In their latest in a series of hypothetical match ups between 2008 Democratic and Republican candidates, Rasmussen Reports recently conducted a survey that matched up Republican Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Democratic frontrunners Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). When matched up with Clinton, Paul trails by fifteen points, 49%-34%. Among his fellow Republicans, Paul only gets 65% of their support versus Clinton. Even though Paul’s anti-war stance and anti-interventionist foreign policy appeal to some on the Left, he attracts only 13% of Democrats and 11% of liberals.

As might be expected, Dr. Paul fares even worse with Obama than he does with Clinton. Paul trails Obama in the poll by twenty points, 50%-30%. Obama manages to pull even more support from Paul among Republicans than Clinton. Only 55% of the Republicans surveyed said that they would support Paul in a match up with Obama. Interestingly, Paul attracts slightly more Democratic support (15%), but less liberal support, (11%) against Obama. Also, Paul is viewed favorably by only 20% of those surveyed. 38% of those asked had an unfavorable view, and 43% were not sure. There are two ways these numbers can be interpreted. Either Paul isn’t popular among voters, or to me a more likely explanation is that he is not well enough known for voters to have an opinion.

The problem for the Paul campaign is that he attracts the least amount of support against the two top Democratic candidates than any other Republican. For example, Mitt Romney attracts 42% support against Clinton and 38% against Obama. Mike Huckabee attracts 43% support against Clinton and 32% against Obama. Even Sam Brownback gets 41% support against Clinton and 34% against Obama. It is isn’t shocking that all the Republicans run better against the polarizing Clinton than they do against Obama, but with the Republican establishment treating Rep. Paul’s candidacy like the black sheep of the party, it is no surprise that he polls this poorly. The Paul campaign is one of the outsiders in a process that, even more so in 2008, rewards insider status and money.

Link to the poll

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at


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