I’ve tended to think that Ron Paul’s supporters are wrong to say that their candidate is being undercovered by the press compared to other go-nowhere fringe candidates. After all, they argue, Paul may be a fringe candidate (okay, they don’t concede that), but he does at least show up in the polls with more support than the margin of error. Unlike, say, Jon Huntsman.
Huntsman? He’s around 2 percent in the polls, indistinguishable from, say, Ten Commandments Judge Roy Moore. Polling isn’t everything by a longshot, but Huntsman does poorly by any other measure. He doesn’t have an impressive list of endorsements, he has no small but fanatical group of supporters, and he’s certainly veto-bait to important groups and organizations within the Republican Party. It’s utterly implausible that he’ll be the nominee, and he’s highly unlikely to be a serious player — or even be a distraction who matters by taking a solid but small segment of the vote, as Paul probably will do.
And yet as I look at the Post Politics main page right now, there are not one, not two, but five Huntsman items. I believe that’s more than any other single candidate at the moment, and far more than Paul (0), Rick Santorum (1), Herman Cain (0), Newt Gingrich (0), Gary Johnson (0), Buddy Roemer (0) and Thaddeus McCotter (0) put together. And it’s not just The Post; the New York Times has another, unrelated Huntsman item on its Caucus blog right now. I know Huntsman did roll out his economic plan yesterday, so there’s some timeliness there, but really — why should anyone care what Huntsman’s economic plan is?
As I said, I think Ron Paul gets about the share of the coverage that he probably deserves. But Huntsman is gobbling up all the fringe-candidate space for no apparent reason. Hey, people who want to write about fringe candidates: Spread some of that around!