Should the Media Take Ron Paul More Seriously?

Ron Paul might not be a fringe candidate after all.

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The major 2012 stories coming out of last weekend were Rep. Michele Bachmann's win at Saturday's Ames Straw Poll and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's official announcement that he was jumping into the race. Bachmann appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows, and Perry, with his social conservative values and his bragging rights about Texas job growth, was immediately dubbed a GOP frontrunner. Monday, political observers (including USNews.com) were calling the competition for the Republican 2012 nomination a " Three-Person-Race," with Bachmann and Perry joining former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as GOP frontrunners. [See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP hopefuls.]

However, a Monday night skit on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show asked, "What about Rep. Ron Paul?" Though he had finished a very close second in the Ames Straw Poll he was all but ignored by the media in its immediate reaction to the weekend's events. Up until now, he had been written off as a "fringe candidate," someone who could only gain the support of extreme libertarians and the rowdy college kids at last Thursday's GOP debate. However, as Mallie Jane Kim points out, Bachmann beat him by only a slim margin and his showing improved greatly since he placed fifth in the 2007 poll. Furthermore, the recent fervor over raising the debt ceiling proves that Paul's long-held belief in limited government spending had taken hold in sizeable faction of the Republican caucus.

What do you think? Should the media take Ron Paul more seriously? Take our poll and comment below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

Previously: Can Rick Perry Claim a Texas 'Jobs Miracle?'