Concord, NH -
With the Obama campaign making the claim that their poll numbers don't register as high as they should because a relatively high proportion of their supporters are young people whose cell phones aren't used for research, I got to thinking about an alternate scenario on the other side.
In the latest CNN/WMUR poll from September 26, Ron Paul came in at 4%, good for a distant fifth in the Republican field, yet one point ahead of the darling/enigma Mike Huckabee. Given that 4% is essentially the high end of fringe candidacy, it is easy to dismiss Paul as the man for the vocal internet minority. After all, some 44% of voters polled don't even know him. After all, who is Ron Paul?
Yet he has repeatedly won county GOP straw polls, including the two in New Hampshire with over 65% of the vote, and has repeatedly eclipsed fundraising expectations. So what gives?
My theory is that, like Obama's claim that young people don't count in polls because of cell phones, Paul supporters aren't counted for two reasons. First of all, he is also popular among young people with cell phones. Second, his supporters are people who are angry with government intrusion in their lives. In New Hampshire, home of Ed and Elaine Brown, that population is especially high.
These people might have house phones, but if they get a call from a pestering pollster they sure don't answer them. You think that someone who bristles at the notion of a gun permit is going to waste five minute their time answering questions from someone reading off a script? I don't. Watch for the Ron Paul phone poll bounce this January. I'm not saying he's going to win, but if his support remains static I won't be surprised if he doubles his polling numbers at the ballot.