Originally Posted by ledocs
I'm reasonably confident that a third party run by Paul would draw more votes from the Republican candidate than from Obama, at least 60/40, I would think. I'm not a pollster, but it's not as though Wonderment is going to vote for Paul over Obama, despite the fact that Obama has overseen the escalation of two wars. But "the Left" is in a vice in the US, Nader gave the 2000 election to Bush. I don't have a solution for this problem.
I think you miscalculate. I'm not a pollster either, but I think Paul's supporters make up these groups listed in order of greater percentages:
1. People for whom ending the drug war is a top issue.
2. People like Wonderment, for whom ending the American empire is a top issue
3. People who are political libertarians, in that they actually vote libertarian.
4. Right wing conspiracy theorists, John Bircher types, and those who think going back to the gold standard would solve all our economic problems.
1 & 2 are people who would be much more likely to be Dems then Republicans, although they are obviously more independent (or they would not be Paul supporters.) If they can't vote Paul, they'll much more likely vote Obama.
3 are people who, in the unlikely case they won't vote libertarian, will split pretty evenly.
4 are people who will vote for the Republican, if they vote at all. I think these people compete with the stoners in group one in who would be least likely to vote if they can't have Paul, since they are the most extreme in terms of one issue voters and don't see any difference between the parties on their issues.