Political Capital with John Harwood

Ron Paul Will Have A Hard Time Winning Anything

Our newNBC News-Wall Street Journal Poll provides one more occasion for supporters of

Republican Candidate Ron Paul

Ron Paul to face the music. Yes, he raised an impressive $5-million in the third quarter, matching John McCain. Yes, he recently hauled in an eye-popping $4-million in 24 hours using the Internet. And heaven knows his supporters have demonstrated the ability to win post-debate online polls (see below), and to fill my e-mail inbox.

But look at the national numbers, Team Paul: he gets 4% in the Republican primary, far behind leaders Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney.

Among Republicans just 11% rate him favorably--fewer than the 12% of Republicans who rate Hillary Clinton favorably! Nineteen percent rate him unfavorably, putting the libertarian-minded Texas Congressman in negative territory.

With numbers like that, Paul cannot win ANY contest on the Republican primary calendar, much less the presidency.

Could that change in a big way? Possibly, but anyone who bets on it would be foolish.

And yes, we have had issues with Ron Paul polls before. But as you may know, I don't mind having another go at it. Vote away!

Questions?  Comments?  Write to politicalcapital@cnbc.com.