Ron Paul surprised everyone this week by winning at least half the delegates in Iowa and Minnesota. Two days ago he locked up a majority of delegates from Washington State. These tallies might earn him a guaranteed place on the ballot at the upcoming Republican National Convention. And in that case, historical precedent says that he can win the big prize: nomination.
Ron Paul in Iowa and Minnesota
On Monday of this week, Rachel Maddow at MSNBC surprised everyone by saying that Ron Paul had at least half the delegates in Iowa and Minnesota. She called this “the most off-script thing that has happened” in the Republican campaign.
International Business Times gave the details. Ron Paul has always known what most voters forget: most Republican primaries this year are non-binding. In Iowa, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and Ron Paul came in a very close first, second and third in the popular vote. But the rules said that the Iowa Republican Party would transact its real business in convention this last weekend. Ron Paul has always concentrated his resources on State caucuses and conventions. Even the famed “Iowa Caucus” results were only straw polls, and were not binding. Now Ron Paul has secured at least fourteen of twenty-eight delegates.
Ron Paul’s Minnesota results are more remarkable. Rick Santorum beat him handily there. But Rick Santorum is out of the race, and his supporters never took an active part in the Minnesota State convention. Result: Ron Paul has twenty of the forty delegates from Minnesota.
Ron Paul was right. No one is getting more delegates than he did in Minnesota or in Iowa or in wherever else this Ron Paul delegate strategy of his pays off.
Ron Paul in Washington State
On Thursday evening, Ron Paul stunned the media again: he won most of the delegate votes in Washington State. IB Times tells how significant this is:
Washington is now the third state, after Iowa and Minnesota, in which Ron Paul has locked up at least half of the state’s nominating delegates. In order to be officially entered in nomination at the Tampa, Fla., convention, he needs to secure half or more of the delegates in five states, and as of Thursday, he looks poised to grab a majority of delegates in other states like North Dakota and Maine in coming weeks.
Rob Richie and Elise Helgesen, at Politico.com, said as far back as November 25 of last year that the Republicans might not nominate a candidate in one ballot. They discussed whether the rules let States move their primaries up. But those same rules made the primaries largely non-binding. And Rule 40, paragraph b, clearly says how many State majorities a candidate needs to be on the ballot:
Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.
Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have both suspended their campaigns. They have done this so that they can raise money to pay off their staggering campaign debts. But neither man has released any delegates actually bound to him. Furthermore, Ron Paul has taken delegate slots that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich might have gotten. And unlike Gingrich and Santorum, Ron Paul is not in debt. He has two million dollars in cash on hand.
In 1920, Warren G. Harding came to the Republican National Convention with six percent of the delegates, less than any other candidate. Ten ballots later, the convention nominated him with 70 percent of the vote. He went on to defeat Democrat James Cox in a landslide.
Ron Paul hopes to do today what Warren Harding did 92 years ago. And he will start with a higher proportion of delegates than Harding had.
See also this video of Ron Paul as a guest host on CNBC.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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