Ron Paul is a libertarian who has little chance of winning the presidency. He is running as a republican who is against the war in Iraq. He is a typical libertarian type, who wants the government in the lives of people as little as possible.
On facebook's "Election 08" application where people choose who they are supporting for president in 2008, Ron Paul is ranked the #2 Republican, with 18% of the vote among Republicans. On my Republican nominee rankings, Ron Paul does not even crack the top 10. Paul is very popular all over the net, yet he has basically zero chance of winning. The Latest ABC/Washington Post poll has Paul at 2%, putting him in 9th place among the candidates.
So why is Paul's net popularity not carried over to the real world? Big time internet people are big time libertarians in general. Look at the nerd news site, slashdot.com. Is there anything more free market and libertarian than this? Internet people are big into this net neutrality issue, which is not a big deal to people who aren't nerds. Paul stresses issues like this, where he does not want the government involved. Other candidates really don't put any weight into these net issues, and instead focus on the issues you see all over the debates, such as the war in Iraq.
Thus, this makes Paul a hero on the net. He is dealing with issues Web 2.0 people care about with a strong voice. Unfortunately for him, this is only a very small portion of the population. In a crowded field of candidates, he really is not going to be able to pick up any more of the base. You want a leader, look to Giuliani. You want a bible thumper, look to Huckabee. You want a TV star (and a chick magnet), look to Thompson.
Paul needs to keep talking though, cause the nerds have a point, these internet issues are big issues and maybe Paul can generate more talk on these issues.