Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 21, 2007

Does Pajamas Media Have It In For Ron Paul ?

by Doug Mataconis

Vox Day accuses Pajamas Media of taking Ron Paul’s name out of their online Presidential Straw Poll because he was consistently beating all the other candidates and that wasn’t too the liking of PM’s conservative owners:

[T]he truth is that there are alternatives, genuine alternatives to the three-part multiple choice quiz, but the mainstream media is, as always, doing its best to prevent anyone from considering them. And in their best freshmen-at-the-frat-house fashion, Pajamas Media is playing precisely the same game, as evidenced by their 2008 Pajamas Media Presidential Straw Poll.

PAJAMAS MEDIA PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL has officially begun. Bill Richardson and Rudy Giuliani were again winners in the seventh week with over 70,000 votes now cast. Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich (undeclared) were runners-up on the Democratic and Republican sides respectively.

What the headline fails to mention is that in the Feb. 19 Pajamas Media poll, Ron Paul, the Texas congressman and now a declared candidate for the Republican nomination, roundly defeated Rudy Giuliani, 43.1 percent to 20.1 percent. Moreover, he did so by winning more votes, 1,769, than Giuliani subsequently did in winning the Mar. 4 (1,431) and Mar. 11 polls (1,158).

The innocent observer might wonder how Ron Paul could slip so much in three weeks that Giuliani could surpass him with fewer votes, or that a disgraced adulterer and non-candidate for president like Newt Gingrich could claim second place. Did his actual declaration of his candidacy on Mar. 11somehow inspire a backlash against him? No, the truth is much more simple.

Because they didn’t like the results, Pajamas Media simply dropped Ron Paul from the poll, while retaining the likes of George Pataki, Tommy Thompson and other no-hopers who aren’t even running for president!

A few points.

First of all, it’s their poll and they can include or exclude anyone they want. Libertarians above all others should recognize that.If they want to exclude a declared candidate because they don’t like his message and include people who aren’t even running for President, they can do that too. However, it does call into question the accuracy of the poll.

And that leads to the second point. This is an online poll we’re talking about. All of the participants are self-selected and it’s easy to game the system which, incidently, is what may have actually been going on here. There is no scientific value in the poll itself. Why get yourself worked up over something like this ?

I just don’t get it.

H/T: Lew Rockwell

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  • Brad Warbiany

    I don’t consider this to be anything that’s really all that meaningful, but it’s mighty shady IMHO.

    First, they built a flawed poll, which allowed people to submit multiple votes fairly easy. Paul wasn’t the only candidate to benefit from this, but may have been the standout of all that did. In essence, he didn’t really poll better than other candidates, it was gaming the system that caused him to win.

    However, what they should have done was fix the poll (to stop multiple-voting) and keep Ron Paul in it. That way, you could accurately gauge his popularity amongst bloggers and internet readers. It’s still not scientific, as its a sample not representative of the general population. But that’s no reason to leave him off the poll. Ron Paul enjoys much more popularity amongst the folks on the internet than he does off it, and this could conceivably be a way for his campaign to generate much-needed buzz.

    Instead, he is being pushed back into obscurity, in a poll that includes such luminaries as Tommy Thompson. Why is it that someone who, albeit fraudulently, polled so well on the internet get removed from the poll?

  • Doug Mataconis

    Shady ? Not sure

    Dishonest ? Probably.

    Then again, I consider any online poll to be an inherent fraud anyway.

  • Charles Bowen

    What sort of “libertarian” site defends the practices of PJ Media that features neo-fascist fraudster types like Michael Ledeen? By their own morality standards, if you can call it that, they are allowed to lie to advance their cause.

    Any-hoot, Vox Day was right to do a column on the subject as it pertains to the ways of the Internet, obviously a key battleground for Ron Paul. More and more should be written on the individuals and individual sites who are funded by the establishment for they are the bad guys in the story.

  • Tom Gellhaus

    Last night I wrote to both the PM main site, and to Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) to ask them about this. I cited a source for a list of declared nominees (source listed below) and asked them why the poll does not accurately reflect the list. I do in fact strongly favor Ron Paul, however my complaint was more general and listed all the omitted nominees (and the 3 listed who are NOT running).

    The reason this is important is not the “actual” accuracy, but rather the spin that people give this poll in particular, which is being touted heavily by certain well known bloggers on the right. I don’t expect much of a response, but they need to know that any claims of accuracy or objectiveness are seriously in question and that they ARE being scrutinized.

    source –

  • Brad Warbiany


    Why is an online poll an inherent fraud? As long as care is taken to make sure multiple voting isn’t allowed (and is relatively rare), and it’s advertised as nothing more than an internet poll, I don’t see what is fraudulent. The PJM poll failed the first step in the initial iteration, but I believe they’ve solved that.


    I wouldn’t say Doug is defending them, as much as he just doesn’t think this is worth the uproar. I disagree with Doug on this, as far as whether the blogosphere should speak out against PJM for doing this. What they’re doing calls into question the [already limited] credibility of their poll. As a libertarian, I suggest that the way to exert pressure on them is to speak out against their poll so that they must change it to restore that credibility. Obviously, as I said in my first comment, a blog poll is not a cross-section of the electorate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at.


    I agree 100%. Let us know if you get any response.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Perhaps the phrase “inherent fraud” is a bit strong. But the fact is that an online poll of any kind, even one that is guaranteed to prevent multiple voting isn’t really of any value except measuring the opinions of those who chose to take the poll.

    My understanding of the “rest of the story” here is that there apparently was an issue with multiple voting at PJM and that much of that was for Ron Paul, and that is at least the public reason for why they took him off the poll.

    As I said earlier, it does call the credibility of the poll into question, I just don’t see what the point of getting worked up about it really is.

  • Brad Warbiany


    The credibility of the poll is greatly in question. I think the point of getting worked up is only to educate potential readers that it is not an accurate poll.

    It doesn’t reflect the preferences of bloggers and blog-readers (who are skewed more towards Ron Paul than the rest of society). It doesn’t reflect the preferences of society at large (because an online poll is not an accurate cross-section of society). Thus, it’s an utter farce.

    The question I have is when people in the mainstream media or elsewhere look at the PJM poll as if it’s representative of bloggers and blog-readers in general. They may make pronouncements and opinions based upon that which could skew the primaries. I think educating them to the flaws in the PJM poll is a way to avoid that.

  • Mike

    It’s not the fact that it can be abused. We miss the bigger picture. The fact that he was pulled. If that’s the case, the poll should be taken down, I am sure everyone benefited from the multi-voting!

  • Charles Bowen


    If you think the real question is the ‘accuracy’ of the poll, then it misses why critiquing the, shall we say, shortcomings of the poll, is an important step in what is ultimately a metaphysical battle. Our enemies are known liars, but some continue to keep their head in the sand and pretend whatever ever reason they put forth should be treated as the real reason. This is nonsense of course, like a deal with the devil, but I get the sense this isn’t a particularly radical ‘liberty papers’ more an “accomdationist” libertarian blog, and in our metaphysical battle to promote a Ron Paul run, and the issues he represents in the hopes of building a disciplined alliance that can be tapped again down the road, I believe the accomdationists are perhaps a worse threat than the easily spotted neocon types.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Do you really consider the people at PJM enemies just because of this Ron Paul thing ?

    Granted, most of the bloggers associated with it are conservatives but there are several — Glenn Reynolds comes to mind, as does Stephen Green although he’s not actively blogging right now — who are closer to libertarians than conservatives

  • Brad Warbiany


    I have no clue what you’re talking about. I am not defending PJM. I’m saying clearly that I think this action basically renders their poll completely unreliable. I believe my exact words were: “Thus, it’s an utter farce.” From what I can tell, Doug isn’t even defending them. He’s throwing up his hands and saying “eh, it’s an internet poll, so who cares anyway”.

    I don’t see where you get the opinion that we’re making a deal with the devil here. It seems your argument is that we excoriate PJM simply because they’re not libertarian, and because they have a few neocons amongst them. What’s your point?

  • Sam Marsh

    According the the explanation on PM’s site, Obama apparently had more multiple votes than Paul, but Paul had more people doing the multiple voting. 4 people total. Obama stays, Paul goes. GOP bloggers have removed Paul as well, citing “invaders”.

    Here’s a list of known online polls for those who haven’t found this page yet:

  • Sam Marsh

    my mistake. here’s the correct url

  • Charles Bowen


    We are speaking of issues like life and death, treason and war crimes. Do you know who Michael Ledeen is? What kind of organization would be associated with him? In a different time and world, he would be on trial for his life, just as Jules Streicher and Ribbentrop lost theirs.

    You want to make nice and pretend we just have policy difference, that is your choice, if poor Pat Henry is left spinning in his grave for heirs such as these. Yeah, I suppose poerty has been long since dead, but the words still have meaning to me, they aren’t advertising slogans.

    No, PJM removed Paul because they are scared. These traitors have shown their cards too early and backed a gun grabbing, anti-business, pro-abortion, thrice married phony. Every institution that supports the evil DC regime should be challenged. It should be assumed anyone associated with such institutions is disreputable. If you haven’t figured that out yet, you have a lot to learn, or you fear the real liberatian, more than you love liberty and would prefer the company of our enemies.

    What you and Brad miss is that Vox Day, a talented young columnist, is our ally, so support him. Don’t make nice with the enemy.

  • Doug Mataconis


    I don’t really think that PJM is afraid of Ron Paul, he’s barely registering in the polls that actually measure voter opinion in a scientific way.

    In a Quinnipac poll of Ohio voters, he barely makes it to 1%. The highest I’ve seen him anywhere is 2%.

    I like Ron Paul alot and would vote for him if he makes it to the Virginia primary, but I think we all need to be realistic.

    The likelihood of him even coming close to getting the nomination is infinitessimal.

  • Charles Bowen


    Why do you trust PJM’s explanation? A couple weeks ago they were posting ridiculous propaganda pieces on Iran, pure disinformation from the government, sub-Curveball stuff.


    I somehow overlooked your classification of Glenn Reynolds as a ‘libertarian.’ On what grounds? He favored a debt financed war against a non-threatening country, fought by women on the front lines. Oh, I see because he is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and anti-drug war…but pro-war against non-threatening countries…oh, I get it now. What a joke.

  • Charles Bowen


    You miss the point entirely. A Ron Paul run exposes the phoniness of the entire establishment conservative operation, from Human Events, to National Review, to every neocon/con/libertarian site (this one?) who claim an ideology but all agree on a war against folks who don’t pose a threat.

    The hope for Ron Paul supporters, and I suspect your stay on the libertarian right will be short, is to build something, a disciplined Old Right faction, that can be tapped be in 2012 or 2016 or sometime within our lifetimes. Our enemies are the rulers who put forth absurd candidates like Romney, Guiliani, McCain or this recent push for Fred Thompson and they should be challenged at all times. Their motives should be questioned, their treachery exposed to the light.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Reynolds is certainly no social conservative, and he’s worked with the ACLU on more than one occasion. I didn’t say he was a libertarian, I said he was one person who I’d consider leaning more in that direction than the conservative direction.

    And I knew more than a few libertarians who weren’t as anti-war in 2003 as they are today.

    But I am confused by one thing —- what does the fact that women are in Iraq have to do with anything ?

  • Doug Mataconis


    When I hear “Old Right” I think of people like Pat Buchanan and Lew Rockwell and I just cringe.

  • Paul Gauge

    As I recall, when the PJM poll was rolled out to other websites, the bar was set that a potential candidate for president had to have enough general recognition to score above 1 percent in the monthly Gallup Poll. Seems reasonable enough to me unless people want to place their maiden aunt in the poll.

  • Charles Bowen

    Cringe indeed, and enjoy your bed with traitors. As I said, you prefer the company of Romney’s and Guilianis, not Paul supporters.

    No Man can support a war with woman soldiers. It’s metaphysically impossible.

  • Doug Mataconis

    Cringe indeed, and enjoy your bed with traitors. As I said, you prefer the company of Romney’s and Guilianis, not Paul supporters.

    If you’d take the time to hang out here, you’d know that I’m a huge critic of Giuliani. Faced with a choice between him and a Democratic nominee, I probably wouldn’t vote at all.

    No Man can support a war with woman soldiers. It’s metaphysically impossible.

    Ummm, okay. You go with that dude.

  • Charles Bowen

    A huge critic? What does that mean?

    There is nothing to criticize as he is a joke and his dirty laundry is all out there. Your criticism should be aimed at anyone who would even suggest him for the excutive office, that would be interesting. Otherwise, its just boring shooting fish in a barrell.

    Ohhh,, you wouldn’t vote? Wow, that is some scary territory. Man, you must really not like him.

    Again, you miss the point. The goal is to build an institution, make alliances, even beyond ideology, build something that can be repeated.

    A brief snapshot would be the Free State Project in New Hampshire, the League of the South in South Carolina. Here are two organizations with foot soldiers that can deliver. If you support a Ron Paul campaign, we make nice amongst disparate groups with agendas ranging far and wide. If you don’t really support Paul, or are hedging, or don’t, as I suspect, really believe in a single word from Pat Henry, then you will threaten not to vote as you come up with reasons to not to support Paul with everything.

  • Kevin

    the League of the South in South Carolina.


    If Ron Paul uses traitors like the League of the South to deliver him votes, I will not support him.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Frankly, I’m concerned about the fact that Paul has appeared on the radio show of a guy who buys into the 9/11 conspiracy theories.

  • Kevin

    Frankly, I’m concerned about the fact that Paul has appeared on the radio show of a guy who buys into the 9/11 conspiracy theories.

    What about the columns for Lew and

  • uhm

    I’ve wondered why Ron Paul goes on the Alex Jones show too. I’m guessing it is one of the few platforms available to him. The 9/11 conspiracy theories are all about how the towers came down. I was reading about Sibel Edmond’s last push to punch the Military-Industrial-Arms Dealing-Complex in the face and one interviewer had to start talking about WTC 7. Edmonds said she didn’t know anything about that and that she told the 9/11 commission all she knew.

    Is it a conspiracy theory when only a fringe believe it? The accusations of Saddam having WMD’s and Iran developing them comes to mind.

    I didn’t agree with Pat Buchanan when I was younger but now I agree with many of the things he says.

  • Doug Mataconis

    Is it a conspiracy theory when only a fringe believe it?

    Perhaps I used the wrong phrase.

    It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s the inane ravings of a lunatic.

    We all saw the planes hit the towers. We all saw the towers fall. We all know what happened.

    The fact that Ron Paul even appears on Alex Jones’ program bothers me immensely.

  • uhm

    Yes that phrase is much better! If Ron Paul said that it was an “inside job” I wouldn’t vote for him.

    I like I read it along with Drudge Report, World Net Daily, and Liberty Papers.

  • Kevin

    If Ron Paul said that it was an “inside job” I wouldn’t vote for him.

    In the interests of fairness, he has not said that.

  • Charles Bowen

    Oh, I get it. The DC-regime lies the country into an aggressive war, in violation of the rules allegedly fought for by the Greatest Generation, but Ron Paul is unsupportable because he shows respect to skeptics of well-established liars.

    Clinton’s sanction regime and Bush’s Iraq aggression has killed how many Iraqi’s a million? Is that a fair number? Is that a holocaust yet? A genocide? It’s indefensible under any sense of libertarian ethics.


    Take your ball and go home, please. We don’t want you either. Secession, celebration of ones heritage, is an American political tradition, no wonder you hate it.

  • Brad Warbiany

    Again, Charles, what is your point?

    Several of the contributors to this website support Ron Paul. A few do not. Most are anti-Giuliani, and (I believe) all are anti-McCain. If your beef is with the PJM folks, I don’t see how that has anything to do with us. The only interaction we’ve had with PJM is to call their poll unreliable (which even the initial post does).

    So exactly what are you talking about?

  • Charles Bowen

    If by support, you mean most have made an initial contribution to his campaign ($), then great. Our best bet is learn how to get along with one another, Kevin, already setting an arbitrary litmus test to anyone who questions the veracity of the 9/11 myth, and how the League of the South are traitors (Tancredo’s people called them racists when the hate groups of the Left– ADL/SPLC, complained.)

    Pajamesmedia is “unreliable” to the point of being a 5th Column. They are the enemy. Micahel Ledeen’s record speaks for itself. One should begin with the assumption that their poll is a bright shining gatekeeper’s lie, which is exactly what it is.

    The ‘us’, this collection of bloggers who are all Googled up, and by all means congrats on this, wish to truly aid a political revolution, which is what Dr. Paul represents and nothing short of it, then come join the fun with the radical fire of Pat Henry, not the centrist gate keepers of libertarian-right opinion.

  • Doug Mataconis


    Who I, or any of the other contributors here, choose to make a campaign contribution to, or even if we choose to make one at all is quite honestly none of your business.

    My goal is the expansion of liberty in our time. If Ron Paul can be a means to that end, then I will support him. If not, then I won’t

  • Charles Bowen

    The expansion of liberty? My goodness, folks calling themselves ‘libertarians’ sure have changed over my lifetime.

    Why don’t you call yourselves the Heirs of Jack Kemp?

    Seriously, at the tactical level, if you are suggestion the collective we (libertarians) should still look for scraps from the establishment, that is fine, I just disagree with the tactical approach. If you are just shooting the breeze because the Internet is fun, that is cool too.

    But if you are serious in backing Paul, than some tactical analysis of who the prospective social and intersts groups are in his favor (gun folks, Free Staters, Second Vermont Republic types, pro-pot farming interests, Southern heritage communities etc etc), the opportunists (anti-Cuban Exile community FL Republicans) etc, that would be interesting.

    If tactically speaking, you think staying your present position, a two cheers for Paul sort of thing, is best for the libertarians, I wonder what that is about let alone, if why claim Pat Henry as your (intellectual) father. He was a radical.

  • Kevin

    Kevin, already setting an arbitrary litmus test to anyone who questions the veracity of the 9/11 myth, and how the League of the South are traitors (Tancredo’s people called them racists when the hate groups of the Left– ADL/SPLC, complained.)


    Do you really think the United States government had anything to do with 9/11?

    As for calling the League of the South traitors, if I understand, their goal is the secession and independence of the South from the United States. As both a Southerner and a loyal American, I find that goal, along with their glorification of the Confederacy to be repugnant. Therefore I stand by comments, the League of the South are traitors because they seek the break up of the United States.

  • Kevin


    But if you are serious in backing Paul, than some tactical analysis of who the prospective social and intersts groups are in his favor

    Let’s take a look at them shall we.

    gun folks

    He has a lot of competition in the Republican primary on that issue. Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo also have strong pro-gun records. Fred Thompson if he enters the race also has a strong pro-gun record. Even John McCain would be acceptable on guns. Paul should not count on gun owners alone to win him the nomination because he’ll have competition in that vote.

    Free Staters

    A grand total of 450 currently in New Hampshire and a little over 7,000 signed up. This may help in New Hampshire, but again, he needs to build a bigger base.

    Second Vermont Republic types

    They can hold their convention in a phone booth.

    pro-pot farming interests

    Probably about the size of the Free Staters, except they’re less concentrated in one place.

    Southern heritage communities

    Only about 5-10% of white Southerners. Also, once you leave the South, that’s not exactly a group whose support I would be touting.

    anti-Cuban Exile community FL Republicans

    Another group that could hold their convention in a phone booth.

    If Ron Paul hopes to be the Republican nominee for president, let alone winning the whole damn thing, he has to build a base outside of the kooks, the fringe, the one and two percenters, and courting groups where there is stiff competition. More importantly Charlie, the Ron Paul campaign understands that. Notice how Paul is staying away from Alex Jones and the 9/11 Truthers. Notice how Paul is getting press coverage from Fox News and Lou Dobbs. Notice Ron Paul is pursuing Richard Vigeruie(sp?), David Keene, Bob Barr, and other conservative leaders and trying to line up their support. Ron Paul is also touching on the immigration issue and he’s expousing a protectionist platform to go after the old Buchanan vote.

  • Sam Marsh

    I don’t necessarily trust PJM’s explanation, I was pointing out that it was not entirely consistent.

    I have to say that I really could care less about the goals of the various fringe groups that support Ron Paul. One of the basic points of freedom-based politics is to let the wackos do their thing. Under Paul’s applied principles, the South Carolina folks would have no reason to secede, since their core social issues could be legislated at the state level as they should be. Alex Jones could get an investigation he could trust. I hope.

    There’s one more wacko group that would support Dr. Paul if they ever get the message…casual pot smokers. Ron Paul is the only major party candidate who doesn’t want to send them and everyone they know to jail. How many millions of votes is that? Are the rest of the wackos ready to admit that we will need these votes to win? The War on Drugs is off the radar screen at the moment… Paul’s campaign site doesn’t mention it at all (did I miss something?).

  • C Bowen


    You have revealed yourself already, no need to spin for me, though we both know you are going through the motions for others. Please, continue to post. Self described libertarians need to pick a side with the traitors who support the income tax and wars against non-threats, or with organice American culture.

    Tactical commentary on Dr. Paul’s approach will have to come from others to the extent this site has any value beyond “two cheers for liberty”.

  • C Bowen


    I remanin optismic about Hunter Thomspon’s “freak vote.” The pro-pot folks are naked leftists, but there is an alcohol contingent that can be found at Modern Drunkard Magazine that has developed sophisticated tactics, led by a subversive extrodinaire of our time, which could, if nothing else, challenge any rival from the Left spectrum, and ultimatley, with some well timed ballot intiatives, support a Paul run.

  • C Bowen


    It is simple history that the DC-regime, in the persons, by example, of Rep Charles Wilson, Richard Perle, Ollie North et al supported and created Al-Q and OBL himself. The 90s saw power elements attempt to employ AQ to further policy goals in Central and Eastern Europe as an ally, culminating in the Serbia-Kosovo debacles, where, the House Republicans heroically reported the truth on the matter, the US government was a direct ally of AQ and OBL. Convienent indeed, it all went away on 9-11.

    And no, I don’t belive the gubmint’s story regarding Waco either.

    To the others, is Kevin really considered part of the Pat Henry thing?

  • Eric

    C Bowen, your views are much too narrow on who supports liberty. Yes, Kevin is a much stronger war supporter than, let’s say, Doug Mataconis. But, his economic positions are as liberty oriented as anyone’s. This is a big tent site. When I created this site, I deliberately invited a wide range of folks to be contributors, feeling that the mistake of many liberty oriented sites (not to mention the Libertarian Party) is to be exclusive rather than inclusive.

  • Charles Bowen


    Quite the contrary, I seek allies, and have a good nose for what Rothbard called libertarian con-men. Paul supporters are trying to build something. Dr. Paul represents cultural forces that are far bigger them himself, forces beyond the mere ideology you are attempting to, I suppose advance, or simply talk about, as boring and unromantic as that sounds.

    If you wish to reduce the libertarian thang to an ideology, well, that is sad, I’d hate to see y’all do movie reviews.

    At some, Eric, you’ll have to figure out that ideology only goes so far and is easy to manipulate to justify whatever position you want. Supporting the war, a debt financed invasion of non-threatening country is a crime. It supporters should be thought of as criminals worthy of the shun–that is how we radicals dish out punishment without the state.

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