How Ron Paul Could Win Nomination
Although it's a long shot and maybe not his ultimate goal: Matt Welch
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2011 1:04 PM CST
Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaks during a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(Newser) – Ron Paul scoffers, consider this: It's possible he could follow the same path to the GOP nomination John McCain did in 2008, writes Matt Welch in Reason. Like McCain, Paul has lots of support in the early states among independents and non-Republicans in general. That's precisely how McCain won enough of those states to cement himself as the frontrunner before Super Tuesday. The odds are long, but Welch thinks Paul's winning formula would have to start with a big victory in Iowa. (He's near the top of the polls now.)

That "slingshots him into a closer-than-projected 2nd place finish in New Hampshire (or even a win), while the rest of the field clears out into an essentially three-man race, in which the third (say, Newt Gingrich) lands enough blows on Romney to derail the electability argument, setting up a three-way slugfest to the finish." It probably won't happen, but it could set Paul up to be a power-broker at the convention and give him a greater forum to spread the libertarian message of a "constitutionally limited government." And perhaps make the road easier for son Rand in 2016. Read the full column here.