Last Man Standing ----What is Ron Paul doing?.. Last weekend, (Paul supporters) won at the Louisiana caucuses even though Paul managed just 6 percent of the vote in the state’s primary earlier this year.
Last weekend, (Paul supporters) won at the Louisiana caucuses even though Paul managed just 6 percent of the vote in the state’s primary earlier this year. The Paulites carried the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th congressional districts. According to one count, 74 percent of the delegates elected to the state convention Saturday were Paul supporters…
That same day, Ron Paul supporters were elected chairman and vice chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. Paul finished third in the popular vote in Alaska’s caucuses, but his supporters joined with former Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller to dominate the state convention. According to Politico, “It’s more evidence of the political maturation of the Paul forces, who are beginning to seize the levers of powers from within state parties.”
In Minnesota, Paul came in second in the popular vote in the caucuses, ahead of Romney but behind Santorum. Yet this month he swept 20 of the 24 delegates available at the Minnesota congressional district conventions.
Then in Iowa, at least six of the new state Republican central committee members are public Paul supporters. The Des Moines Register describes two others as having “close ties,” reporting, “A rising tide of Republicans who share Ron Paul’s philosophy of limited government are flooding into GOP party roles in Iowa.” A.J. Spiker, the state party chairman, was a former vice chairman of Paul’s Iowa campaign.
The Ron Paul Republicans’ mission is twofold. First, they want to secure enough delegates to the Republican National Convention to place Paul’s name in nomination. The International Business Timesreports, “Washington is now the third state, after Iowa and Minnesota, in which Ron Paul has locked up at least half of the state’s nominating delegates.” North Dakota and Maine could join them.
Some hope this will give them a longshot chance of winning, citing Warren G. Harding’s nomination in 1920. More likely, it gives Paul some leverage at the convention to negotiate for certain platform planks, a promiment speaking slot, or perhaps even have some say over the vice presidential pick.
The second objective is to integrate themselves into party leadership positions like the Christian right did before them. While Paul’s supporters are so far a smaller voting bloc than the social conservatives who backed Pat Robertson’s presidential campaign in 1988, Paul’s crowds on the stump are still huge: over 3,000 turned out to see Paul in Houston, 6,000 in Austin, more than 4,000 in the rain in Philadelphia.
Could Santorum or Gingrich regularly draw such big, young crowds after their chances to win the nomination dwindled? Could Romney do so now?
Paul will also be the last man standing against Romney in some large remaining primaries. He will hope to replicate — or perhaps even improve upon — the 40 percent of the vote he got in Virginia when he and Romney were the only Republican presidential candidates on the ballot…
Many other Republicans are demoralized. The near-certain