A few weeks back, when Rick Santorum was arguing that he could power out delegate wins by organizing the little-noticed state conventions and caucuses, I agreed with him. And then Santorum quit. This left the state delegate pool hot and panting for Romneymentum, right?
Not quite yet. Over the weekend, Minnesota held congressional district conventions. Now, the state's February caucus -- one of the trio of non-binding contests Santorum won early that month -- went 45 percent for Santorum, 27 percent for Paul, and only 17 percent for Romney. The Associated Press and other groups went on to estimate that Santorum would win 17 of Minnesota's delegates, Paul would win 10, and Romney 6. Wrong. Ron Paul dominated the CD conventions. According to a tweet from RNC committeewoman Pat Anderson, Paul took 20 of the 24 delegates available in the CDs.
That's 20 delegates more than the zero that Paul got from Minnesota in 2008. Keep watching this. The Paul movement spent five years prepping for a guerilla delegate campaign, and they're going to be the last Republicans who refuse to settle for Romney. This was the point of Paul's non-alignment pact* with the frontrunner. With Santorum out and Gingrich staggering like an extra in Re-Animator, Paul's movement is free to take over the state contests.
UPDATE: Some Ron Paul vets point out that the RNC's official delegate count was off: Paul DID win six delegates to the convention in 2008.
*A reader points out that "non-aggression pact" makes more sense. But I'm making a reference to a Pere Ubu song. Others may argue that this doesn't make sense, either.