Representative Ron Paul, the Texas Republican who is running for president, may be barely registering in public opinion polls, but his supporters are making their presence known on the Internet. They were particularly energized after the second Republican debate, held last week in South Carolina.
There, Mr. Paul asserted that American foreign policy might have helped incite the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, swiftly rebuked him as holding a fringe view.
Mr. Paul's followers responded with support, in all the ways by which success is measured in cyberspace: in online polls about who won the debate, in the numbers of friends on MySpace and viewings of videos on YouTube. His was the most-searched name on Technorati, ahead of Paris Hilton's.
All this effort to marginalize Paul might only serve to pique people's interest in him. And you have to wonder whether he might really become popular if people could get past the idea that he's some unelectable goofball.
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