by David Welch
Much of the delegate collecting is very hard to understand. You say there were none collected in Iowa and yahoo’s election guide agrees with you, yet cnn.com reports at least two collected:
But, it’s quite possible the campaign is talking about the actual people elected as delegates being supporters of Ron Paul, which makes these numbers much more possible. They are also referring to a deal they made in WV with the Huckabee campaign to give them 3 delegates which are not being reported. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that will not be reported completely or fully understood by the public for some time now.
Honestly, Ron Paul has never expected to win a majority. Without mainstream media coverage of his campaign that would be all but impossible. They have hoped all along for as many delegates as possible, and a spot at the convention. True, even if a large number of delegates sent to the national convention are his supporters, the delegates not pledged to Paul would be bound to other candidates for 3 votes (in my understanding), but a brokered convention has a real possibility of a stalemate after the first 3 votes, since very few of the unbound delegates will change their vote from the first to the third vote. Again, I’m no expert in these things, but in my understanding, on the fourth vote at the convention, the delegates are unbound and allowed to vote for their preferred candidate. If a large enough number of Paul supporters are state delegates at the national convention, and the convention has no nominee after 3 votes, this would be the only possible chance for a Paul nomination.
All that being said, I’m sure the party will work hard together to make sure that doesn’t happen, as my brother has seen even at the local level in Fort Worth, TX, with misinformation about county convention locations given to Paul supporters, etc. Even with the long odds of any of this happening, Ron Paul sees something much more important in this campaign than being president. It would not be the classy thing to do to bow out at this point, and support another candidate with his supporters’ money. He agrees on virtually no points with the other candidates, and his supporters don’t either. His supporters continue to give, not to the GOP, but to the Ron Paul campaign. It would be a true waste for Paul to simply give up when his supporters want him to keep going.
And, as I said, Paul sees something bigger here. He sees a continued chance to make his message known, and to hopefully change the party from within, by an infusion of new people who support his ideas. It’s a long term goal, and one that is actually attainable because of the level of commitment of his grassroots supporters to the long term goal. It’s possible that in a few more elections, we might actually have enough support for our ideas in the party to have someone, Ron Paul or otherwise, who could run and be considered a “main stream” GOP candidate. If that happens, we will have a very good chance of having a “Ron Paul Republican” in the White House.