The Frontiersmen

2008-02-06

I've been thinking about the places where Ron Paul has done best so far: Montana (25%), North Dakota (21%), Maine (19%), Alaska (17%), Minnesota (16%). What do they have in common? They are all border states -- not along the Mexican border, but along the Canadian border (far from Paul's home state of Texas). They are mostly rural. They are not especially vibrant economically. They seem to have a fair number of folks who are of the self-reliant, "leave me alone" philosophy we usually associate with people who are attracted to life on the frontier (Maine was the northern frontier before the western frontier opened up). Indeed, Free State Project founder Jason Sorens observed something similar about the New Hampshire results:

Paul did best among those with incomes under $30,000 and worst among those with incomes over $100,000, better among those without a college degree than college grads, and far better among those "very worried about the economy" than those with other opinions. In other words, Paul appealed to voters who felt very economically insecure.

Sure, there is a constituency for a consistently pro-freedom message in more urban areas and among more career-oriented professionals, but I think the percentages here are much lower. Somehow I doubt that the frontiersman demographic can lead those of a libertarian persuasion to victory anytime soon.

Further reflections to follow...


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