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So Ron Paul Supporters, What Now?

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Louisiana was a mess and still was a non-story. He didn’t even come close to taking Maine. It’s highly unlikely he’ll be getting any traction on Super Tuesday.

So, what now?

No doubt you all can raise money at an impressive clip, but it’s not translating into votes. So what are you going to do with it? Most of you have dismissed my calls for a 3rd party run, even though the majority of you say you’re going to vote for him if he doesn’t get the nomination (which basically makes him an unofficial 3rd party choice anyway). Think it’s time to revisit that idea?

To that point, his support has flatlined among conservatives James Joyner speculates as to why:

Ron Paul’s numbers are flatlined. He’s the only one of the remaining quartet that isn’t up substantially from six months ago. Despite the field winnowing from ten candidates to four, Paul continues to appeal to no more than 5-6 percent of Republicans.

With most candidates, the obvious explanation would be that their support has shifted to one of the frontrunners in a strategic move to avoid “wasting” their vote. Given the depth of Paul’s support, though, that strikes me as incredibly unlikely. The hard-core libertarians who back Paul are mostly dead-enders who would rather write in Paul’s name than deign to compromise for one of the Establishment candidates.

Could it be that hard-core libertarians are just a relatively small group? That, despite being organized and enthusiastic, there aren’t enough of them to elect a president? Barring a better explanation, I’m leaning in that direction.

What Joyner misses is the fact Paul’s support isn’t just among hard-core libertarians. But this is also where Paul’s GOP aspirations miss the mark. Listen closely Paul supporters…HE CAN NOT WIN THE GOP NOMINATION. There’s no clearer way to say it. Republicans are not going to wake up tomorrow and adopt Paul’s wildly different platform. It ain’t gonna happen.

And now it’s reality check time…what will you do? The revolution may extend beyond Ron Paul, but what are you going to do right now to make sure his message keeps going through the general election? Try to sell his platform at the national convention where he’ll probably get booed off the stage? Unlikely.

If you don’t realize that he has to break off from his party now then you simply don’t get it and you never will. Like Obama, he’s bringing in people who have never voted before, and that means he’s not talking to JUST conservatives. That’s the type of momentum you take into an independent run. And since it’s apparent that Bloomberg won’t run if McCain gets the Repub nomination, there’s an opening.

I really hope you all consider pushing your candidate this way because even though I think Paul is an incredibly flawed candidate, I think a 3rd voice needs to be in the national conversation come November, and there’s nobody else who has a better opportunity to be the messenger than Paul.

Think about it.