TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. -- I spent Saturday at one Ron Paul party and Sunday at another, putting me in airborne contact with at least 10,000 followers of the Modern Thomas Jefferson. One question I kept asking: Are you guys 100 percent sure that Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee? Nobody said yes.
This is what outsiders don’t understand: Oodles of Paul supporters believe that the delegate switch-ups literally cost them a chance at the nomination. James DiPasquale, a Florida activist who watched some friends try and fail to become delegates, argues that Paul could win if the contest stretched on for a few ballots. (There has been no multi-ballot convention for decades.) “If every delegate was allowed to vote his conscience,” he asks, “how many of them really would want to vote for Romney? It would be a landslide for Ron Paul.” To emphasize the point, he walks around with a life-size stand-up poster of Ronald Reagan, to which he’s attached a quote from the Republican demigod, praising Paul.
(Photo by David Weigel.)