Poll: Newsletters Not Hurting Paul in Iowa

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 28 2011 9:22 AM

Poll: Newsletters Not Hurting Paul in Iowa

Think about it. If Ron Paul was suffering and taking damage from the stories about his old newsletters, what sort of voters would abandon him? Who'd be offended by signed editorials about fleet-footed blacks and skeezy gay men? Well, everybody, hopefully, but you'd expect independents, Democrats and liberals, the people boosting Paul in Iowa and New Hampshire, to react the most negatively.

According to the Public Policy Polling survey of Iowa, this isn't happening. This was Paul's favorability with Democrats and independents one week ago.

Screen shot 2011-12-28 at 9.07.31 AM

This is his favorability today.

Screen shot 2011-12-28 at 9.07.39 AM

That's a clear trend: Paul's number are notably up with Democrats, making up for some slippage with Republicans. The ideological screens are a little different. Here's how Paul was doing with liberals et al last week.

Screen shot 2011-12-28 at 9.14.37 AM

Here's how he's doing now.

Screen shot 2011-12-28 at 9.14.09 AM

Real slippage with "very liberal" voters -- a tiny fraction of caucus-goers, at 4 percent. But strong support from moderates and "somewhat" liberal voters, and a bounce with "very conservative" voters, who make up 37 percent of the sample.

I would never suggest that the content of the newsletters are boosting Paul here. Two months ago those "very conservative" voters were ready to nominate Herman Cain. But one week after James Kirchick's Weekly Standard "ahem, remember this?" story kicked off the new wave of Paul stories, it's either a boutique issue that isn't connecting with people, a confusing issue that raises "liberal media bias" hackles with conservatives, or both.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.