The majority of media attention in the 2012 Republican nomination contest is (rightly so) on the current race among Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul, but it's also instructive to compare Paul to another candidate: himself, circa 2008.
In the battle of "Paul vs. Paul," who has performed better? At present, this year’s Paul is outpacing significantly his counterpart from four years ago. Of the 31* contests held thus far, Paul 2012 has bested Paul 2008 in 29 (93.5%). One exception—Idaho—warrants a caveat: in 2008, the state voted in May, by which time just two candidates, Paul and John McCain, remained in the race. In 2012, Idaho was still a four candidate race. The other contest, Puerto Rico, is a similar story.
* In our totals, we exclude Hawaii and Wyoming, which did not hold or report preference votes in 2008. Instead, the Republican Party selected delegates that would go on to represent the state at the convention. As such, Paul’s total is out of 31, not 33.
Number of States in which Paul 2012 has Bested Paul 2008: 29
Number of States in which Paul 2008 has Bested Paul 2012: 2