Mitt Romney wants nothing more than to lock up the Republican nomination and focus entirely on beating President Obama. But for Ron Paul’s supporters, the long primary season ain’t over till it’s over. The Texas congressman hasn’t won a single primary in his third run for the White House, yet his acolytes are much savvier at political maneuvering than in campaigns past. This year they’re determined to influence the nominating process at the GOP convention in Tampa.
To win the so-called roll call vote there and become the nominee, you need 1,144 delegates. Romney has 847. Paul has 80. Contest over, right?
Paul is actually gaining ground in some states, where intense contests to divvy up delegates are underway. At one gathering last weekend in Massachusetts, the majority of delegates elected were Paul supporters. He may do just as well in upcoming votes in Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, and Maine, according to Josh Putnam, assistant political science professor at Davidson College.