What About Ron Paul?

This post originally appeared on Freakonomics


I am probably like the other 98% of Americans who know almost nothing about the libertarian Texas congressman Ron Paul, perhaps besides the fact that he's running for President and that he seems to have a growing fringe following. So this e-mail, from a reader named Casey Hopkins, caught my eye:
Why don't you guys write about Ron Paul?
1. Number one blogged-about subject (not candidate) on the internet (technorati.com)
2. Highest website traffic of all the candidates (Alexa.com)
3. His odds of winning have quadrupled on gambling sites (gambling911.com)
4. Is shunned by the mainstream media
5. Only Republican who wants to leave Iraq
6. Only Republican who is a real fiscal conservative (see Barry Goldwater)
7. He knows his economics arguably better than anyone in Congress. Watch some of his YouTube speeches.
The primary is still 8 months away, so it will be very interesting to see what happens. Read about his principles and internet popularity on wikipedia

Thanks, Casey, for doing the blogging for us. At your prompting, I took a quick look at a couple of Ron Paul's media appearances and I have this to say:

I can see why he is so appealing to people tired of mainstream candidates. And I think he might be highly electable ... in a country other than the U.S. Estonia, maybe. (As for his odds of winning quadrupling: indeed they have, as evidenced on InTrade also -- from 0.2% to 0.8%; I mean this in the nicest possible way, Casey, but this is the kind of statistical argument that is best kept confined to mutual-fund prospectuses.)

I realize that my contribution here is worthless, and I would rather hear what you all have to say about Ron Paul. So please talk, as Linda Richman used to say, amongst yourselves.

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