An impressive second place win in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary has cemented the Ron Paul Revolution.
The mainstream media, which has so far cold-shouldered the Ron Paul 2012 campaign, will find it difficult to avoid him in future. With this performance, Ron Paul and his brigade have proved that they are no more on the fringes. They have established that their candidate is more electable than any other anti-Mitt Romney candidate. According to the latest polls, it is only Romney and Paul who have any chance of defeating President Obama.
There are many factors that characterize Paul's campaign and victories. The undying and unwavering support of his followers is something that other politicians can only dream of. Ron Paul 2012 is becoming a cult, and it is lust for true freedom that is luring supporters to his campaign.
Paul and his brigade are very consistent in their campaign. His conviction and commitment to what he says have made this septuagenarian grandfather a kind of youth icon. In both Iowa and New Hampshire polls, Paul got major share of his votes from youth (those below 29 years of age). Connecting with young people in America is indeed a great achievement that will take him further in his quest. (See Cartoon: Ron Paul Heads to South Carolina)
Paul's poll figures are too impressive for an anti-establishment candidate. An analysis of his trends shows that in both Iowa and New Hampshire, his results have stayed close to what have been predicted by trial polls. Any last-minute changes in the poll scenario or unexpected surges from rival candidates have not affected his vote share. He stood his ground or has improved in both the states.
After the New Hampshire victory, he announced to a cheering crowd: "We are nibbling at Romney's heels." And they absolutely are. New Hampshire results make it crystal clear that the top contenders now are Romney and Paul. All others, including Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry have proved that they stand less of a chance of winning against Romney.
The biggest problem for other anti-Romney candidates is to differentiate themselves from Romney and each other. This is quite a huge challenge because all their stands on policies and social values are almost the same. The differences, if any, seems to appear only at a peripheral level. The fact that they are handicapped in one area or the other is of serious concern for Republican voters.
Gingrich struggles with morals and ethics while Santorum, though conservative, has foreign policy views that are not much different from those of Obama. The other two, Huntsman and Perry, also haven't shown any improvement in their ratings so far and do not have any strong national policy to campaign with. In such a scenario, Paul has a better chance of influencing and bringing anti-Romney candidates into his fold.
When it comes to Ron Paul vs. Mitt Romney, the fight is going to be tough. According to the polls, both candidates face strong anti-feelings from certain sections in the voter base. The stance on various issues, character and faith of both the candidates is in sharp contrast to each other. If they have to duel it, then the fight will be between their personalities as well as their policies. So for the Republican voters, it will be a choice between two completely contrary schools of thought.
The winner will be the one who can convert the rival's supporters as well as independent voters to his school of thought. Here the Ron Paul Revolution, if it retains its current fervor, has an upper edge over Romney's campaign. Paul has very loyal supporters who won't change their minds while Romney's support base has proved to be very volatile.