A new poll finds that a third-party bid by presidential hopeful Ron Paul would help re-elect president Obama, but not before taking away 9% of the President’s independent support and 17% of independent voters from Romney. In a separate poll, Paul was found to be competitive against Obama in a head-to-head contest as the GOP nominee.
In a hypothetical three-way race, the Pew Research Center found that Obama would garner support from 44% of registered voters, Mitt Romney would get 32% support, and the Congressman from Texas would receive 18% of the vote. Paul has repeatedly denied any intention to run on a third-party ticket if he falls short of the GOP nomination. When pressed on why he won’t completely shut the door on a third-party option, Paul has responded by saying he doesn’t like to speak in absolutes.
Some pundits have pointed out the error in assuming that Paul has nothing to lose by running outside the GOP. The biggest factor keeping his eyes on the nomination prize could be a latent sense that if Paul fails to obtain the nomination in Tampa, his son – Kentucky Senator Rand Paul – would have to take up the torch of the growing “liberty movement.” Keeping Paul’s emerging conservative coalitions intact would probably not be possible if Paul-the-elder betrays a chance for GOP victory in November.
If Paul wants to permanently hitch his horse to the GOP wagon, then…