Ron Paul Secretly Won the Caucuses

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 8 2012 5:53 PM

Ron Paul Secretly Won the Caucuses

They all laughed at Ron Paul. They all laughed when he took a stage in Minnesota, having come in a solid second place, and reminded the faithful of a "little thing called delegates!"

They were serious about it. Paul's people believe that they understand the delegate process, and that the media does not. There is truth here: The delegate process is confusing, and I assume that Paul supporters have used their four years of organizing and studying in a fruitful manner. In an e-mail to supporters, they try to get granular about what's occuring.

We are confident in gaining a much larger share of delegates than even our impressive showing yesterday indicates. As an example of our campaign’s delegate strength, take a look at what has occurred in Colorado:
- In one precinct in Larimer County, the straw poll vote was 23 for Santorum, 13 for Paul, 5 for Romney, 2 for Gingrich.  There were 13 delegate slots, and Ron Paul got ALL 13.
 
- In a precinct in Delta County the vote was 22 for Santorum, 12 for Romney, 8 for Paul, 7 for Gingrich. There were 5 delegate slots, and ALL 5 went to Ron Paul.
 
- In a Pueblo County precinct, the vote was 16 for Santorum, 11 for Romney, 3 for Gingrich and 2 for Paul. There were 2 delegate slots filled, and both were filled by Ron Paul supporters.
 
- We are also seeing the same trends in Minnesota, Nevada, and Iowa, and in Missouri as well.
Advertisement

For this to stick, Paul's activists have to show up at the next votes -- small affairs, not much media, happening in March -- and control the delegate process. Then they have to show up at conventions and repeat it. This is actually doable.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.