Ron Paul Excluded from Iowa Debate

Ron Paul, along with Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter who also have less than 5% support in the polls, are being excluded from a December 4 Republican debate. Needless to say, Paul’s supporters are angry. On the surface it might make sense to limit the debates to those who appear to have a chance at winning the nomination. The problem is that using the polls to decide who is electable in this manner gives the polls an excessive influence in the final outcome.

Polls provide a snapshot of where voters stand today, but this does not mean that they will as they are. Polls before caucuses and primaries are poorly predictive as many voters do not make up their minds until the last minute. If candidates who are doing poorly in the polls a month before the vote are not allowed to participate in debates held a month before the vote they have less of an opportunity to win over voters who might decide to vote for them based upon what they say at the debate.

The caucus also isn’t only about who can come in first but who can beat expectations. If a candidate like Ron Paul could even come in third place there is the chance that they would be taken more seriously in subsequent states.

Realistically I don’t think Paul has much of a chance to win the Republican nomination, or even receive a sizable number of votes, in a party which is pro-war and which has so little concern about civil liberties. Even if Paul won the nomination he would probably lose the general election by the worst landslide in history. However, my predictions could be wrong. It is up to the voters to decide whether Paul gets their vote and the voters of Iowa should have the opportunity to hear him in the upcoming debate.

Be Sociable, Share!

25 Comments

  1. 1
    JRock says:

    This is total BS. Ron Paul is the choice of the people.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    If he was the choice of the people he wouldn’t be in this situation of failing to meet the 5% threshold. He’s the choice of a tiny number of people who make a lot of noise on the internet. Regardless, he should have the opportunity to be heard before the people vote.

  3. 3
    Dogu says:

    The word from the Ron Paul campaign is that he hasn’t been excluded.

    In national polls, Ron Paul has hit 6% in Rasmussen, 5% in CNN, and 5% in Gallup.

  4. 4
    Naughten says:

    RON PAUL

    Ron Paul is clearly regarded with fear and loathing by the Leftist Democrats and the Neo-Con Reps, and much of media; and he has proven himself to be the leading debater.

    If his sacred right to Freedom of Speech, guaranteed by the American Constitution, is somehow denied him; there will certainly be a severe backlash everywhere in America. After the rude and biased behavior of Fox News at the last debate, this ridiculously opinionated and pretentious group suffered such a severe firestorm of criticism by the American People, that it will never recover its former reputation.

    Ron Paul has moved up so exceptionally fast in the polls, from 2% to 6%, that it has put his opponents into a state of panic. After this next debate they will certainly suffer further humiliation.

  5. 5
    Dan Warner says:

    What is wrong with these people? Doesn’t Iowa’s own straw poll count for anything? The media makes a big ta-do about the Iowa straw poll yet apparently it is NOT a poll… Why did they waste all of our time?

    It is just like FOX News to have polls and then deny the results! Ron Paul came in first in both of their post-debate polls, do they count for anything?

    It seems like FOX and the Iowa republican party are saying that that they count for nothing… I would agree.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    “Ron Paul has moved up so exceptionally fast in the polls, from 2% to 6%, that it has put his opponents into a state of panic.”

    No, his support remains minuscule and there is a definite ceiling in terms of number of people who would consider him. Paul also benefits as many people only know about his statements on Iraq and civil liberties as the debates. His support would be more limited if his other views as expressed in his writings were considered.

    “After the rude and biased behavior of Fox News at the last debate, this ridiculously opinionated and pretentious group suffered such a severe firestorm of criticism by the American People, that it will never recover its former reputation.”

    Considering how poor a reputation Fox had as a news source I don’t think it has a “former reputation” to recover.

    “he has proven himself to be the leading debater.”

    Different people see this differently. He is the only Republican who makes any sense on some issues such as Iraq, but conservatives would say he is the one who is wrong.

    This brings up another point regarding whether Paul should debate. This is a procedural matter which should not be made based upon ideology. Many Republicans simply do not want Paul to debate because they disagree with him, but this should not be a factor in making such a decision.

  7. 7
    Devon says:

    The money the Paul campaign is bringing in is going to BUY the polling percentage points he needs to hit 5% by the time the debate comes around, believe me. He will be in the debate.

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    These polls that show Ron Paul with single digit support are seriously flawed, intentionally so, in my opinion. Read this for an explanation:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/pitkaniemi2.html

  9. 9
    Rich says:

    I personally dispute this faulty analysis. The more people who hear of his message, specifically on other issues like Monetary and Domestic, only like him more. That is why he is growing in the poll numbers. Dr. Ron Paul’s message may be somewhat more intellectual in nature, but the people are responding and using this to learn more. They are losing the apathy. More and more everyday. The more it gets belittled and besmirched, the more strength it undoubtedly gives its cause.

    A great quote by Samuel Adams goes like this:

    “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds”.

    Make sure to print out the last paragraph of your blog on thin sheet paper in order to easily facilitate you eating your words.

  10. 10
    larry says:

    I am a Paul supporter and it disturbes me somewhat that my fellow Paul supporters believe he is being denied his 1st Amendment right to speak. He is not. Were this event being financed and put forth by the government they would be correct. But it isn’t. It is being sponsored by FOX news, a private company, and the Republican party. I feel that it is the responsibility of FOX news and the Republican party to stage all candidates and allow them to debate. But by no means is FOX news or the GOP obligated to do so. As much as I disagree with their tactics which seem to directly target Paul, if we truly believe in the 1st Amendment then we must also respect the rights of these jackasses to exclude whoever they damn well please. Barring some kind of polling shenanigans, Paul will squeak by and he will be in the debate.

    I would ask Ron Chusid, How many times have you been polled? Traditional land-line polls that only poll registered party members with a history of voting are no longer scientific as they are no longer based on random samples but are the result of both self-selection and exclusion bias. You don’t rake in 4 million in one day without trying or draw crowds of 3 to 5 thousand on a cold and dreary day unless you have some support.

    The problem is that the majority of his support is not coming from Republicans but from a mix of people from across the political spectrum which will not be properly represented in traditional primary polls and the new voters and voters who are switching their party registration so they can vote for him in the primaries will not be captured by antiquated polling methods.

  11. 11
    Ron Chusid says:

    Anonymous,

    It is quite common for supporters of candidates who are doing poorly in the polls to come up with such excuses to claim the polls are flawed. This doesn’t change the fact that such candidates go no where.

    Rich,

    The problem isn’t that Paul’s message is intellectual, but that the closer you look at his writings and record the more ridiculous it becomes.

    A majority of voters will not back the social conservativism he supports, and those who agree with his right wing views disagree with him too much over Iraq to consider voting for him. Those who agree with him on Iraq won’t go along with his conspiracy theories and support for other right wing extremist ideas.

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    larry,

    “I would ask Ron Chusid, How many times have you been polled?”

    Irrelevant. Polling is based upon a sample of the voters.

    Howard Dean supporters made the exact same claims about cell phones versus land line polls, believing he would do even better in Iowa than the polls showed. We saw how that worked out. The claims about the inaccuracy of the polls are just excuses but don’t change the fact that Paul’s support is limited to a small number. The four million he brought in is a reflection of a small number of dedicates supporters, not of wide spread support.

    I do agree that this isn’t a First Amendment issue and Fox has the right to exclude Pau but that they should not do so.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Dan Warner,

    The straw poll is not a true poll and many of the candidates did not participate inflating Paul’s results.

    They also are unlikely to use on line polls and other polls which are easily manipulated.

  14. 14
    Rich says:

    I would challenge you to state to me something specifically that is “rediculous”. Please open my eyes to what I have missed. I will also attempt, in my own interpretation, to counter you. Most likely, what you consider rediculous is merely a result of you not having adequate grasp on the core concepts he speaks of. He is a Principled man, which to his own possible detriment makes it easy to know what he will or will not do on a certain issue. Not many candidates have this, he is unique this way. It also allows for interesting debate. Again, no other candidate truly offers this, atleast this early in the campaign cycle.

    So please choose your argument in the case of “rediculous”.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Rich,

    Just read Paul’s newsletter. I have also discussed some of his ridiculous ideas in other posts.

    These include his denial of the Founding Father’s views on separation of church and state, his claims that the Founding Fathers intended this to be a Christian nation, his belief in various conspiracy theories, along with a number of racist comments in his newsletter. I’ve also quoted from a letter he sends to contributors in a previous post which also shows the same type of support for conspiracy theories which are demonstrated in his newsletter.

    As for his principles, like other members of Congress at times he is quick to abandon them such as in all the pork he supported for his own district. He also violated both libertarian principles and his own views on keeping the federal government out of state matters in supporting a federal ban on so-called partial birth abortions. Of course if you realize he is far more a social conservative than a libertarian such apparent violations of principle are more easily explained.

    I do agree that Paul’s presence makes for a more interesting debate.

  16. 16
    Rich says:

    You have said a mouth full. I respect your response and because of the scope, it will take me a measurable ammount of time to write a retort. Rather than cut and paste, I will use this as a personal thought excersice and will post my results when completed. I will be back ASAP 😉

  17. 17
    Rich says:

    Denial of the Founding Father’s views on separation of church:

    Dr. Ron Paul states the following, and being personally agnostic in regards to religion in general, this makes perfect sense.

    “The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.”

    In the same article I think I found your foundation for this misquote you wrote that he said “Founding Fathers intended this to be a Christian nation”. I highly doubt he is alone in the findings of his historical interpretations on the subject of the importance of religion to the country’s Founders. This would seem to be a common knowledge inaccuracy on your part. We were not founded by a godless society, this is fact. Here is Dr. Ron Paul’s words below in quotes.

    “The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance.

    As for the conspiracy theory’s. I am gonna have to guess for the sake of argument, you are referring to his beliefs about the Federal Reserve. If not, you will have to elaborate with specifics, not generalizations which you offer no example of. Some may interpret his ideas on the federal reserve and the monetary system as belonging to the level of conspiracy, but again, this just reflects on the depth of knowledge this man possesses on how our economy works. I hope you witnessed his questioning of fed chairman Bernanke on Friday. The “conspiracy” of our fiat money system is becoming more mainstream and apparent. Inflation and later stagflation are the only results that can occur from Government spending that is out of control on these levels. If you can not see or understand this, that is ok. Trust his words.

    The racism portion of your argument I choose to not bring myself to defend, they do not require it. To the people (of all race) who know this man and know for what he stands, it is a disgusting charge that deserves no attention. It further proves the lack of substantial philosophical argument to his theories.

    To the pork spending. Yes, indeed, it is a shame that Representatives must resort to such measures to ensure that the over taxed people of his district receive a portion of their taxed income back for local jobs and development. He wants this changed.

    Your take is weak indeed.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:

    Sorry, it won’t work to simply pretend Paul didn’t write things which he has. I’d suggest doing your homework before ignoring the arguments and writing them off as “weak indeed.”

    I have not misquoted Paul with regards to separation of church and state and I am referring to more statements from him than what you quote. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, Paul denies separation of church and state and has supported measures such as prayer in public schools and keeping the ten commandments on a court house lawn.

    I’ve also had previous posts refuting other conservatives who have claimed that the Founding Fathers supported specifically a Christian nation as Paul claims in his writings. I never said that we were founded as a godless society as you misrepresent what I have written on this. In reality it was often religious leaders who were the strongest defenders of separation of church and state, realizing its importance to guarantee religious freedom. It is a recent development that the right wing has promoted a revisionist history on this issue which Paul promotes.

    On the conspiracy theories, I’m primarily referring to Paul’s writings on the United Nations, Jews, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations. There’s also a strange relationship between Paul and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. On the one hand Paul has tried to distance himself from them, but on the other hand he sure spends a lot of time appearing with such people.

    You may not choose to defend Paul’s racist writings but denying it doesn’t change what he has written. His newsletter contains several racist articles so your claim that this is a charge that deserves no attention doesn’t hold up. These include clams that blacks are prone to violence and lack sense about political issues. Why do you think so many racist as well as anti-Semitic organizations and individuals are backing Paul?

    You may rationalize his pork spending, but in doing so you demonstrate that Paul operates as other Congressmen do and not out of higher principles as many of his supporters claim.

  19. 19
    TJS says:

    Dialog between Chusid and Larry:

    “Separation of Church and State” is not in the Constitution! Free exercise of religion shall not be prohibited and Congress (Fed gov’t) shall not establish a religion. The means that Congress shall not establish a national church. States were allowed to support churches.

    Use of Christain symbols such as 10 Commandments is not prohibited by the

    Earl Warren (the liberal Chief Justice) stated America was founded on Christianity. That can not be denied. Actually, Chusid is falling for revisionist history. Conservative historians are rediscovering America’s Christian roots. As for founding fathers – you need to go back 500 years – not 1750.

    Chusid loves to use the term right wing – he is obviously left wing.

  20. 20
    Ron Chusid says:

    ““Separation of Church and State” is not in the Constitution! ”

    A typical straw man argument used by apologists for the Christian right. Nobody says this phrase is in the Constitution. However the Constitution was specifically written as a secular document, and the First Amendment was written to strengthen this. This is noted in the writings of the Founding Fathers and upheld in many court decisions. This includes the legal issues regarding displaying religious symbols.

    TJS is distorting history and misquoting Earl Warren. Warren’s statements on the Christian background of many of the founding fathers is quite different from saying that the founding fathers intended to form a Christian nation. Separation of church and state is an idea which many Christians have defended, recognizing its importance in religious freedom. It is only recently that the right wing has been promoting a revisionist history to deny this. Misquoting people like Earl Warren is one of the tactics they use to distort history.

    I use the term right wing where it applies to people such as Ron Paul whose writings support the conspiracy theories and revisionist history being promoted by many on the extremist right. The distortions of our history regarding separation of church and state by both Paul and TJS are definitely right wing attitudes. If TJS wants to call a supporter of individual liberty and the free market such as myself left wing that’s his prerogative.

  21. 21
    TJS says:

    I accidentally press the wrong button and did not complete it.

    Dialog between Chusid and Larry:

    “Separation of Church and State” is not in the Constitution! Free exercise of religion shall not be prohibited and Congress (Fed gov’t) shall not establish a religion. The means that Congress shall not establish a national church. States were allowed to support churches.

    Prayer and use of Christian symbols such as 10 Commandments is not prohibited by the Constitution. Relgion is not a void. Man is inescapably religious. It is a question of what religion? The Supreme Court declared that Humanism is a religion. Trying to ban all Christian symbols is humanism. If you don’t like Christianity – tough. You live in the most liberated Nation in the world founded by Christianity.

    Earl Warren (the liberal Chief Justice) stated America was founded on Christianity. That can not be denied. Actually, Chusid is falling for revisionist history. Conservative historians are rediscovering America’s Christian roots. As for the founding fathers – you need to go back 500 years – not 1750.

    Chusid loves to use the term right wing – he is obviously left wing.

    Making a statement that blacks are prone to violence is not racist. It is based on fact. It does not make you a racist. Ron Paul is not racist and has black supporters. He has delivered black babies. Just because supposedly racist organizations supports Ron Paul does not make him a racist. He is not anti Semetic as he has Jewish supporters.

    What is wrong with Ron Paul believing in conspiracy theories? It is just a theory and there are some truths and evidences without calling it a bona fide conspiracy. The Trilateral, UN and CFR have way too much infuence and were established by a few. Find out the history and who the founders/players were and the tremendous wealth/power of a few.

    The argument over pork is moot. Look at the big picture.

  22. 22
    Ron Chusid says:

    The completed post from TJS (to the degree that it also reflects Paul’s views) only acts further to demonstrate how low a ceiling there is on Paul’s potential support. The views expressed, including the views on conspiracy theories and race, may be attractive to a few percent of the country, but most would find them bizarre. They will particularly be rejected by a large percentage who find Paul of interest due to his views on issues like Iraq.

  23. 23
    Tannim says:

    Isn’t limiting candidates’ media exposure electioneering, which is a federal felony since they are attempting to influence the outcome of an election???

    If so, then the only correct solution is to include everybody, and that inlcudes not only Dr. Paul, but Tancredo and Hunter, too. It’s also the ethical thing to do as well.

    Wait, ethics from Fox Noise…what was I thinking????

  24. 24
    Ron Chusid says:

    I doubt there is anything illegal about Fox excluding candidates, but I agree that including everyone would be the best solution.

  25. 25
    SSGUSARMY says:

    Are you kidding me?? This is almost to the point of no return for politics. This has to stop. I bet if he is excluded from the debate there will be 10k RON PAUL supporters outside protesting.

Leave a comment