Ron Paul’s crowd sourced campaign and how it makes the mainstream media irrelevant


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Yesterday the Ron Paul campaign released this video that shows two college women talking candidly about working the phone banking system for Ron Paul as volunteers. Ron Paul has effectively crowd sourced his campaign and his get out the vote in Iowa and New Hampshire may set a new standard for political volunteer efficiency. In the video the women make a valid but not often overlooked point in campaign politics, "volunteer smart." Word of mouth is great, however in presidential primary politics, if your candidate does not win one of the first five primary states, there is no chance that they can become the nominee.

In the 2008 election the United States saw the beginnings of a revolution in political tactics when it came to presidential politics through the use of the internet. Now the Ron Paul grassroots may be reaching a threshold in the number of volunteers that will allow his poll numbers and eventually his numbers at the ballot box to break through the former ceiling of 10-15%.

The Ron Paul campaign has taken the approach which says 'national polls be damned.' You need to win one of the first three states to have a shot. And a campaign donesn't need the big corporate donors to be able to saturate Iowa and New Hampshire with broadcast media ad buys. Despite the lack of airtime in debates and in mainstream media interviews or features, the Ron Paul campaign has had contact with 67% of voters in Iowa according to the latest Bloomberg poll. The Ron Paul grassroots may be accomplishing something they only dreamed of in 2008; making the mainstream media irrelevant.

If the mainstream media attacks come knocking on Paul's door like they have already for Cain and Perry, it may not have the same effect. That is because voters are getting to know Paul outside of the traditional media channels, so attacks by those same channels may just entrench him as the anti-establishment candidate at a time when anti-establishment is all the rage with voters.

As Robert Wilkens pointed out in this article, having a rock solid fundraising base is key because a campaign can spend money with the certainty that more is on its way into their war chest. And because Ron Paul's grassroots network is so extensive the campaign only has ten paid staffers on the ground in Iowa. Ten may seem like a lot of paid staff but considering the ground game he is currently running, it is a clinic in effective use of political cash.

Additional Reading:

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Revised Ed: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything

End the Fed by Ron Paul

Filed Under: FeaturedNational Politics

About the Author: Andy is a graduate student who lives in Milwaukee.

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  1. Jay says:

    Spot on, Andy. The MSM no longer has anything to offer for millions. They can no longer fool us, and they are loosing control of the narrative.

    “Again, I would be stunned if the mainstream media began providing factually accurate assessments of Ron Paul’s campaign. As Noam Chomsky has stated so frequently, the media’s job is not to foster debate or questions, but to sell the political establishment’s agenda to the public. The establishment – not the ‘electorate’ – will tell us which of the candidates from each party suits its purposes and interests. It will also articulate the ‘issues’ for us (e.g., ‘should Willie Horton have been paroled?’, and ‘the importance of the pledge of allegiance’).

    “Ron wants to address such matters as the war system, the Federal Reserve, and other symptoms of a draconian state. Any GOP candidate who wants to elevate the campaign to a debate over who should be the next ‘American Idol,’, or which college football team should play for the national championship, will be eagerly embraced – and interviewed – by all of the mainstream twits. But Ron Paul? Did Pravda ever provide favorable reviews of Atlas Shrugged?” (Author: B. Shaffer)

  2. Robbie says:

    I think it still helps to talk to your neighbors about your candidate because it changes the overall attitude of the country and that is how a candidate gets really popular like Obama.

  3. Michelle says:

    There is no way Paul can win. Its great he has so many young people but they aren’t going to be able to put him over the top.

    • Marine4Paul says:

      If that is true, then give me 1000-1 odds and I will put my 100 dollars against your life savings that Paul wins.

    • Ariel says:

      Not if you talk like that. If everyone who said “Oh, I’d vote for him, but he’s unelectable.” would just put their vote in for him, he would be our next president.

    • Mike Dawkins says:

      Keep saying that! Main stream media keeps echoing your words and Ron Paul is rising in the polls every week.

      The media NEVER says a candidate can’t win with the exception of Ron Paul. Why is that? Perhaps because he will bring the greatest benefit to the common man, and crony capitalists collecting tax payer subsidies are very insecure and scared.

    • pdubya1 says:

      I appreciate that you think 47 is young. Be surprised at how many 40+ ex Obama voters will now vote for Ron Paul.

    • Phillip says:

      Cant win? You dont have a vote? That is just silly.

  4. Nathan says:

    Ron Paul is an isolationist, it doesn’t matter if he has a bunch of hippies telemarketing for him, he would put this country in danger by removing our troops from Korea.

    • craig says:

      your post is so wrong on many ways. please explain how he is an isolationist.Also, since you cant find anything wrong with his platform you attack his supports. You are so classy….grow up

    • riceowlex says:

      What exactly do you mean by isolationist ?
      What Ron Paul endorses is a US that has financial solvency. He endorses looking at the accounting books of the people who are printing the currency. What he sees without the audit is that these people have grossly overextended the US into severe bankruptcy. What this means is a dollar that could collapse, if this happens how do you buy food with a dollar that’s exchange is 10,000 to one.
      This is what’s going on. Troops overseas are expensive, the military sucks resources from the US economy and gives it to foreign nations at a time when the economy here is floundering. It’s just common sense to cut your expenses WHEN YOUR BANKRUPT. Explain to the readers here how this is isolationist and dangerous when in reality it’s economic reality and sanity ? I’m thinking you already know the answer, your making bold ridiculous comments that make absolutely no sense.

    • Marine4Paul says:

      Nathan, you don’t even know what isolationist means. It is a trade policy term where you withdraw from trading and interacting with the rest of the world.

      Imperialism is where you have troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Central Asia, Cuba, etc.

    • johnmhump says:

      I guess you have no intelligence in regards to the ROK Army. The Republic of Korea is more than ready for conflicts with their northern neighbors. How is it keeping the U.S. safer with us being stationed in Korea? We hear the same story about how threatened the U.S. will be with our redrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan. Next thing you know, you will be complaining about how threatened we will be when we pull out our service members from such places as Canada, Panama, Great Britian, and Italy.

    • Ariel says:

      What are our troops doing in Korea. We are at an impasse. We are spending too much money being the “big brother” of the world. We don’t need to help everyone. We need to withdraw most, if not all, of our forces and focus on fixing our country. Ron Paul will do that.

    • mike says:

      Time to pull out the Webster’s!
      How is Friendship and free trade with all nations isolationist? hmmm

    • Mel P says:

      In 1943 Garet Garrett wrote an article titled “The Mortification of History,” he wrote about this very thing. Here is a short excerpt:
      …If you say of this history that its intense character has been nationalistic, consistently so from the beginning until now, that is true. Therefore, the word in place of isolationism that would make sense is nationalism. Why is the right word avoided?
      The explanation must be for the wrong one, for that is what it is intended to do, isolationism is the perfect political word. Since isolationism cannot be defined, those who attack it are not obliged to defend themselves. What are they? Anti-isolationists? But if you cannot say what isolationism is, neither can you say what anti-isolationism is, whereas nationalism, being definite, has a positive antithesis. One who attacks nationalism is an internationalist.
      The use of the obscurity created by the false word is to conceal something. The thing to be concealed is the identity of what is speaking. Internationalism is speaking.
      It has a right to speak, as itself and for itself, but that right entails a moral obligation to say what it means and to use true words…

    • Hagen says:

      Hansen, is that you? Are you trying to stir up contoversery again? Or has John Bolton converted you into buying into American Exceptionalism?

    • Michael says:

      Please explain how removing U.S. troops from South Korea puts the United States in danger? Who is possibly going to attack us from across the Pacific Ocean? What country in the world would attack us anyway? I suppose you support Obama’s recent decision to station troops in Australia? Tell me, what exactly are we helping to defend that these countries can’t defend themselves? We are just wasting money by having these troops all around the world.

    • Tammy says:

      Nathan, I’m no hippy. I’m a conservative Christian mother of ten and I support Ron Paul!

      I don’t see how having troops in Korea for the last 60 years does anything except protect Korea’s border while we leave our border wide open for terrorists to cross over onto our own soil. Our border is the border that Ron Paul will protect. Let South Korea protect her own border.

    • Mike Dawkins says:

      Ron Paul wants to trade with Cuba! How is he an isolationist? He wants to trade with all nations. Obama is continuing the isolationism tradition by not trading with Cuba.

      “Friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with NONE!” -Thomas Jefferson

    • Joe says:

      On your playground, the “good guy” is the bully who goes around picking on others and getting in fights, and otherwise stirring up trouble.

      And the “bad guy” is the peacemaker, who would have friendly relations with countries, and “do unto others as they…”

      If this analogy escapes your logic, the bully is the rogue gov’t (appointed by the bankers) that run our government.

      And the “isolationist” is Ron Paul, who would trade with everybody and encourage dialogue and friendship, but keep a powerful national defense to defend us against real dangers, not imagined ones (like the Arab boogie man who’s out to get us).

    • pdh says:

      Oh, yeah, Korea is such a threat that we should bankrupt our country in order to keep troops there. You’ve been watching too much TV, my friend. Isolationist indeed. Maybe should look that term up before using it.

    • TheCauseofLiberty says:

      “It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargos on countries and peoples across the globe and who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy. A counterproductive approach that actually leads the U.S. to be more resented and more isolated in the world” –Ron Paul

      “I believe our founding fathers had it right when they argued for peace and commerce between nations, and against entangling political and military alliances. In other words, non-interventionism. Non-interventionism is not isolationism. Non-intervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not mean that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations. It’s hypocritical and childish to dismiss certain founding principles simply because a convenient rationale is needed to justify interventionist policies today. The principles enshrined in the Constitution do not change. If anything, today’s more complex world cries out for the moral clarity provided by a noninterventionist foreign policy. It is time for Americans to rethink the interventionist foreign policy that is accepted without question in Washington. It is time to understand the obvious harm that results from our being dragged time and time again into intractable and endless Middle East conflicts, whether in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, or Palestine. It is definitely time to ask ourselves whether further American lives and tax dollars should be lost trying to remake the Middle East in our image.” – Dr. Ron Paul, 2007

    • pdubya1 says:

      Please learn the difference between isolationism and non-interventionism. The latter includes trade and travel. It foremost includes Defense, but limits tyrannical militarism. Isn’t it interesting that Ron Paul receives more campaign donations from veteran and active duty military personnel than all of the other republican candidates combined? – And 2/3 more than Obama. As a vet, your loose ad-hominess falls short on my ears.

    • Annette says:

      @Nathan my kids would love to know you think I am a hippie. An Isolationist I believe you learned that big word listing to the mainstream media because that’s one of there catch phrase they use on Ron Paul and he is far from it he wants open markets and free trade that is not an isolationist and Korea is who you are worried about do some homework young man.

  5. al says:

    With an RCP poll average of 6.8%, he does not seem to have much support.

  6. Dennis says:

    Ignoring Ron Paul assures the Republicans of losing the election. We who choose individual human freedom over government control will not waste our vote for a new Big War, Big Corporatism, Big Union, Big Regulation, Big Values plantation Master simply because he comes from one party versus another. We are not Republicans or Democrats; we are simply human beings, trying to live our lives and raise our families without being controlled by narcissistic elitist a-holes who do not understand, nor would they tolerate, our personal preferences, our individual needs, our deep family values, and our varied means.

    Get out of our bedrooms, out of our wallets, out of our business, and out of foreign countries!

  7. Matt says:

    Nice article.

    Ron Paul is as electable as anyone. All you have to do is vote for him. A true wasted vote is voting for the lesser of two evils. Consistently with both parties switching power, government has only grown, and wars are fought unconstitutionally. Ron Paul offers an executive that would adhere to the constitution.

    Ron Paul is a non-interventionist, not an isolationist. There is a big distinction if you care to be intellectually honest. Some authors refer to it as separatism in the same vein as many founders of the US. Besides, what’s wrong with following the constitution and only allowing war to be declared by the people through the congress as opposed to having an executive with the effective power of a military dictator?

    Also, bringing troops home is a good idea. We shouldn’t be ruled by fear. We’re completely capable of defending ourselves here in the US.

  8. Think dont repeat says:

    Because questioning the 60 year policy of undeclared, pointless, unwinnable and endless wars is the new isolationism. Am I the only one ready to be a hermit?

  9. Michael says:

    Nathan, how is Ron Paul an isolationist? That’s so ridiculous since he is the complete opposite. Get informed before commenting on something you don’t know about.

  10. Oscar says:

    Ron Paul also gives back the surplus funds for his Congressional budget to the Treasury each year, and has opted out of the Congressional pension fund. Add that on to the shoestring campaign he’s running, and THAT’S a man I’d like to see in the White House.

    President Paul 2012!

  11. yeloveit says:

    great article. i think it’s a great strategy to convince actual voters that are already engaged in the process rather than raining piles of cash to motivate a few people to maybe vote for you. 67% contact is pretty amazing. if they can get it to 100% and then double back on some of them in the weeks leading to voting i think it will be powerful use of resources and a massive game changer.

    peace out yo.

  12. muckemuck says:

    Just a point of clarification…

    >Yesterday the Ron Paul campaign released this video that shows two college women talking candidly about working the phone banking system for Ron Paul as volunteers.

    That video was from an independent source not associated with the campaign. It was created by volunteers. … which further adds to your point that his campaign is relying on supporters to do much of the actual campaigning.

    If Paul were to win Iowa or New Hampshire the media would simply write that state off and claim that Florida or South Carolina is the real litmus test for this election. The media isn’t irrelevant yet, and they’ll use every trick in the book in their attempts to manipulate the election.

  13. clay says:

    I am so tired of the isolationist label. These people need to read some history books on how America became great. Killing people in wars with no facts is not it! Our constitution sets limits on government powers. Wake up to the fact that your interventionist ideals have racked up a 15 trillion debt in foreign aid, wars and supporting nations hell bent on taking our Jobs. Korea imports cars here, my dad served in Korea and he’s 83. Why can’t we get them off our nipple after 60 years? You’re 8 times more likely to choke on your own vomit than be killed by terrorists, where’s the war on vomit?

  14. Gigione says:

    Nathan and Michelle, you two really need to get educated on Ron Paul its showing by your posts. Please do some research. Thanks!

  15. Jason K says:

    So…the US not having troops in 700+ foreign military bases is “isolationist”.

    So…by that standard, every other nation on the entire planet is isolationist.

    Last time I checked, Germany, France, Spain, etc don’t have foreign military presences.

  16. Christine says:

    It always bothers me when people say “Ron Paul can’t win”. That is a strange way to argue a position against a candidate. Is that how we decide things? A more empowering approach for our electorate to take is to ask the question, “Who is the right man for the job, and then how do we get him elected?” Talk about the positions he takes and why you support or don’t support them. That is the political discussion which would best serve the country right now.

    I believe there has also been an effort to foster the perception that Paul can’t win to keep him down and keep people from looking at his positions and distract from the substance of the issues which should be the focus of the election process, but (alas) seldom is.

    Also, Ron Paul is not an isolationist. He is not in favor of isolating our country from the rest of the world, he favors free trade and cooperation among nations. He is for strong defense but strongly against military adventures overseas. Using the word “isolationist” doesn’t illuminate or clarify the man’s position, but labels it (incorrectly in my mind) and stops the kind of discourse we need to have. Look to Ron Paul’s own words. He is only candidate who doesn’t qualify his talk to pander, see what he says before buying into labels that others have put on him. Once people understand Paul they usually love him. He is for freedom and freedom brings people together. Ask yourself why he appeals to people on the right and on the left and how he is able to work effectively with progressives in Congress as well as conservatives. He is an unusual statesman, not a politician. Research his positions and his talks and his writing. He is challenging an entrenched system that does not want him elected, so his views and position are often misrepresented – it’s worth it to do your own research and think for yourself.

  17. Eric says:

    Love Ron Paul’s views well most of them. Ron Paul 2012 best chose over all not a who is better nomination but who can FIX the Economy nomination………… Keep Spreading the Word About Ron Paul PPL =)

  18. jIMMY gIPSON says:

    Dr. Ron Paul happens to have the only position on foreign policy that has any rational thought. How many unconstitutional wars, not declared by Congress, are we going to allow ourselves to be drawn into in order to do the bidding of special interests? Can we just continually violate our own laws? Are drone attacks on 16 year old boys, which also just happen to be American citizens, going to become the norm? Where is the outrage? What happened to getting a grand jury to look at the evidence collected against someone, issuing an indictment followed by an arrest warrant, and a trial before a jury of peers? If this type of action persists, how long will it be before Homeland Security can label a militia member or sovereign citizen a terrorist, and order a drone strike? Will we even hear about it? There are ALREADY drones over American cities. These positions come directly from the far-overreach of the Patriot Act, which Bush passed based on fear-mongering about the brown men in caves, right before he lied to us all about the yellow cake from Niger. Then what does Obama do? Instead of repealing the Patriot Act, he expands parts of it. How far down the line are we going to be, before everyone finally wakes up to what is occurring right before our very eyes? We have TSA (brownshirts) now groping us, and our children indiscriminately at airports, on the highways of Tennessee, at NFL games, and where else next? They have unconstitutionally decided to create a SuperCongress (politburo) to originate spending bills, which includes the President. The spending bills are supposed to come from the House of Representatives, and the President does not legislate. Do these things not matter to anyone? Ron Paul is the only candidate who will not give us more of the same. He has been CONSISTENT in his message for 30 years, and that message is LIBERTY and following the Constitution, like we should’ve been doing this entire time….. and we wouldn’t have found ourselves in this mess to begin with.

  19. Jacob says:

    A two term Ron Paul presidency will bring prosperity back to the American people. If you knowingly vote for any of the other liars that the main stream media is pushing, you make yourself irrelevant.

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