Data Visualization of Racist Content in Ron Paul Newsletters

Everybody knows that there were Ron Paul newsletters published with racist articles in them.  Everybody who knows Ron Paul (even his political enemies) are sure he didn’t write them; he says as much, has taken moral responsibility for his lack of oversight, and regrets the content.

A fair question to ask, though, is how much racist content was there in these newsletters?  It’s often said that “surely he must’ve read his own newsletters.”  Reporter Ben Swann at WXIX has compiled the data and concluded that racist content appeared in nine newsletters over a twenty year period.  Here’s what it looks  like visually:


So, how do Ron Paul’s claims hold up?  Do his claims that articles were often written by freelance writers seem reasonable?  How about his claims that he sometimes was too busy to read the newsletters while running his medical practice?  Could he have read most of his newsletters but still missed these?

NH 2012 GOP Primary Polling Chart




Here’s a chart showing the polling results over time of the NH 2012 Republican primary candidates.  Automatic data smoothing is turned on to make the trends visible.


  • Romney’s support has been very consistent over time, in the 35-40% band
  • Romney, Gingrich, and Paul appear to be the long-haul competitors
  • Ron Paul and Romney have the most consistent support – with the notable difference that Paul’s support continues to increase over time, while Romney’s now appears to be wavering.  Also, over the time scale here Romney’s support has shown quite a bit of oscillation while Paul’s mainly trends upwards.
  • Gingrich’s uptick in recent weeks appears to mirror Romney’s losses.  Is this a defection among Romney supporters to the Gingrich camp?
  • The media-darling poll bumps are quite apparent for Bachman, Perry, and Cain.  The length of a media-darling poll bump appears to be in Gingrich’s favor – unless he tanks it spectacularly in the next month (his opponents are already working his personal history hard).
  • The big questions are: will Romney continue to trend downward, will Gingrich’s bump fade before the primary, and if both are true, how high do Paul’s numbers reach, come January 10th?
  • The methodology for ‘likely voters’ may vary across polls, but the smoothing should help with that.  What smoothing can’t help with are demographic factors (are Independents included, how about people without landlines, why are ~3/4 of those polled over 45?)
  • Gary Johnson is excluded because the original data at Real Clear Politics excludes him.
  • Charting done with LibreOffice Calc, data smoothing setting of 11.  The textures on the data series lines are unexpected.