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Students become involved in election, support Ron Paul

Ron Paul is a 76-year-old Republican presidential nominee who has managed to generate youth support through a trio of youth political organizations as well as substantial online support.

Sophomore Ben Levine serves as the Young Americans for Liberty president at Drake University and worked on Paul’s election campaign.

“I’ve been waiting for this election cycle, praying that he would run, and he did,” Levine said.  “He is generally thought to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”

As of Aug. 15, Paul received a plurality of the 18 to 29-year-old vote with 29 percent of the age group’s support, according to the national GOP primary poll.

“Ron Paul gets so much coverage on the Internet; it’s unbelievable,” Levine said.  “Internet media is where he shines, and youths are attracted to that.”

Paul’s online support was visible during his 2008 campaign, making him more accessible to younger generations who use the web an estimated 7 1/2 hours per day, according to the New York Times.

According to a 2007 Bloomsburg BusinessWeek article about Paul: “His campaign says that some 80 percent of the $17 million raised in the past four quarters—including about $4.3 million in one October day—has come from online supporters.”

“Students for Paul” was a group established during Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. The group established over 500 college and high school chapters, and 26,000 student supporters joined in eight months across all 50 states, according to YAL.

First-year Cahlen Brancheau is studying computer science. The Adel, Iowa, native is a member of YAL and supports Paul.

“We as youth see so much inconsistency in politics and get to the point where we think, ‘What can I do? They don’t represent me,’” Brancheau said. “Paul has shown himself to be principled and consistent.”

YAL is a continuation of “Students For Paul.” The Drake chapter has nearly 38 new members this year.

“I can’t help but attribute the growth to the election cycle,” Levine said.  “YAL is the fastest growing conservative youth group in America.”

“Youth For Ron Paul” is a new initiative that was recently launched by Paul’s 2012 campaign.

According Paul’s campaign website: “The Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign announced the national ‘Youth for Ron Paul’ effort to organize and mobilize the increasing number of youth who support the 12-term congressman from Texas’ bid for the presidency.”

Levine said that Paul gives youth an alternative choice to traditional politicians.

“Right now, students are politically choosing between the lesser of two evils,” Levine said. “Paul works with people of similar principles, not similar political parties.”

The 2012 election cycle is the second presidential attempt for Paul, who is running for the Republican Party but possesses values considered libertarian in nature. Paul aims to reduce the size of the federal government and to strictly adhere to the Constitution awarding more civil freedoms.

“A lot of people say Ron Paul is extreme,” Levine said.  “If he’s extreme, then peace, keeping the money you earn, protecting life and adhering to the Constitution is extreme. In that case, I’m extreme and so are a lot of people.”

Students interested in joining YAL can contact Levine at benjamin.levine@drake.edu.


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  1. Jay October 9, 2011

    No other candidate in the race motivates independents and young people like Paul. No other Republican can capture so large a portion of the voters abandoned by pro-war, economy destroying Obama.

    1. Billy October 10, 2011

      Well said, Ron Paul 2012!

  2. Craig October 9, 2011

    Nice article…only one thing id like to point out. This is Pauls 3rd run at the presidency. Hr also ran as the libertarian candidate in 88 against Gore and H.W.

    1. Bill October 10, 2011

      Second adendum … Gore lost the nomination in 88 quite soundly; too many people at that time remembered his wife’s gratuitous attack against the First Amendment in the PMRC.

      Ron Paul ran against HW and Dukakis.

  3. Tom Walsh October 9, 2011

    Ron Paul’s ascendancy reminds me of the Ronald Regan campaigns. The party that now brags about Regan fought conservatives tooth and nail right up to the floor fight at the convention, which resulted in that unholy compromise of making George H.W. Bush the VP nominee. The party hacks and the media laughed the Gipper off as just an actor, a dreamer and clearly unelectable. Today, despite the groundswell of support for Ron Paul, the party hacks and the pundits in the media call the good doctor an unelectable fringe candidate. However, after my experience of campaigning for Ronald Reagan for almost 12 years, I know what is possible on a third run for the presidency. We the People will have our say and the establishment will once again be dumbfounded.

  4. R October 9, 2011

    Great article.

    Ron Paul is our only real hope for a reformed federal government. This is our chance!

  5. Richard.Hayden October 10, 2011

    Great story Erin, I have been very curious as to what is going on as far as campus support for Ron Paul is concerned. In my 50’s, I have been reading there facinating debates on economic principles and monetary policy vs. trade imbalances and the effects on the system. These are very bright and articulate young people. Very motivated too, no doubt. I hope they will understand that we were all sort of lulled into the system that has mortgaged their future. We were busy raising families and working. We allowed a powerful media to sway us. But none of this can excuse us. We are supporting you in any way we can. I’ll be out waving signs tomorrow. I hope we can see more stories on this young force for change.

  6. Jackson Baer October 10, 2011

    Keep speaking the truth and the campaign will continue to grow. It’s amazing what a honest and consistent message can do, especially when coming from a politician lol

    RON PAUL 2012


  7. jeff October 10, 2011

    This is Mr. Paul’s third bid for Presidency… 1st was in ’88.

  8. Louis Nardozi October 10, 2011

    Hm. Ron Paul has now placed first in FIVE straw polls. Anyone else done that?

    Value Voters
    New Hampshire

    What NEW reason will they have that Dr. Paul isn’t a “Top Tier” candidate?

  9. TLR October 10, 2011

    Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, whatever. The young people, and old, of this country, are voting for Ron Paul the man, not the party. I don’t know if the media will ever understand this or report it, but that is what is happening.

  10. Uncle Billy3 October 10, 2011

    Money Bomb on October 19th, its the big one

  11. DJ Ruden October 10, 2011

    Last election I was resigned to voting for Ralph Nader, but I’ve already decided… If Ron Paul isn’t on the ballot this time I will WRITE HIM IN. He is the smartest candidate and the only one that knows what the real economic problems are stemming from.

    You can’t fix the problem if you don’t know the problem. Obama can only make things worse until President Paul can save us. God help us if GOP nominates Romney….

  12. Jordan David Benson October 10, 2011

    Im so supprised, and impressed that my generation (the same one that brought us ”planking” and ”Lil Wayne”) has shown the world that not only do we care about our future, we are motivated and educated enough to act on our feelings. The support my peers give Ron Paul is astonishing, and I beleive never seen from any other ”confounded youngin generation” Lets run these bastard White House hi-jackers out of town 🙂 I hope to see even more revolutionary changes in my next 20 years.
    – semper fi

  13. Lora October 10, 2011

    Go RON! No other candidate will give us our country back! My parents are voting for him as well!

  14. Dan October 10, 2011

    “Last election I was resigned to voting for Ralph Nader, but I’ve already decided… If Ron Paul isn’t on the ballot this time I will WRITE HIM IN. He is the smartest candidate and the only one that knows what the real economic problems are stemming from.”

    Holy crap, you must be my doppelganger. I thought I was reading something I wrote.

    This groundswell of support from young people also gives me hope for the future. I thought my peers were mostly brainwashed, liberal idiots, but I guess I was wrong. If more people become libertarians and support people like Ron Paul, maybe we can actually have government by and for the people, like we’re supposed to.

    ““Internet media is where he shines, and youths are attracted to that.””

    That’s bullcrap. I’m attracted to Ron Paul’s message, not his online presence. The reason he is so big online is because the media ignores him, so we have to do as much as possible on the internet.

  15. california election 2010 October 11, 2011

    I think there has to be more transparency along with any type of reform enacted.  The government of California as well know is in a deficit.  The politics of the system will continue on the same path unless people are really made aware of what is going on and this way we can use collective brain power to offer innovative solutions!

  16. Geoff Cashion October 11, 2011

    Make sure you are all registered as Republican and vote in the primaries for RP. Also try and convince your independent and Democrat friends let down by Obama to do the same

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