The latest gallop poll for the republican nomination shows Rick Perry at 29%, Mitt Romney at 17% and Ron Paul in third place at 13%.
Update Feb 7, 2012: Ron Paul up to 21% http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/07/us-usa-campaign-poll-idUSTRE81514720120207 (Romney: 29%, Paul: 21%, Gingrich: 19%, Santorum: 18%)
The main stream media bias against Ron Paul is obvious. See the Jon Stewart clip on the Free Market Fan video page for an example of this. Despite the ignoring or belittling of his ideas his numbers have approximately quadrupled so far since the last go round in 2008. I think it is fair to say that of Ron Paul's 13% at least 10% are die hard believers in his message of limited constitutional sized government, peace, and sound money.
The reason this new research cited above is so exciting is that Ron Paul's ideas represent a revolutionary change in the way people think about the role of government in their lives. For the past many decades, both the Republican and Democratic parties have been dominated by big government statists. It didn't matter which of the two party nominees the public voted for because either one guaranteed a continuing ratcheting up of the power of the state, and by default a weakening of the liberties and freedoms of the individual.
So what we have here is a message that is desperately trying to be ignored and ridiculed by the kept media who benefit from the status quo. It however resonates immensely with the minority of people that actually do some research into it. What people find is not only that Ron Paul is a principled man who has always voted in line with the Constitution, but much more.
The founders of the Constitution were first and foremost concerned with preserving individual liberty and reducing the risk that their government would grow so large that it oppressed its own citizens. They realized there were certain things that were necessary for a people to remain free. They built these items into the Constitution's framework. Unfortunately over the years the it has been so undermined that the original intent of the founders is barely recognizable.
All we have to do for a return to prosperity is to elect someone who will follow the Constitution: no wars without a declaration by congress, a sound money backed by gold and silver, and the protection of the rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights. We know Ron Paul will do this.
What is even greater reason for optimism however is that the message of liberty spelled out in the Constitution is larger than just one person. It is Ron Paul who personifies the fight right now, but the intellectual discussion for a return to a free society will continue no matter what happens in this election cycle. The message itself has reached a tipping point and the genie cannot be put back in its bottle.