Ron Paul has a path to the nomination

Mostly missing from the commentary were two salient points in American politics as we lurch into 2012. First, there is an immediate precedent for winning the GOP nomination by triumphing among non-Republican and anti-war voters in early-state primaries and caucuses: It’s exactly what John McCain did in 2008 (yes, even the anti-war part, hard as that is to believe).

McCain didn’t win a plurality among self-identified Republicans in any early state last election cycle, but garnered enough independents and Democrats to eke out victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, knocking out most of his competitors and establishing himself as the front-runner going into Super Tuesday. (For more on this unprecedented turn of events, see the afterword in the paperback version of my book McCain: The Myth of a Maverick.)

The Republican electorate (like U.S. politics in general) has only gotten more fluid and unpredictable since then.