Yesterday, there was a report of a new poll that showed Ron Paul beating Barack Obama in a head-to-head matchup, 51% to 49%. Today, there is a report of a poll showing Ron Paul in virtually a statistical dead heat with Obama in the state of Florida. Florida tends to be a good cross-section of the country, except that it has a higher percentage of seniors. This just shows that the Medicare/ Social Security issue is not scaring a lot of seniors to turn away from Paul.
This is quite significant. While I think Paul could conceivably win the Republican nomination, I wouldn't bet even money on it right now. While there has certainly been a shift in public opinion, the Republican Party is still too pro-war and that will make it difficult for him to get the nomination. However, if Paul did get the nomination, I think his chances would be quite good against Obama. I think there would be a lot more independents and Democrats receptive to his anti-war message.
So while I'm not exactly banking on a Ron Paul presidency at this point, I still think these polls are very significant and should give us great reason for optimism. This shows that there has been a dramatic shift in public opinion. With Paul running as a Republican and getting into the debates, it has helped spread his message and reach people that have never heard this message. And of course the internet has been absolutely wonderful for the advancement of liberty as it has opened up the lines of communication. We can now circumvent the mainstream media. We are now at a point where a majority of people do not trust the mainstream media and more people are getting their news from alternative sources like the internet.
The best news in all of this is that Ron Paul draws a large portion of his support from young people. While he has a diverse group of followers, the largest demographic seems to be people in their twenties. Many of these people will be libertarians for life, which should really give us great hope for a few decades down the road.
There is still a lot of work to do for libertarians in trying to convince others of the benefits and morality of liberty. But this just shows that progress has been made. Ten years ago, most people didn't know who Ron Paul was. Not only do people know him now, but he is polling about even with the sitting president. I think we will eventually win this battle of ideas.
We don't need to elect Ron Paul to become free. We just need to change the hearts and minds of the people and that is starting to happen.