Rep. Ron Paul Online King?

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Sep 26, 2007 2:36pm

ABC News’ Jacqueline Klingebiel Reports: Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is developing a reputation for having the most ardent online backers of any presidential candidate.

"There is Ron Paul and there is everyone else," said Blue State Digital’s Macon Phillips whose clients include the Democratic National Committee. "He is crushing it in some very narrow channels online."

At a Wednesday conference on "New Media and the 2008 Campaign," representatives from four campaigns were asked by Politico.com’s Ben Smith, the panel’s moderator, if their candidate would consider reaching out to Paul’s on-line backers.

"I hate to say anything about Ron Paul supporters because — " said Jon Henke, who handles New Media engagement for Fred Thompson. At this point, Smith interjected, saying, "Your email and your blackberry will shut down?"

The audience, which was familiar with the intensity of Paul’s online support, broke into knowing laughter as Henke said, "Yeah, right."

The "Paulites," as they have dubbed themselves, have made their presence known in online ballots.

Even though Paul trails in public opinion surveys, he regularly comes out on top of on-line ballots where a small but devoted group of followers can sway the outcome.

In an online ballot held following ABC News’ Aug. 5 Iowa debate, Paul crushed all of his GOP rivals.

This online ballot stood in marked contrast with a pre-debate ABC News survey of Iowa Republican caucusgoers which found Paul in eighth place with only two percent support.

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