Ron Paul Fights in Maine, Not Florida

The Christian Science Monitor reporting on the Ron Paul campaign's caucuses-over-primaries strategy, which has him campaiging in Maine while most campaign eyes are on Florida:

Why Maine? It’s no secret that Paul is giving Florida a pass, because ad time there is expensive and the state’s electorate skews older, which is not Paul’s best demographic. The Texas libertarian is focusing on caucus states such as Maine and Nevada, where his fervent supporters can more easily out-organize the competition.

But here’s something that has been little noticed in the press: Maine’s caucuses actually begin this weekend. So Paul may be pulling something of an end run about his rivals.

Yes, we know, if you look at the Maine Republican Party’s website, it lists Feb. 11 as the date officials will announce the results of a caucus presidential straw poll.

But if you scroll through the details, you’ll see that the party has established a window of Feb. 4-11 for Maine Republicans to caucus and vote for a presidential nominee and delegates to the state convention. And if you really squint and look at the fine print, you’ll note that the party faithful in some towns have ignored this guidance, and are meeting either before or after the February window.

Lincoln, Lowell, Burlington, Chester, Enfield, Winn, and Howland are holding their joint caucus on Saturday, for example. Millinocket’s is on Sunday (it’s at the Snowmobile Club). Castine’s is not until March 3.

We’re not the only commentator to have noticed this. Josh Putnam, a political scientist at Davidson College who specializes in the election process, discussed this development on his Frontloading HQ blog on Wednesday.

Maine’s situation “is unique, but it isn’t unprecedented,” wrote Mr. Putnam. Caucus states sometimes spread out their process down at the precinct or county level.

“Now, which candidate will make a last minute trip up to Penobscot County before Saturday?” Putnam asked, rhetorically.

We can answer that, can’t we? It’s Paul.

Of course, the stakes are higher in Florida, a winner-take-all primary with a prize of 50 delegates, than Maine, where caucusgoers will select 24 delegates statewide and vote in a nonbinding presidential straw poll. 

Reminder about the results when they are announced in Maine: it's not about that nonbinding straw poll, it's about whose supporters end up delegates.

In other Paul world news:

*The security footage of Rand Paul's brouhaha with the TSA released.

*My 23-year plan pays off: the newspaper where I was opinions page editor in 1989, the Independent Florida Alligatorendorses Ron Paul.

*You can still pre-order my forthcoming book Ron Paul's Revolution.

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  • Xenocles||

    Thirst!

  • Old Mexican||

    It’s no secret that Paul is giving Florida a pass, because ad time there is expensive and the state’s electorate skews older, which is not Paul’s best demographic.


    It's not the demographic, is their status: Most of the Floridian elders are retirees who somehow think they can have their pensions (cake) and the wars at the same time (eat it too.)

    Paul is managing his resources in the most efficient and goal-oriented way possible. Why this alone shouldn't qualify him for the presidential seat is something I do not understand.

  • robc||

    Its not even the demographic. Its a winner take all state. If it was proportional, Paul would be competing hard there.

  • Xenocles||

    It should either be proportional or irrelevant, but the RNC doesn't have the balls to further sanction Florida for their intransigence.

  • Brett L||

    FLGOP to National GOP rulemakers: Welcome to Tampa, we're dropping you off in the Everglades. Hope you make it back to the convention center alive.

  • Big Cypress||

    dRoP aCiD NoT BomBs!

  • ||

    The RNC rule was that everybody who went early had to be proportional; FL is getting sanctioned by half for that.

  • Xenocles||

    They also moved their primary up too early; that's what the half penalty is for.

  • ||

    I'll check, but I believe that the half penalty in 2008 was for moving up too early, and then the RNC amended the rules for 2012 so that primaries and causes were allowed to be earlier without being "too early," but only if they are proportional.

  • ||

    Although perhaps the "too early" rules as amended allowed non First Four states to start their process with local delegates before March, but disallowed final delegate selection.

    In any case, the penalty for any rules violation if 50%. Florida decided that they might as well go all the way in violation.

  • JEP||

    Many of the "winner take all" states only give all the delegates to one candidate if that candidate gets more than 50% of the vote.

    Otherwise, the guy who comes in first gets a set number of delegates, and the rest are doled out based to the candidates who won each county or precinct.

    With 4 candidates still in the race, it's going to be hard for anyone to get 50% of the vote.

  • tarran||

    It doesn't disqualify him.

    Florida is a mixture of retirees (high time preferences) and evangelicals (We must fight to protect Israel to the last American - Economics is not in the bible, and if the bible was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's all I eer need to read).

    They aren't going to listen.

  • Tonio||

    High time preferences???

  • tarran||

    A person with High Time preference is the sort of person who would fling open a window and shout "It's my money, and I want it now".

    When looking into ROI, a person will be willing to invest $1 today to get $1+x in a year. The higher the time preference, the more valuable a dollar today is in comparison to a dollar in the future, and the higher x is.

  • o3||

    econ not in the bible?

    seems like dodd-frank bull-whipped the money changers outta congress...or frank knows congress in teh biblical way

  • yonemoto||

    "Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah and an honest hin. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt."

  • poetry||

    There's a presidential seat? Do you mean the oval office's attached bathroom?

    Now that I mention it, I wonder what that's like..

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    The restroom attendant reports to the Chinese embassy.

  • ||

    I think he's making a mistake. Florida has a large number of people who like or are receptive to Paul. There's a very active and significant Paul faction here in Tampa.

    Even if he loses, the mobilization will activate interest in him and in his ideas, which could pay dividends at the convention. And, even if he doesn't win the delegates, placing in the state does matter, for some reason I still don't understand.

    All this dismissal of senior citizens is wrongheaded, too. I know several who are Paul supporters, mostly because they think the current path is unsustainable.

  • Joe M||

    All this dismissal of senior citizens is wrongheaded, too. I know several who are Paul supporters, mostly because they think the current path is unsustainable.

    Most of them don't give a fuck about sustainability because they won't be around when it's time to pay the piper.

  • ||

    The smarter ones realize that the economy could fall apart way before the projections say their benefits will run out. What happens to them if we have runaway inflation in a couple of years?

  • ||

    A couple of years? I'd be shocked, based on what the TIPS yield curve looks like, compared to the regular Treasuries.

    To think that we're going to have runaway inflation "in a couple of years," you have to think that the bond market is not just inefficient, but spectacularly so.

  • CE||

    To think that we're going to have runaway inflation "in a couple of years," you have to think that the bond market is not just inefficient, but spectacularly so.

    Or blissfully unaware, like the tech stock market in 2000, or the housing market in 2005...

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Wouldn't be the first giant Bubble of Stupid in my lifetime. I really don't know what to believe ... but I think buying US Debt know is all downside and don't know why anybody would do that.

  • ||

    To be sure, it need not be runaway inflation. Just merely bad inflation would wreck their fixed-income lifestyles.

  • Mensan||

    Up here in Pasco County, the only yard signs I have seen are Ron Paul signs. They're not the little ones either. The big six foot ones are all over the place along the major roads: US 19, SR 52, County Line Rd, Little Rd, Ridge Rd, SR 54.

    I'm not delusional enough to think he won't come in last here, because most people here are stupid, but he seems to be the only candidate that has any active supporters.

  • ||

    Same thing in Hillsborough, though I've seen a couple of Romney and, oddly enough, Santorum signs.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Ditto for Suwannee Co.

  • Mensan||

    One guy on SR 52 had one of those electronic road signs out by his fence programmed with a Ron Paul message for about a month. He moved it though, and replaced it with one of the regular big signs.

  • tarran||

    So the TSA lied about Rand Paul's demeanor?

    I'm shocked! Shocked, I tell you!

  • Xenocles||

    They're trying really hard to be thought of as real law enforcement types. (Don't bust a vein, dunphy, it's just a joke.)

  • poetry||

    Only dunphy spoofs so far, today

  • ||

    Honestly, Maine is not the best place for Paul to go after. Maine is a wonderful place to vacation in, but is a lot more benefits-dependent than you would think at first glance. It's the hicksville of New England.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Any caucus-based state is superior for Paul, though, because his followers are willing to practically wrap barbed-wire around their feet, walk through three feet of snow, and still be at the caucus location 1/2 hour early.

  • Tonio||

    What do you mean, "practically"? LOL.

  • Tonio||

    Well, not many delegates, but possible for him to do well enough there to stay in the race.

    Also, geography makes it easier for the RP supporters in NH to canvass in ME, so advantage right there.

  • ||

    T-man, Maine's geography is...forest. Not much advantage there.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, but almost everybody lives on the coast.

  • Tonio||

    What I meant was, as opposed to FL. I don't see many NH RP supporters travelling to FL (etc) to canvass, but ME is a different matter.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Indeed, it's so bad that Massachusetts didn't want them as part of their state anymore.

    Also, unfortunately, Olympia Snowe is a hardcore drug warrior.

  • ||

    the hicksville of New England.

    I see that you have not heard of New Hampshire.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Really? You're really arguing that Maine is more urbane than New Hampshire? Are you high?

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    The hicksville of New England is a vast expanse of territory in between I-81 and I-87. I think getting there still requires a covered wagon.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    That's not in New England...

  • Zeb||

    Maine is very big and much poorer than NH. We have our share of hicksville areas (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), but NH is way more compact and more economically developed.

  • tarran||

    The conservatives in Maine tend to be rather individualistic people who I think would be very receptive to Paul's message.

  • ||

    Look, tarran, you're a Masshole, so nothing you say can be taken seriously, OK? I say that as only a Connecticut native can.

  • jacob||

    Blue blood!

  • Destrudo||

    I live in Maine and I can tell you it's not exactly Ron Paul territory. Over 50% of the state is on welfare of some sort. The northern half is Republican hicks on food stamps, and the southern half is mega-liberal gaywad hipsters on food stamps.

  • ||

    But if remember correctly, it is a closed party caucus. And Mainers love to hate Massholes like Romney.

  • tarran||

    Perhaps I am the victim of sampling bias. :(

  • Destrudo||

    The deep south of the far north.

  • ||

    I swear I hear banjos coming from the woods last time I was on Moosehead Lake.

  • CE||

    Ron Paul got 18% in Maine last time. Turnout is very low, and could be gamed, like a straw poll.

  • Hermes Conrad||

    So Paul may be headin' for a technical win in Maine. The very best kind.

  • Al Gore||

    Not really.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Guards! Bring me the forms I need to fill out to have her taken away!

  • poetry||

    I'd think most alligators are independents.

  • Brett L||

    They're reactionary. They vote with their gut.

  • sarcasmic||

    We elected LePage who is keeping is promise to take an axe to the state budget, maybe we can elect Paul to do the same on the federal level.

  • ||

    Paul could spend $20 million in Florida, finish second by 1 vote and get zero delegates.

    Or he can spend a couple million in Maine, get 20% of the vote and five delegates.

    The math isn't that hard.

    Except to the MSM.

  • ||

    They understood the math a little bit better when their man Obama was doing it.

  • ||

    Although they're still having a hard time wrapping their head around the Republicans and their "each state can do pretty much what they want" rules (with a few sanctions for winner-take-all done too early after things got silly) as opposed to the Democrats having the One True Rule that all states must follow about exactly how the proportionality is done.

  • RNC||

    Don't like it, then form your own party.

    Wait...no, don't do that. I think I misspoke.

  • robc||

    Actually, he got can 20% of the vote and 15 delegates, as the vote means jack.

    I really want someone to give us a good count on Iowa. Someone, somewhere ought to be able to estimate the delegate count for Iowa properly.

  • JEP||

  • robc||

    And still wrong.

    While in June, when Iowa gets around to awarding their delegates, they will be soft, they will still have a "preference". This preference could be estimated by figuring out the support from the county delegates, for example.

    That article REALLY simplified the Iowa process.

  • kinnath||

    The final delegate count in Iowa will be determined by the party establishment and whomever is leading the overall delegate count heading into the national convention.

    Unlike the democrats, the people who attend the county, district, and state convetions don't have to express or pretend to follow a preference that's tied to the straw poll. So the republican straw poll on caucus night is absolutely disconnected from the delegate count at the state convention.

    It is possible that Paul's campaign can influence the outcome at the state convention. I have already paid the entrance fees for county, district, and state conventions for my wife and myself. I did this because I actually think there is a possibility that Paul can get delegates from Iowa to the national convention.

  • ||

    With Paul's caucus strategy, I'm surprised there's not more criticism of him subverting the democratic process or some other bullshit.

  • MSM||

    Don't think for a second we won't be bringing that up when Paul starts gathering these delegates.

  • MSM II||

    Woah, woah, woah, who gave you your marching orders? We aren't supposed to mention him at all.

  • CE||

    "subverting the democratic process" equals following the rules of the democratic process?

  • ||

    If Newt doesnt take Florida, he is all but done for. He isnt event on the ballot in enough states to get the nomination. Its a two man race between Paul and Romney. I find it interesting that this doesnt come up more often. All Newt can do is collect as many delegates he can and turn them over to Romney. I urge anyone that is interested in true Democracy to check out the Candidates and how they are funded. Look at how they have voted and what they have supported in the past. Look in to why people are giving Ron Paul support.

  • ||

    Nobody is done for until at least Super Tuesday.

  • JEP||

    I read one article saying that Gingrich and Santorum aren't on the ballot for 562 delegates.

    Meaning it's almost impossible, maybe actually impossible depending on the outcome of Florida, for them to win the nomination.

  • Zeb||

    I just think that is weird. How is getting on the ballot in every state not priority one for a candidate in the primaries? Seems pretty basic.

  • ||

    See, Zeb, this is why you will always be a little man and not a great big man like Newcular Titties.

  • CE||

    Newt had no actual campaign for most of the year. He didn't start raising serious cash until the 4th quarter, which was too late to get organized (and even then he raised less than Ron Paul.) The Newt Super PAC is spending like mad on TV, but it can't run the campaign ground game.

    Santorum had even less of a real campaign than Gingrich.

  • ||

    Well, are they in it to win it, or in it to sell books and boost up their appearance fees?

  • ||

    They're in it to ensure that Ron Paul doesn't somehow win.

    Crap, that might even be true!

  • Mensan||

    "I read one article saying that Gingrich and Santorum aren't on the ballot for 562 delegates."

    Where did you read that? I've seen that comment a couple times now, but I haven't been able to find any article making that claim. The only thing I've been able to find is that they're not on the Virginia ballot.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: mike,

    If Newt doesnt take Florida, he is all but done for. He isnt event on the ballot in enough states to get the nomination.


    And this fact will set the tone for tonight's debate. This is Mitt's only chance to make Newt waver, otherwise it will be a tougher road for him. A Newt win could mean a higher probability for a Paul 3rd party race. A Mitt win could still allow Paul to be the "anybody but Mitt" candidate and snatch the nomination from the jaws of the neo-cons.

  • ||

    Duh, they're caucus states, not primary states. So you don't need to convince tens of thousands of voters to win, you just need a few hundred well-placed die-hards to skew the caucuses.

    And since there's no way in Hell he can actually convince tens of thousands that he isn't a racist, anti-semitic, fringe nutjob he has no way of winning a closed primary state like Florida (as opposed to an open primary state where enough Democrat troublemakers can cross the line and vote for him in a blatant attempt to make him appear more popular than he really is).

    Simple, really.

  • CE||

    Check the results from Iowa and New Hampshire. Ron Paul did convince tens of thousands that he was the best candidate.

    He can convince people when he can speak to them directly, or afford to run his advertisements on TV. When the voters depend the mainstream media/CIA propaganda outlets for their information, he loses.

  • CE||

    Iowa: 26,000+ votes for Ron Paul
    NH: 56,000+ votes for Ron Paul
    SC: 78,000 votes for Ron Paul

    So much for "a few hundred die-hards"

  • ||

    SC and NH are open primary states, and quite a few of those votes are Democratic voters. The Paul campaign even bragged about it, pretending these Dems would actually vote for him in November (fat chance).

  • xRedfoxx||

    Here is a link to the Conservative Scorecard that is an easy-to-read rating of the GOP candidates on conservative issues. Ron Paul ranks very high!!

    http://www.conservativescorecard.com/

    I think it’s time we unite behind him and we take Obama down!!

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