The peculiar situation Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul faces in the GOP race for nod isn't exactly anomalous in a democracy. The reason for his perceived lack of popularity differs greatly among different segments of voters.
While some ardent fans have no confusion whatsoever, a significant share of conservative voters are still dithering over choosing him as their first-choice. These voters, roughly, fall into three categories:
1. People Who Want to but Just Can't!
A considerable share of Paul's supporters simply can't vote for the guy, despite being enthusiastic supporters of his proposals because they can't afford to accept Paul's revived America. Ryan Shark, a Ron Paul supporter and a school teacher from Michigan, tried explaining the logic to TDDR News.
I want to vote for the guy, I really do. I agree with almost everything he says, he says.
However, he may not be able to actually put pen to paper for Paul's cause because it's like asking a smoker to quit cold turkey. Logically they know they should, but committing to and actually doing it is really freaking hard. I know the government spends ridiculously crazy amounts of cash and it blows my mind into little itty bitty pieces, but when it's someone else's money, it's kind of easy to justify.
It must be noted that since this argument comes from self-confessed supporters of Ron Paul, it may not undermine the reasonability of proposed policy measures. Indeed, it only directs attention to what could be construed as a hypocritical attitude on the Americans' part.
2. People Who Think Paul Can't Win the Election
Despite being touted as an ideal candidate for a conservative electorate, many conservatives think Ron Paul can't win the election. Those who think Paul isn't capable of winning the election have taken upon themselves the tricky task of stepping into the shoes of the voting public and possibly that of the GOP bosses, to assume that Mitt Romney is everyone's favorite.
Why would anyone assume Paul cannot be popular?
If the mainstream conscience of the average American is a reasonable yardstick, Paul's status as an aging intellectual and his proposals - including radical government spending cuts and eliminating U.S. military presence around the world - don't sound good.
Apparently, liberal voters seem to have realized that a libertarian, anti-war conservative is not exactly a liberal but is someone whose philosophy fundamentally denies American exceptionalism.
The obvious discord between Paul's proposals and a voter tuned to the fantastic idea of American politics, regardless of the former's potential to yield results, is what makes Paul unpopular for this category of voters.
3. People Who Don't Like Ron Paul
There is really nothing unusual about this category - they simply won't vote for Paul because they don't like his ideas.
They don't think radical government spending cuts are a good idea; in fact many believe that spending cuts could even lead to rioting in such a weak economic situation. Paul's foreign policy proposals and non-interventionist approach, according to his naysayers, are enough to question his patriotism and loyalty towards the nation.
His proposal to repeal the federal tax on gasoline has been interpreted as a measure that could destroy the nation's infrastructure. He isn't popular among the migrants - not because of a proposed policy initiative inimical to their interests - but because they automatically assume their chances of welfare under Paul would be even smaller, given that the natives themselves are less than well-served.