Despite Mitt Romney’s inevitability and scoring a win in only one state (Minnesota) and corralling less than 100 total delegates to date, the Ron Paul Campaign rolls on. Why? No one ever expected he could be the Republican nominee and at this point if he won every delegate still to be selected (about 800), he’d fall over 200 short of the 1,144 needed to win. See Real Clear Politics
One speculation goes like this. The Paul supporters realize they cannot win as a third party or in the Republican Party as currently constituted. Age aside, Congressman Paul’s views are too far outside the mainstream to ever claim a majority but the father, Ron, may be a stalking horse for the son, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in 2016 or 2020. Romney will still be the 2012 nominee but the Paulistas have other goals. A prime time speech by Ron Paul at the national convention, influence on local, state and national Republican platforms and the gold ribbon – electoral legitimacy through take over of the Republican Party.
In King County, the battle is already joined. King County Republicans held caucuses by state legislative districts within the county. The Paul forces sweep election of delegates to the Washington State GOP Convention in the 36th, 37th and 46th districts. With the cooperation of the Santorum campaign (even after Santorum had withdrawn from the race), they took a majority of delegates in several other districts freezing out Romney. Delegates to the National GOP Convention will mostly be selected by congressional district at the state convention. Paul supporters may win the 7th Congressional District but statewide will fall short of capturing more delegates to the national convention than Romney. Yet they could win enough to raise eyebrows.
The fight continues at the April 28th King County Republican Convention and culminates in early December when elected Republican Precinct Committee Officers (PCO) meet to elect a King County GOP chair and other party officials for the next two years. Both sides are actively recruiting candidates for PCO. Filing runs from May 14 through May 18 for election of PCOs in the August 7th primary.
One has to admire the Paulista’s organization and dedication. At caucuses and conventions, they stick together, vote as a block and stay until adjournment. Just don’t ask them to pledge support for the Republican presidential nominee, unless of course it’s Ron Paul.
It remains to be seen if Republicans care enough to defend their party against the Paul insurgents.