Throughout the 2012 primary the Ron Paul campaign has touted the large crowds at their campaign events across the country. Days before elections the crowds have been billed by his campaign as "remarkable”, “giant”, and “incredible”. Pro-Paul blogs post videos and pictures showing thousands of Paul backers gathered to hear their leader preach his brand of libertarianism. The bloggers write something to the effect of, “These rallies show that Paul is winning the hearts and minds of young Americans.”
Unfortunately for Paul these large crowds have not led to success at the ballot box as Paul has amassed less than 100 delegates according to various estimates. But how can that be with Paul repeatedly drawing thousands to see him around the country?
Even though Paul has had a superior ground game in many smaller caucus states and has raised nearly $40 million, he has been unable to grab a victory in any state and has tallied about 1.1 million votes, half Newt Gingrich’s haul and a quarter of Mitt Romney’s.
The problem is this: Although Paul is running to lead a party that looks like him — older, whiter, Southern — his crowds are younger, war-weary, more diverse and less likely to identify with one party or to vote.
The same independent streak that leads the young and the restless to Paul’s libertarian philosophy seems to make it more unlikely that these supporters will pick a side and a party, which is a requirement for many of the primary and caucus contests.”
The other problem Paul faces is that a chunk of his small but devoted base travels to see him everywhere he goes so his events are not always an accurate reflection of the local voter base. Paul's campaign is spreading the libertarian gospel unlike anybody since Ayn Rand but it still is not translating into electoral or policy wins.
Even if Paul’s much talked about delegate strategy is working it will be nearly impossible for him to win the Republican nomination. A little known rule may prevent Paul’s name from being nominated on the convention floor in Tampa this summer.
Still, that is not ending rumors that Paul will use his delegates to negotiate for a primetime speaking spot at the convention for himself or his son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
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