Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ron Paul Leading in Alaska? Err...maybe not

The Paul Campaign has a headline indicating that a recent survey shows him leading in Alaska, with support from 29% of respondents. Not surprisingly, the Rockwell Brigades eat it up. More surprisingly, the usually thorough David Weigel at Reason also eats it up.

Unfortunately, they all miss this one critical detail from the source of the survey:

"All polls conducted by Channel 2 News and are unscientific."

In other words- it was just another internet poll, signifying pretty much nothing other than that Ron Paul supporters didn't do a very good job of rallying to this particular poll (I mean, come on- only 29 percent?).

That said, I would think if Paul was going to do well in a given state, Alaska's caucuses would be a pretty good bet- I can't imagine a candidate needing much more than a few thousand supporters to win the state, which is both small in terms of population and exceedingly difficult to get around. Plus, we're talking about caucuses that require a pretty substantial organization. The fact that Kucinich got more than a quarter of the vote in the 2004 Alaska caucuses certainly suggests that the state is susceptible to upsets if a candidate has a good number of particularly passionate supporters (as is the case with the Paul campaign).