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Here's what they say at Lou's place:
There has been some speculation out there that counting the number of donors to a campaign can determine and multiplying it by a given voter-to-donor ratio, the number of votes can be determined. According to Jim Babka, Paul would need a voter:donor ratio of 22:1 to 28:1 in order to capture 1/3rd of the caucus vote and win (22:1 at 80,000 GOP caucus-goers, and 28:1 with 100,000 GOP caucus-goers). Although voter:donor ratios are hard to come by, I looked at the number of donors prior to the 2004 Democratic Iowa caucus and the number of votes that candidate received (via OpenSecrets.org).
In the '04 Iowa Democratic Caucus, the candidate with the worst (lowest) voter:donor ratio was Dennis Kucinich, with 49 Iowa donors prior to the vote -- which yielded him 1588 votes and a voter:donor ratio of 32:1. If Ron Paul even achieved this low ratio (with his ~1,200 Iowa donors), he would win hands down.
No wonder Faux News is excluding him from the debates. And frankly, I think the smartest thing that could be done at this point would be for the DEMOCRATS to invite him to theirs.
Not sure it would be smart of Paul to accept - but damn, what a publicity coup THAT would be. As I pointed out in an earlier post today, this is not a voting bloc that is going to go home after the primaries. Either the Dems as a whole fight for it's attention - by paying homage to what it's demanding of Paul and expecting him to do - or they may as well kiss a brand new, largely unexplored voting bloc goodbye.
That - or if Paul doesn't get the Republican nomination, it either mounts the largest write-in campaign in US history, or falls in step with whoever is smart enough to say "Ron Paul is right - or at least, largely correct." Right now, that's Kucinich.
This presages another, even more important thing. Political apathy, which both political parties have relied upon for the best part of fifty years, is a thing of the past for a large chunk of the public, left, right, center and variable.
As a Centrist Libertarian, I'm not at all happy with a number of Ron Paul's ideas, because I believe that what little government that exists, should exist for the people as a whole, maximizing liberty across the board. That requires some things - such as universal, single-payer, transportable health care and a robust and unified unemployment/welfare system that is transportable from state to state, so that labor can actually keep up with shifts in demographics.
I also tend to think that a work force that is backed that way will tend to be more productive and far less stressed than our current one, while US companies will be far more competitive than they are now. In other words, it will reduce the necessity to offshore jobs.
But of course Paul and I differ on those points - as well as the far more important matter of the separation of Church and State.
So, while I can no longer personally support Ron Paul - it's absolutely impossible to ignore the most interesting political phenomenon in my memory - what amounts to a peaceful, political revolution, lead by a man as bemused by it as his opponents are. Ron Paul has gone viral - and whatever happens to Ron, it's a hardy virus that isn't likely to respond well to repressive remedies.