This article presents an unbiased comparison of the policies and positions of Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2012 Presidential election.

Mitt Romney was the early frontrunner in the Republican race and has, at various phases, lost that status to other contenders like Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. In the early part of the race, Ron Paul had support in the single digits in opinion polls and was ignored by the media. But he experienced a surge of support in December 2011 in Iowa, the first state to caucus.

Comparison chart

Mitt Romney versus Ron Paul comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartMitt RomneyRon Paul
  • current rating is 3.41/5
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(10334 ratings)
  • current rating is 4.45/5
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(250 ratings)
Mitt RomneyRon Paul
Political Party Republican Republican (1956–1988), Libertarian (1988 Presidential Election), Republican (1988–present)
Position on Healthcare Created similar legislation in Mass. but believes it's not appropriate for all of USA and wants to repeal. Proposes encouraging individuals to purchase their own health insurance rather than via employers, and allowing insurance across state lines. Would repeal Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare overhaul: "The answer to it is turn it back over to the patient and the doctor relationship with medical savings accounts."
Position on Immigration Would make English the official language of the US and "turn off the magnets like tuition breaks or other breaks that draw people into this country illegally". In favor of promoting legal immigration. Would "abolish the welfare state" to discourage illegal immigration and end automatic citizenship for everyone born in the U.S. unless the mother is in the US legally.
Alma Mater Stanford University, Brigham Young University (BA), Harvard University (MBA, JD) Gettysburg College (B.S.), Duke University (M.D.)
Full name Willard Mitt Romney Ronald Ernest Paul
Position on Iraq Romney says that keeping the U.S. in Iraq is the best option for minimizing casualties and maintaining a democratic government in Iraq. Opposed to attacking. Also believes that it has not made America safer.
Profession Businessman, politician, author Physician, politician, author
Website http://www.mittromney.com ronpaul2012.com
Position on Iran Tighten economic sanctions; Military option not off the table. Supports diplomacy and free trade with Iran as well as all other nations.
Place of Birth Detroit, Michigan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Religion Christian (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a.k.a. Mormon) Christian (Baptist)
Position on Abortion Opposes Roe v. Wade; believes states should be allowed to ban abortions., 1994: Supported abortion rights but personally opposed, No punishment for women who have partial birth abortions, change of heart in 2005 when preparing to run for President Opposes abortion on principle and would repeal Roe v. Wade, however supports a state's right to choose.
Children Tagg (b. 1970), Matt (b. 1971), Josh (b. 1975), Ben (b. 1978), Craig (b. 1981) Sons: Ronald "Ronnie" Paul, Jr., Randal "Rand" Paul, Robert Paul. Daughters: Joy Paul-LeBlanc, Lori Paul Pyeatt,
Spouse(s) Ann Romney (m. 1969–present) Carolyn "Carol" Paul
Date of Birth March 12, 1947 August 20, 1935
Running mate Paul Ryan n/a
Residence Belmont, Massachusetts Lake Jackson, Texas

Comparison of Political Positions

Ron Paul is a staunch libertarian and some of his views are radically different from other Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney.

Foreign Policy

Ron Paul believes that America should not keep its military stationed all over the world because it is unnecessary, increases costs and leads to animosity towards America in other parts of the world. His view of Iran is that they are not close to building a nuclear weapon, that Ahmedinejad's "wipe Israel off the map" comment was a mistranslation and that the military-industrial complex in the US is lobbying for increased tensions with Iran. He wants to improve diplomatic relations with Iran.

Mitt Romney has called Ron Paul's views radical. He believes Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon and supports sanctions against Iran. He has not ruled out a military option against Iran.

Economy

As a libertarian, Ron Paul has argued that the Federal Reserve's powers to print money at will are resulting in the dollar being devalued. He wants to abolish the Fed and return to the gold standard. He has also proposed radical spending cuts to rein in big government, including major cuts in defense spending arguing that the US spends more on defense than the next 10 highest countries' budgets combined.

Mitt Romney does not advocate returning to the gold standard, cutting defense spending drastically or abolishing the Fed. His plan is based on reducing repealing President Obama's healthcare legislation, reducing taxes and cutting government spending by 5%.

Primary Results

Here are the results from the various state primaries and caucuses. Mitt Romney won several states; Ron Paul did not win in any state but tended to perform better in states that hold a caucus instead of a primary.

Image:Primaries-paul-vs-romney.png

Romney vs Ron Paul in Opinion Polls

Mitt Romney was the early frontrunner and consistently polled in the 20-25% range for much of the race. He weathered surges experienced by other candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. In December 2011, opinion polls suggested that support for Ron Paul grew -- especially in Iowa, the first state to caucus.

Opinion poll results have an inherent margin of error but on the whole present a picture of the mood of the electorate and, over time, a trend that can be useful when comparing candidates.

Poll source Date(s) administered Mitt Romney Ron Paul
Angus Reid Public Opinion Dec 27-29, 2011 32% 10%
Gallup Dec 23-29, 2011 26% 11%
Gallup Dec 22-28, 2011 27% 11%
Gallup Dec 21-27, 2011 25% 11%
Gallup Dec 20-26, 2011 24% 11%
Gallup Dec 19-23, 2011 23% 12%
Gallup Dec 18-22, 2011 22% 13%
APCO Insight Dec 17-22, 2011 30.2% 17.3%
Gallup Dec 17-21, 2011 21% 12%
The Economist/YouGov Dec 17-20, 2011 21% 13%
Gallup Dec 15-20, 2011 23% 12%
Gallup Dec 14-19, 2011 23% 12%
Public Policy Polling Dec 16-18, 2011 22% 11%
CNN/ORC International Dec 16-18, 2011 28% 14%
ABC News/Washington Post Dec 15-18, 2011 30% 15%
CBS News Dec 14-18, 2011 20% 10%
Gallup Dec 13-18, 2011 24% 11%
Gallup Dec 12-17, 2011 24% 10%
Gallup Dec 11-16, 2011 24% 10%
Gallup Dec 10-14, 2011 24% 10%
Gallup Dec 9-13, 2011 23% 9%
Reason Magazine/Rupe Dec 1-13, 2011 25% 7%
Associated Press-GfK (Republicans and Republican-leaning independents) Dec 8-12, 2011 27% 9%
Reuters/Ipsos Dec 8-12, 2011 18% 12%
Gallup Dec 8-12, 2011 22% 8%
NBC/Wall Street Journal Dec 7-11, 2011 23% 9%
Pew Research Center Dec 7-11, 2011 21% 8%
Gallup Dec 7-11, 2011 23% 8%
Gallup Dec 6-10, 2011 23% 9%
Gallup Dec 5-9, 2011 23% 9%
Gallup Dec 4-8, 2011 23% 9%
Fox News Dec 5-7, 2011 23% 12%
Gallup Dec 3-7, 2011 25% 10%
The Economist/YouGov Dec 3-6, 2011 15% 11%
Gallup Dec 2-6, 2011 23% 9%
Gallup Dec 1-5, 2011 22% 8%
Poll Position Dec 4, 2011 23.4% 7.1%
Fairleigh Dickinson University (Republicans) Nov 29 - Dec 5, 2011 25% 3%
Rasmussen Reports Nov 30, 2011 17% 8%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 26-29, 2011 17% 9%
Poll Position Nov 27, 2011 23.2% 5.6%
Poll Position Nov 22, 2011 21.4% 4.5%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 19-22, 2011 20% 8%
CNN/ORC International Nov 18-20, 2011 20% 9%
Reuters/Ipsos Nov 18-19, 2011 22% 9%
IBOPE Zogby Nov 15-17, 2011 14% 8%
Quinnipiac University Nov 14-20, 2011 22% 6%
USA Today/Gallup (All Republicans/Republican leaners) Nov 13-17, 2011 20% 10%
Fox News Nov 13-15, 2011 22% 8%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 12-15, 2011 19% 7%
CNN/ORC International Nov 11-13, 2011 24% 8%
Public Policy Polling Nov 10-13, 2011 18% 5%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Nov 10-12, 2011 32% 9%
Reuters/Ipsos Nov 10-11, 2011 28% 10%
Pew Research Center Nov 9-14, 2011 23% 8%
McClatchy-Marist Nov 8-10, 2011 23% 10%
Reuters/Ipsos Nov 7-8, 2011 26% 9%
CBS News Nov 6-10, 2011 15% 5%
Politico/George Washington University Nov 6-9, 2011 25% 5%
The Economist/YouGov Nov 5-8, 2011 24% 7%
USA Today/Gallup Nov 2-6, 2011 21% 8%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Nov 2-5, 2011 28% 10%
Rasmussen Reports Nov 2, 2011 23% 7%
Washington Post-ABC News Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2011 24% 8%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 29 - Nov 1, 2011 17% 10%
Reuters/Ipsos Oct 27-28, 2011 29% 7%
Quinnipiac University Oct 25-31, 2011 23% 7%
Fox News Oct 23-25, 2011 20% 9%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 22-25, 2011 24% 9%
CBS News/New York Times Oct 19-24, 2011 21% 8%
IBOPE Zogby Oct 18-21, 2011 19% 9%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 15-18, 2011 21% 10%
CNN/ORC International Oct 14-16, 2011 26% 9%
Associated Press/GfK (General population) Oct 13-17, 2011 21% 11%
Rasmussen Reports Oct 12, 2011 29% 5%
IBOPE Zogby Oct 11-14, 2011 21% 8%
The Economist/YouGov Oct 8-11, 2011 18% 7%
Public Policy Polling Oct 7-10, 2011 22% 5%
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Oct 7-10, 2011 23% 11%
Reuters/Ipsos (Republicans and Independents) Oct 6-10, 2011 21% 12%
The Washington Post/Bloomberg News (leaned GOP) Oct 6-9, 2011 24% 6%
Newsmax/InsiderAdvantage Oct 4, 2011 24% 7.1%
Gallup Oct 3-7, 2011 20% 8%
IBOPE Zogby Oct 3-5, 2011 18% 12%

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References

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