Ron Paul Fans Return, as Tea Partiers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2009 11:30 AM CDT
Ron Paul supporters marching down Constitution Avenue to Capitol Hill, July 12, 2008, where they held an all-day rally.   (AP Photo/Medill News Service, Kathryn Grim)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – If you polled the protesters at Saturday’s tea party protest on who they voted for in the Republican primaries, Tom Schaller of FiveThirtyEight.com has a sneaking suspicion they’d reply, “Ron Paul.” The protesters focus on libertarian complaints and rhetoric, and bear that familiar Paulite intensity. The first protester to tote a gun at an Obama rally is a Paul fan, and the man who brought an AR-15 is an ex-Paul campaign volunteer.

If the groups really do have major overlap, it’s ironic for two reasons: First, “the same ‘mainstream/liberal media’ that ignored and dissed Ron Paul and his supporters are now bending over backward to give them coverage beyond their actual numbers,” Schaller writes. Second, a movement that couldn’t even nominate its preferred candidate is now being asked to drive the Republican agenda.