GOP Candidate Ron Paul Finds Impressive Online Support

Posted on July 17, 2007

GOP candidate Ron Paul has amassed a large number of web savvy supporters. Part of the reason for his support are his pro-Internet policies. A Wikipedia entry notes that "In 2006, a 'Technology voter guide' by CNET awarded Paul a score of 80%, the highest score out of both houses of Congress." Another reason is Ron Paul's point of view on the Iraq War and War on Terror is nearly the opposite of other GOP candidates including John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter and Mitt Romney. Ron Paul's supporters have used YouTube, and other online tools to launch a surprisingly successful online campaign. There are numerous Ron Paul blogs providing dedicated daily coverage of Ron Paul's campaign. Many Ron Paul posts in the blogosphere result in an avalanche of comments as Ron Paul supporters arrive in droves to provide comments. Ron Paul raised $2.4 million in the last quarter alone. He also leads all GOP candidates in military contributions - an impressive feat for one of the lesser known candidates.

There have been some comparisons between the buzz over Ron Paul and the Snakes on a Plane web buzz. Reason Magazine explains why Ron Paul's buzz is much more significant. Ron Paul's followers truly want to see him get elected. With Snakes on a Plane there were some that were more devoted to the campaign itself than to actually going out and watching the show in theaters.
That's one difference between Snakes and Paul: The congressman's fans really do want him to do as well as possible in the polls. But victory isn't the only thing on their minds. For many of them it isn't even the topmost thing on their minds. Like those Snakes on a Plane spoofs, the grassroots activity around Paul's campaign is interesting and valuable in itself. Here are three reasons why:
Ron Paul's continued success is forcing the mainstream media to continue their coverage. Each time Ron Paul reaches a new milestone coverage begins again. Coverage of Ron Paul as an Internet phenomenon also results in continual coverage. It will be interesting to see just how far candidate Ron Paul can continue using social media to drive his campaign and reach voters.