Ron Paul Continues Adding Convention Delegates

by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter
Ron Paul Continues Adding Convention Delegates

Ron Paul continues playing tortoise and hare with Mitt Romney.  Over the weekend, Paul shook up the pundits by a  victory in the Louisiana caucus.  The Texas Congressman picked up 111 of 150 delegates and 61 of 72 alternate delegates for the Louisiana state convention.

Preliminary results from the Louisiana Republican Party indicate that Ron Paul supporters won majorities in Congressional Districts 1, 2, 5, and 6, with a narrow decision having occurred in District 4. This means Ron Paul supporters won about four and a half of the six Congressional District caucus conventions held yesterday.

A "conservative slate" ran a partially combined slate with establishment-moderate Mitt Romney in CDs 1, 2 and 4. In each of those districts Ron Paul supporters required more votes than all of their opponents combined. Remarkably, supporters of the 12-term Congressman from Texas accomplished this in CDs 1 and 2, but fell just short of this in CD 4, which is why the decision was split.

Taken together, victories across four and half CDs mean that Ron Paul supporters are likely to control the outcome of the state convention in June.

Rep. Paul spoke to thousands of supporters in Texas, including 6,000 for one speech at the University of  Texas. 

Paul is on track for a majority of  delegates in Iowa and Minnesota delegates. In addition, he appears on a winning track for the Washington state convention.

The American Spectator called these wins  “under the radar success at gathering delegates,” while the International Business Journal predicted a “hectic convention” in which Romney “may face a major insurgent opponent.”

In order to be officially nominated at the convention, Paul must have at least half of the delegates in each of five states.  The IBJ wrote Paul looks “poised” to secure more than half of the Maine and North Dakota delegates.  Fox News has stated that Paul’s nomination on the convention ballot “looks inevitable at this point.”

Ron Paul supporter Russ Millette was elected chairman in that state and co-chair elect Deb Brown supports Paul, along with the secretary and treasurer. Paul won six delegates and six alternates. Three Rick Santorum alternates are Paul supporters.

Nevada holds its national convention delegate selection this week. 25 of 28 delegates will be up for grabs.

“Whoever shows up controls the tempo of the meeting,” said Carl Bunce, Paul’s campaign chairman for Nevada.

Meanwhile,  Paul delegates have been elected in Massachusetts district caucuses Saturday, April 28. State delegates are bound to vote for Mitt Romney (or abstain ) on the first ballot at the convention. If a second ballot occurs, they can  vote for whomever they prefer. 

Since Romney will not amass enough delegates to win outright on the first ballot, Paul’s “brokered” convention strategy follows that of Warren G. Harding who won the 1920 Republican presidential nomination on the Tenth ballot , then, went on to take the Presidency.

Similarly, it’s possible that Paul delegates could succeed in what the IBU called “influence the proceedings [by] changing the conversation and revamping strategy” to secure votes from Paul delegates.

Finally, The Ron Paul campaign’s Louisiana State Director Pete Chamberlain said of the victory, “Yesterday’s result shows the changing dynamic among grassroots conservative activists dedicated to promoting a Republican platform that adheres to the Constitutional values Dr. Paul represents.  Back-room dealing and insider politics are no match for the grassroots enthusiasm that is the hallmark of the Ron Paul campaign.  Yesterday, Ron Paul’s dedicated Louisiana supporters showed what passionate, persistent activism can achieve when centered around a consistent message of freedom and prosperity.”
 
“Ron Paul’s victory shows his delegate-attainment strategy is working and demonstrates that the media and Washington pundits are underestimating his influence in the nominating process,’ said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate. 
 
“The Louisiana win forecasts a prominent role for Ron Paul at the RNC.  It also signals that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo, all in relation to the end game of defeating President Obama,” added Tate.

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