he’s not that far behind Romney and Gingrich.. and, as you said, he has one of the most fervent support bases, which I suspect will turn out in larger numbers to the caucuses than Romney or especially Gingrich’s supporters. And NH’s “live free or die” independent spirit isn’t exactly hostile to Paul’s message.. after that, though, I think things start to fall apart.

  2. December 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I can’t imagine he’d do anywhere near as well as Perot did. If he can’t get much more than 10% within Republicans, how is he supposed to do better with Obama in the mix too?

  3. December 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    As a conservative myself, I can’t see Ron Paul as the Republican nominee for President. In a lot of ways, I agree with many of his ideas, but his proposals for our Foreign Policy just aren’t realistic in this day and age. We can’t just pick up our ball and go home.

    While I really want a true conservative to be our nominee, Paul is just a little too much for us at this time. Conversly, Mitt Romney is the other end of the spectrum and even more wrong for the Republican nominee.

    We need a true conservative to be our nominee for President in November because that is what will trounce all over the idiocy that is Obama, barring a third party entrant. If he is re-elected, this country may not survive his second term because without any fear of public opinion, not needing to garner support for another election, he will ramp us his distruction of the mechanics that once made this country great.

    And if Ron Paul decides to try to run for President on a third party ticket he will guarantee Obama’s re-election, the same way Ross Perot spoiled it in ’92.

    A Gun Enthusiast Speaks

    • December 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      I still maintain that we’re headed toward a second Obama term. This is just one of those years where Republicans just won’t be able to put a good candidate forward. In another election, Obama might be in some trouble.

  4. December 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I am still holding my position that the presidential elections are fixed. The way it is done is that the shot callers in both parties select which candidates the voters get to choose from.There is no way anybody can convince me the Mccain and Obama are this country’s best and brightest! I am a hardcore conservative who adored Reagan, but in my opinion, that last president that was not hand picked was probably Kennedy. And when he decided to deal with the Federal Reserve, he was popped.

  5. December 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I Think Ron Paul would make a reasonably viable third party candidate. He has a very rabid following and I think his consistency and honesty in his views would be appealing to many people. I myself am a flaming liberal and disagree with a lot of his stances, but I have a lot of respect for his apparent integrity. In an open race I would love to see a Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders match up. THAT would be a campaign to watch.

    • December 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      I think Ron Paul facing down Obama and Romney/Gingrich face to face in a debate would be fun to watch. Like you, I don’t think I’d be voting for him but he is an interesting guy to listen to.

  6. December 13, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Ron Paul is my dad’s favorite candidate. I also did some research on him, like his background, for my post about him. Good article! thepoliticalexpress.wordpress.com

    • December 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      I’ll have to take a look.

  7. December 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    More perceptions from Down Under, in New Zealand…

    From what I’ve heard, Mitt Romney seems the sanest of all the potential Republican candidates.

    Newt Gingritch and Michele Bachmann come across as pretty loopy. Especially when the latter came out with this wee ‘beauty’; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/from-our-%E2%80%9Cwhat-the-fk-was-she-thinking%E2%80%9D-dept%E2%80%A6/ *facepalm*

    Perhaps McCain should have another crach at the presidency? He is definitely one of the more rational candidates I’ve come across from the Republican side.

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