While the media and Fox News "focus group" didn't think too highly of Republican US Presidential candidate Ron Paul, the response by the audience during Fox's South Carolina debate suggested otherwise. He received more applause than any other candidate bar none....not to mention zero boos.
And give Fox News some credit. The network asked its audience to text in who they felt won the debate and they honestly reported Ron Paul's huge lead in the voting. We're sure if they really wanted to, they could have made Fred Thompson the winner. And even the focus group was asked if Paul should have been allowed to attend. Overwhelmingly, the group who said he was the worst said he belonged there. Go figure!
Fox News received quite a bit of flack for excluding Paul in their last Republican debate despite winning 10% in Iowa and performing better than Rudy Giuliani in that state.
Ron Paul knocked them dead in this debate. He did not miss a beat (even the "I can't hear you, you need to speak up" to the moderator attacking him was pretty potent) and he's going to get votes after this one. It was by far his best performance, and one of the best performances of anyone in any debate. People who do not necessarily support Ron Paul were wowed by him.
The knockout punch came when Paul was asked - laughingly - by one of the moderators if he really thought he could be elected, Paul lashed back that he should be embraced by conservatives and suggested he was one of the most representative of the Republican party.
Paul was presently listed with 25/1 odds to win the Michigan primary, ahead of Fred Thompson's 50/1 odds. He was listed as the biggest underdog (also 25/1 odds) to win South Carolina.