The corporate media aren’t giving Ron Paul his due.
If Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum or Rick Perry or John Huntsman had done as well as Paul did in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the big media would be granting that candidate enormous attention as the obvious contender in the number two spot.
Remember, Ron Paul in Iowa got 21 percent of the vote, coming in just behind Santorum and Romney, who had 24 percent each.
And in New Hampshire, Paul was all alone in second at 23 percent, with Santorum tied with Gingrich for fourth place at a measly 9 percent.
But still the big media treated Paul as an afterthought. Fox’s Chris Wallace set the tone back in December when he said if Ron Paul won in Iowa, then the results there “won’t count.”
It looks like the results in New Hampshire didn’t count, either, because the talking heads last night were all saying that no number two has surfaced yet. As though Ron Paul wasn’t even in the equation.
This is the worst kind of candidate-picking by the media themselves as opposed to the voters.
Looking over the exit poll data the New York Times did in New Hampshire, Ron Paul won 16 percent of the voters who identified as Republican (ahead of everyone but Romney), and a whopping 32 percent of Independents (ahead of everyone including Romney, who got 29 percent). Paul came in second among those who identified as somewhat conservative and those who identified as moderate to liberal. And he crushed everyone among voters under 30, with 47 percent versus Romney’s 25 percent. He also tied Romney for first with voters who make less than 50,000. That’s interesting because the Republican primary voters are tilted to the rich (in New Hampshire, 37% made more than $100,000), but in the general election there will be a lot of voters in the $30,000-$50,000 category.
If you looked at these numbers impartially, you’d have to conclude that Ron Paul was a strong contender. But no one I heard in the corporate media was drawing that natural conclusion.
Plus, Paul’s constituents are ardent, especially compared with Romney’s. And they actually stand for something. When he was introduced Tuesday night, his supporters chanted “Bring Them Home” and “Ron Paul, Revolution, We Respect the Constitution.” Such enthusiasm and commitment can sustain the campaign for a long time.
By belittling Ron Paul, the pundits in the mainstream media are doing the voters a disservice. And if he and his supporters end up feeling slighted, that might propel them to run as a third party in the fall.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story After Iowa, “Game On” or “Game Over”? And Will Ron Paul Bolt?"
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter