Ron Paul wins big in Maine and Nevada

Ron Paul’s presidential strategy is working — at least it did in Maine and Nevada Sunday, where he won the most number of delegates at state party conventions.

If most Republicans and pundits consider Mitt Romney the all-but-nominated champion to take on Barack Obama in this year’s presidential election, Rep. Paul’s army of enthusiastic and determined backers beg to differ.

In fact, they’re not begging at all but pounding at the gates of conventional political thinking. All that’s missing are the torches and pitchforks.

Paul’s method is to hold the Republican Party to its often-arcane delegate selection rules, especially in state party conventions.

Over the weekend, his supporters took control of the Maine Republican Convention, electing a majority slate of delegates.

In Nevada Paul forces did likewise, winning their man 22 delegates, compared to three for Romney.

One example cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal: RNC National Committeeman Bob List, a former Nevada governor, lost to James Smack, vice chairman of the state GOP and a Paul supporter.

Romney won Nevada’s caucus in February with half of the vote, the Associated Press points out. Under party rules adopted last fall, Romney was to get 20 of Nevada’s 28 delegates for the national convention, and Paul was to get eight.

Paul backers say delegates will abide by those rules in the first round of balloting at the national convention in Tampa, the AP reported Sunday. But all bets are off if there is more than one round of balloting, and it remains to be seen whether the Romney campaign or Republican National Committee will challenge Nevada’s delegate results.

Romney wasn’t present at the Nevada convention, but his election lawyers were.

In any case, Paul’s Nevada chairman Carl Bunce told the Las Vegas Sun, “We are sending a strong delegation to Tampa in August.”

Still, Romney is way ahead of Paul in the delegate count — 865 to 93, according to Real Clear Politics. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich dropped out when they had twice as many delegates as Paul does now.

Reportedly, Paul and Romney have a friendly personal relationship. And although Romney is all but certain to win the nomination, he can’t risk alienating Paul supporters between now and the Republican convention by trying to force them or their determined libertarian leader into silence.

“I think he’s being very careful because he knows how important the Ron Paul voters are — they obviously represent a very different dynamic,” Mike Dennehy, a former top aide to Republican John McCain‘s 2008 campaign, told the AP. “They are the most passionate and the most frustrated of any voters heading to the polls. And many of them are independents.”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ross Williams on 05/07/2012 - 09:16 am.

    Media Misrepresentation

    The media consistently reported fictional delegate counts in order to sustain interest in their story line. The Minnesota Republican straw poll was non-binding and it looks like Ron Paul, rather than the media’s declared winner Rick Santorum, will end up with most of the delegates. The same thing is happening in main. It doesn’t matter any more, but if you followed the election reports as they happened you were consistently flat out misinformed.

    Never has this from Mark Twain been more true, “If you don’t read a newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read a newspaper, you are misinformed”. It applies to all media. Self government relies on people being informed, so its not surprising we are having serious governance problems when they are routinely misinformed.

  2. Submitted by Ross Williams on 05/07/2012 - 10:10 am.

    Its importance

    If anyone doubts the importance of getting the story right. Rick Santorum became Romneys main opponent after “sweeping” the caucuses in Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota. It now appears Ron Paul won all three states in terms of delegates. Imagine if the story had been “Ron Paul sweeps Missouri, Colorado and Minnesota”. Do you imagine Rick Santorum would have even still been in the race the next week? Probably not. Especially if that had followed a story about “Ron Paul’s Victory in Iowa “?

    Ron Paul was not going to win the nomination. But neither was Santorum. What is clear is that almost all the details of the media’s narrative about 2012 Republican race were entirely inaccurate inventions.

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