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In Their Own Words: The First GOP Debate

Thursday night's nationally televised GOP presidential debate gave many Americans their first look at the full field of declared candidates, and for candidates languishing in polls such events might be their key out of the basement.

In the most recent Post-ABC News poll, those more tuned into the '08 race were more likely to support one of the candidates outside the top tier (Giuliani, McCain and Romney) of announced candidates than those paying less attention.

While 19 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in the poll who were paying "very close" attention to the race supported one of the seven other candidates in the race, just seven percent of those less engaged in the campaign supported one of those contenders.

Exposure may not be the only key to a candidate's competing with the political celebrities at the top of the national polls, but it'll be interesting how the debates change the contours of the nomination battle.

And did Thursday's performance at the Reagan Presidential Library earn the GOPs almost-famous a few more supporters? New polls will tell, but Behind The Numbers checked in with some survey respondents to get a first take "in their own words."

Jeff Rogers of Denton, Tex., a lukewarm Giuliani supporter, watched and was unimpressed by the single-digit seven, and expressed disappointment in the field. "The Democratic choices are frightening," he said, and feels that in November 2008 he'll be "left with no choice but to vote for the lesser of two evils."

Phyllis Smith of Greer, S.C., caught the highlights on the Friday morning news. She was pleased to see some positive reviews of former Gov. Mike Huckabee's performance, but felt that the media "hardly covered anyone other than the top three."

Few of the survey respondents contacted actually watched the debate, with some prefering to read about it afterwards, others unaware it was on or otherwise occupied and one person opting instead to watch her beloved Pirates take on the Brewers.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  May 4, 2007; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tonight the Role of Ronald Reagan Will Be Played By...
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Posted by: bill everything | May 4, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is the only candidate worth covering. The others are clueless.

Posted by: David Nottingham | May 5, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Agree - Ron Paul about the only Republican running that would be worth voting for. The media seems to be focused on the "top three" and I think it will be very difficult for any of the other candidates to get any press coverage.

I believe that FOX is preventing or trying to prevent Ron Paul from being in the So. Car. debate. What a shock - how "fair and balanced" :-)

Posted by: Mike | May 5, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul represents the voice of true conservatism, which actually is the classical liberalism of the founders of the U.S. rather than war-wongering, socialist-spending modern conservatives.

Posted by: Bob | May 5, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

who are the three who said they did not believe inevolution?

Posted by: frank murphy | May 5, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee, Brownback, and Tancredo are the three who do not believe in evolution. Plus they said magnets are the work of satan.

Posted by: Mike D | May 5, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is the only hope for this country. That said, he has very little chance unless his Internet base can rally more troops. If that does happen, it would not surprise me to see his plane mysteriously crash before the election.

Posted by: Illya Harrell | May 5, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

We finally have a candidate worth voting for, and yea, the mainstream media is keeping Ron Paul from the light because they are scared of him, he carries the only true American message.

Posted by: Dumb Texan | May 5, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Exactly why does the press ignore Ron Paul? I just don't get it. Nancy Reagan even prefers him. About 90% of coverage in the mainstream online media ignores him, while 90% of the comments praise him.

If Ron gets screwed over, which he is, I guess my #2 candidate will be the black fella, simply because if people don't prefer what's on the inside of a man, we should give them what they really want, what's on the outside, and skin color is the most real thing in this election I've seen in decades.

Posted by: Lorenski | May 5, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Exactly why does the press ignore Ron Paul?"

Because he refuses to take lobbyist money which makes him accountable only to the American people -- not special interest groups.

Posted by: Illya Harrell | May 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Note how the store-bought sleeze that claims to be the news media avoids like-the-plague the fact that RON PAUL was the ONLY one speaking truth to power and just plain Constitutional common sense . . . the other clowns are puppets, and it's not worth listening to their worn out BS!

Posted by: Paul V. Sheridan | May 5, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is the only choice.

Posted by: Ted | May 5, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

The mismatch between "Post-ABC News poll, those more tuned into the '08 race" and online polls of the candidates is utterly glaring.

Glib explanations that "Ron Paul's supporters are internet addicts..." as have been advanced on most sites, while profoundly unsatisfying, are better than the utter silence regarding the disparity from the mainstream media.

I really wonder how far this sort of disconnect can be taken before something gives...

Posted by: Polling problem | May 5, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Can Ron Paul Win? On The Issues

A Resounding YES!

Knowing this let us then look at the most important benefit... that

Ron Paul brings to the Presidency


Leadership is Action Through *Example Not Position...

(It is not a position of power nor being in the right place at

the right time, neither define leadership.

It is defined by setting the example through taking action on

such Leadership Traits as Truthfulness! Honesty! Fidelity! )
Ron Paul Has Acted Admirably On All These Leadership Traits:

"Truthfulness" first and foremost... Then: Principle, Integrity,

* Fidelity (to their oaths), Honor, Virtue, Compassion, Courage,

Vision, Wisdom and Faith.


Can anyone bring forth any other candidate (GOP or DEM, etc.) that

can lay claim to all of these characteristics?

I believe we are all hard pressed to do so... "Strike That". I

KNOW we ARE hard pressed!

Posted by: Joel Lemieux | May 5, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul for President

Posted by: cski | May 5, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Ron Paul is possibly the last hope of our Constitutional Republic. For too long our country has been at the disposal of the extremely wealth.
He is the only one of all these candidates that understands the true issues. Our Liberty is at stake, so WE THE PEOPLE must take back OUR government.
Don't be satisfied with getting Ron Pual in office. Start electing leaders who are honest and hold them accountable.

Posted by: chris | May 5, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Nostalgic old white guys who don't believe in evolution? Thats the kind of leadership the Republicans are offering for the 21st century??? GW and RR are their idols and they will spend 40 years in the wilderness for idol worship. It will take that long to fix the mess they have gotten the USA into.

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 5, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

i must admit that i've never been more intrigued by a republican candidate than i am with ron paul. he speaks from his heart instead of rehearsed nonsense and he provides the only real solutions for america's impending economical doom.

Posted by: garret | May 5, 2007 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Did you see them all jump when they brought up the real id that is to be started may 2008. They all said no no no
its not for US citizens they are all full of it.
There is only one hope for the 270,000,000
mil that are not super rich. RON PAUL!!!!

Posted by: jpbuck | May 6, 2007 7:21 AM | Report abuse

You Ron Paul supporters need to not only make an effort to get your comments on websites like this, you need to mix in a few other candidates, so it doesn't look so planned.

Posted by: corridor | May 6, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

ron paul is the only hope for the republicans and all sane people of the world, get behind this man and you will get your country back.
we in the outside world (England) know it is not the american people that are crazy just your leaders.

Posted by: lee groves | May 6, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul for president!

Posted by: wasom | May 6, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

It appears that Ron Paul was the star of the show and yet Jennifer Agiesta did not even mention Dr. Paul in her article.

Posted by: edward | May 6, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to the first 'scientific" post-debate poll results to be released. Given Ron Paul's minimal fund raising, he's hardly in a position to underwrite a campaign of internet bloggers to post on his behalf and vote in the various online polls. I believe the great majority of positive blog posts about him to be genuine by the "silent majority" of disenfranchised Republican, Independent, Libertarian, and even conservative Democratic voters.

If Dr. Paul's poll numbers rise and he continues to shine in the upcoming South Carolina debate (as I expect him to), I will be sure to contact the Post's Ombudsman to complain about the lack of coverage about him in the paper and on the web site.

Posted by: Virginia Libertarian | May 6, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

What about Ron Paul???? Why is my favorite candidate being ignored?????

Posted by: Mike | May 6, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Just keep on ignoring Ron Paul, but don't expect us to forgive you. The American people are onto your games.

Posted by: Tim | May 6, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

i think both Paul and Hunter are great the rest are just wasting our time

Posted by: T Sims | May 6, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

How about some candidates that represent US instead of free-spending corporations and special interests?

Ron Paul vs Mike Gravel would make me run to the polling place on election day.

Posted by: apeweek | May 6, 2007 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul will be one of the finest presidents ever. America will be secure. we will be at peace with our neighbors in the world, but will always maintain our common defense of the nation. Prosperity follows peace. Honor follows integrity.
The Character of our nation is one of honesty, we americans want to be genuine to others, and have them likewise be genuine with us.

Posted by: Wes | May 7, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is the candidate who gets my vote on every major issue. I don't care about religion or abortion issues. They are used as political smokescreens. Ron Paul states his priorities which is what we've been waiting for. A man for the people!

Posted by: maggieb | May 7, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Lola gets what Lola want, but that is not true of the People, not during Bush's regime of terror. The powers that put Bush in office and keep him there do not want candidates like Dr. Ron Paul hanging around. He is bad for their businesses. The main stream media, their propaganda machine, will go to work and when its through, Dr. Paul will be the little man who wasn't there.

Posted by: Robert Castle | May 7, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Ron Paul is the real American candidate for 2008. the MSM is trying to avoid him like the plague. i believe he'll rise above it. He's a rolling snowball now.

Posted by: Patrick | May 8, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Why is the media so afraid of Ron Paul? Is it because he tells the truth?

Posted by: tansi | May 22, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Why is Ron Paul being ignored by the media? Because he is speaking the truth, the truth hurts!!

Posted by: tansi | May 22, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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