In the newest poll from Gallup, Ron Paul does very well against Obama:
President Barack Obama is closely matched against each of four possible Republican opponents when registered voters are asked whom they would support if the 2012 presidential election were held today. Mitt Romney leads Obama by two percentage points, 48% to 46%, Rick Perry and Obama are tied at 47%, and Obama edges out Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann by two and four points, respectively.
This poll partially highlights the weakness of the president. It's not inconceivable that Obama declines to run again, allowing the Democrats to appoint someone--such as Hillary--who doesn't reek of failure.
But it also reveals that Paul is a stronger candidate than Republicans are willing to admit. Moreover, he does well among independents. This is not surprising, since despite his radical views, on two very key issues, he is in agreement with the American populace.
He is almost virulently anti-war. Neo-cons insist he is an isolationist, but rolling back the Empire does not an isolationist make. We've spent about one billion dollars on a curious mission to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya; even if it succeeds, we have no assurances that the new government will be any better. We have wantonly destroyed life and become poorer in the process, a reasonable summation of U.S. foreign policy.
Paul is also right about the pernicious influence of the Federal Reserve and the role it plays in monetizing U.S. debt. Comparatively few Americans understand the power wielded by the central bank, but that minority is growing. Moreover, Paul is fully capable of explaining to the American people the dangers of inflation and the wisdom of sound money. It's true that his view of limited government is not in complete accord with the American people, but he offers a way back to solvency, something no other candidate offers. However much the citizenry may pine for a soft socialism, it is economically untenable. I cannot promise that the people accept what Paul offers; nonetheless, he explains what they need--though not necessarily want--to hear.
Still, the good doctor's first and toughest battle will be to obtain the nomination. After that, we will find out if he is truly "electable".