Andrew Sullivan Explains That Ron Paul Is Now A Top Tier Contender

Faux conservative Andrew Sullivan has a new crush and his name is Ron Paul. Here’s Sully on Paul,

“The conservative pundits are now referring to Ron Paul as a “crackpot.” Hannity predictably savaged him last night (see above). The Hewitt site has an image of a man in a tin-foil hat; Dean Barnett and Hugh Hewitt both call for removing Paul from the debates, when he has been the best thing about them so far. Bill Benett wants him out. I’m getting the usual ridicule for taking him seriously from the usual GOP apparatchiks. They’re scared, aren’t they? The Internet polls show real support for him. Fox News’ own internet poll placed him a close second, with 25 percent of the votes from Fox News viewers. We have a real phenomenon here…”

Oh, that Sullivan really has his finger on the pulse of conservatism, doesn’t he? Of course, it’s hardly a surprise that a guy like Sullivan, who tried to claim that John Kerry was the conservative choice in 2004, is clueless enough to believe that Paul is now somehow a hot property after a performance at the debate that nauseated most decent people.

But, here’s the reality: Ron Paul internet poll numbers are about as real as Andrew Sullivan’s conservatism. In other words, it’s all phony. Not that Paul doesn’t have some supporters, he does among the Libertarian, Paleocon, and kook set, but these internet polls that show him in the top tier? They’re all vapor.

For whatever reason, Ron Paul’s supporters are particularly inclined to spam internet polls and internet polls, and as has been pointed out many times before, those polls are particularly vulnerable to spamming. Just to give you an example, the latest Pajama’s Media poll has 1607 votes so far for the GOP candidates. Given that there are 6 Republicans with 4000 or more friends on their MySpace pages, how hard would it be for any of them to send a message saying “Go vote here,” to all those friends in order to win the poll? Not very hard, but most people don’t want to do that every week. Ron Paul, again for whatever reason, has a lot of supporters who don’t mind spamming these polls every single week.

So, the reason why Ron Paul does so well in online polls is you have the exact same people going to website after website after website voting in these polls (Little Green Footballs just dumped him today for that reason) — and that’s if they’re not using scripts and generate auto votes, which Ron Paul supporters have done at the Pajama’s media poll, among other places. The same thing happened at Ron Paul’s YouTube channel, where his numbers went up something like 500% in a single day for no particular reason (About 400k views in a single day). Why? Probably because someone wrote a script to hit the channel over and over and over again to get his numbers up (incidentally, early on, it looks like one of Barrack Obama’s fans did the same thing).

Why would they go through all this effort? To convince technologically illiterate people like Sully that Ron Paul is a “phenomenon” when he’s really just a hapless conspiracy nut, who didn’t even pull 1% in the latest Gallup poll.

Long story short: Ron Paul has very little real support because no matter how many times you vote for someone in an online poll, you only get to vote once in the real election and you can’t design a script to vote for Ron Paul 50,000 times in the South Carolina primary.

PS: It does not matter how fiscally conservative Ron Paul is if he’s also a conspiracy kook who believes in the North American Union and thinks Al-Qaeda is justified in murdering Americans. People who waste their votes on the Libertarian Party may be willing to put up with cranks of that sort, but 95% of the Republican Party isn’t going to support a loon just because he says a few things that they agree with about the role of government and spending.

I consult for the Duncan Hunter campaign.

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