Based on states’ results in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and on states’ previous votes for third-party candidates, and on current polling about the strength of potential Republican nominees in particular states, it is plausible to conclude that a Paul candidacy would have these consequences:
●It would enable Obama to carry two states he lost in 2008: Missouri (11 electoral votes), which he lost by 0.13 points, and Arizona (11), which he lost by 8.52 points to native son John McCain.
●It would enable Obama to again win four states he captured in 2008 and that the Republican nominee probably must win in 2012: Florida (29), Indiana (11), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13).
●It would secure Obama’s hold on the following states he won in 2008 but that Republicans hope to take back next year: New Mexico (5), Colorado (9), Nevada (6), Michigan (16), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20) and New Hampshire (4).
At a minimum, a Paul candidacy would force the Republican nominee to spend time and money in places he otherwise might be able to economize both. And a Paul candidacy would make 2012 much easier for Obama than 2008 was. Now, reread Paul’s words quoted above, particularly these: “right now” and “in a month or two.”