However, an excellent piece from Sam Stein at The Huffington Post underscores Paul’s extensive organizational capabilities and his drive to capture as many GOP delegates as possible. With those delegates, Paul will be able to push his libertarian views into the party discussion at the national convention. If that’s the story, it lines up well with BuzzFeed’s reporting suggesting that Paul père’s run this year is helping bring libertarianism into the GOP mainstream for Paul fils to mount a presidential campaign in several years’ time.
Back to the delegates. Take this “for instance” from Stein’s piece (with emphasis from Decoder):
Puerto Rico will award 23 delegates when its citizens caucus on March 18. New Hampshire, punished for moving its election into early January, will award only 12. On Tuesday, roughly 245,000 people voted in the Granite State’s primary. During the 2008 cycle, Puerto Rico’s caucus resulted in a total vote count of 208.
With that many delegates at risk over that few votes, it would stand to reason that the current GOP field would be making manic maneuvers to shore up support in Puerto Rico. But so far, only one candidate seems to be doing much, if anything: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
According to his campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, Paul has a coordinator in Puerto Rico. The campaign has a “Hispanic for Ron Paul” team that prominently features a Puerto Rican business-leader. A non-affiliated group, Puerto Rico for Ron Paul, has also been disseminating caucus-related information.
That the Texas Republican is investing any resources at all in Puerto Rico may strike some as wasteful. Few political observers take Paul seriously as a potential nominee, even after he scored a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary. Primaries, after all, are won through momentum: a few early victories beget others, which, in turn, beget more donors, endorsements, excitement, and ultimately more victories.
The Paul campaign does not subscribe to that theory.
“Ours is a delegate strategy,” said Benton. “We want to win the 1,100 delegates. If [former Massachusetts Gov.]Mitt Romney has secured 1,150 delegates, then it is game over. But we are going to contest that until the very end, and again we have a goal. We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think we can win 1,150 delegates.”