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Talking With Ron Paul And Duncan Hunter: What The Texas Straw Poll Shows Us

Monday, September 3, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

My interview with Ron Paul from Saturday is here.  He had asked that we defer a conversation until after his speech to the Texas Straw Poll.

My conversations with his supporters are to me more interesting, and hopefully they will be up later today.

Here’s the pre-straw poll conversation with Duncan Hunter.  Congressman Hunter won over the 1,400 voting delegates because he was there, working the crowd, and hitting the right notes that conservative activists love to hear.

His large win and Ron Paul’s disappointing (for him) third place showing tell us that the presidential race in Texas is wide open, meaning that the race in the country is wide open as well.  Each of the big three had respectable showings of volunteers and votes at the convention, but when that many long-time activists pick a place-holder (albeit an experienced, informed and conservative placeholder) they are showing that no one has swept the heart of the party.  To be eligible to vote in the straw poll required past participation as a delegate at a state or national convention –a marker of serious activism.  This is why Ron Paul did so poorly.  His enthusiasts were out in large numbers and visible and vocal everywhere, but they aren’t long time Republican activists, but rather mostly libertarian activists and newcomers to politics.

The center of the party is unaffiliated, but not unenthusiastic about the race ahead, just undecided.  To the MSM struggling to figure this all out:  It’s the campaign, stupid.  They want to see who has the energy, message and the skills set to beat Hillary.

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