At Wall Street Journal:
FORT MADISON, Iowa — On the debate stage, Rep. Ron Paul often finds himself isolated from his rivals for the White House. All the major Republican candidates call for limited government, but Mr. Paul's platform is unique in saying that means scaling back drug laws and opposing aggressive action to rid Iran of its nuclear capabilities.More at the link.
Here in Iowa, however, Mr. Paul's mix of positions has found an audience—and it's big enough to give him, at least for now, the unlikely title of front-runner in the state.
The Texas congressman holds a lead among younger voters, some of whom cite his skepticism of U.S. military action and opposition to federal marijuana laws. Mr. Paul is also drawing a share of fiscal conservatives due to his longstanding call for smaller government. And with his call to "end the Fed," he is attracting voters who are wary of the Federal Reserve and Wall Street.
"I will be a Ron Paul supporter first and then a Republican," said Frank Conrad, a 62-year-old corrections officer and cattle farmer, who has had a Ron Paul sign on his garage for four years. "He's saying the things I believe."
Few people think Mr. Paul's coalition can carry him all the way to the GOP nomination. His isolationist foreign-policy views have turned off many Republicans. Evangelical Christians, a prominent part of the party, tend to look to other candidates, partly because they believe Mr. Paul will be insufficiently protective of Israel.
But amid a highly fractured GOP field, Mr. Paul has held the lead in three of the last four publicly available polls of GOP voters in Iowa, with support ranging from 20% to 28%.
PREVIOUSLY: "What Ron Paul Thinks of America."