Full Name: Ronald Ernest Paul
D.O.B.: August 20, 1935
Offices Held: Texas congressman (1976-1977, 1979-1985, 1997- )
Why He'll Win: In 2008, Ron Paul was the lone anti-war voice in a crowded primary of hawks and chest-thumpers. Though he never came close to winning a single primary or caucus, Paul raised an astonishing amount of money (we're talking blimp money) for his small government crusade. In the years since, Paul's libertarian ideals have taken hold across the electorate. Once popular almost exclusively among snobbish, Atlas Shrugged-toting college students, Paul's ideals found new champions among the tea party faithful - disenfranchised Republicans (old white guys) who suddenly developed a taste for across-the-board small government the moment Barack Obama was sworn in as president. Now that even mainstream Republicans are in support of such heretofore unthinkable positions as eliminating Medicare as we know it, Ron Paul's time may have finally come.
Why He'll Lose: Whereas Paul, himself, is nothing if not consistent in his political ideology, most Americans are decidely less so. Though voters fled the Democrats en masse in 2010 fearing government-run health care, those same voters don't want anyone tampering with the government-run health care they already had: Medicare. And while it's possible some voters might be swayed by Paul's argument that prostitution and heroin ought to be legal for the sake of freedom, it'll probably be a hard sell to the evangelical voters who dominate Republican primaries and wish Uncle Sam would really do something about birth control and those pesky gays.
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