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.

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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.

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. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.