All Her Friends Call Her Alaska

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It looks like Ron Paul will get around 20 percent of the Maine vote, and his campaign is confident he'll pass McCain to grab second place in the delegate count there. The campaign's attention turns, naturally, to Alaska. Low turnout, a fractured GOP, a libertarian streak in the state, and a proportional delegate-awarding system: Tailor-made for Paul.

In Alaska, the caucus is in large part a numbers game. Many of the state's 683,000 residents live in hard-to-reach spots outside of the road system. Randy Ruedrich, head of the Republican Party in Alaska and a former libertarian, expects just 5,000 to 7,000 to turn out at the Republican caucuses.

Mr. Paul's campaign goal is aggressive: With 40 districts in Alaska, he wants to persuade 200 people in each district—8,000 people total—to vote for him. Mr. Paul's staffer Mr. Bergman is pushing a tried-and-true approach: Cold-call registered voters to identify supporters and encourage them to vote.

Last month I spoke with some Alaska politicos and former Alaska Rep. Andre Marrou, Ron Paul's 1988 running mate (and the 1992 LP nominee for president, and a current resident of Texas), and all were bearish on Paul's chances. The feeling was that the Alaska caucus/convention system was simply too complicated for Paul's ragged armies to master. Since then, though, we've seen a pretty organized effort in Maine and the exit of Rudy Giuliani, whose supporters had done a little organizing, probably hoping to expand their geographic base beyond Giants/Jets country.

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  1. Have fun stormin’ the castle!

  2. Tailor-made for Paul.

    I’m not holding my breath – I thought the same about New Hampshire.

    Here in WA state, he’s projected to possibly win the caucus this Saturday, which awards all the delegates for the Dems and 51% for the GOP. Kinda cool, I get to vote for Paul twice.

  3. Cold-call Alaska voters.

    There’s a joke there.

  4. It’s so cold in Alaska.

  5. It is not clear to me what procedure will be used in the Maine state convention to elect delegates to national. If Romney has more than 50% of the delegates to the state convention and the district caucuses, can he pick up all of those delegates to national?

  6. I dunno if Ron Paul will win Washington State, but I do know that my precinct caucus will be packed with a majority of RP supporters. (I’m the Precinct Committee Officer and the Paul supporters are getting more than one reminder to show up.)

  7. man, first a herzog movie title reference the other day, now a lou reed/ velvet underground song lyric reference today’s title. hit and run/libertarians are puttin’ down the science fiction books and gettin’ hip finally.

  8. his strategy of trying to win a state that none of the actual contenders are even campaigning in is as pathetic as the fact his racist butt is still in the race to begin with. what a joke

  9. Ron Paul was the leading Republican fundraiser (of the 4 remaining candidates) in Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, and Hawaii, according to FEC year-end reports.

    From what I’ve seen so far (Nevada, Louisiana, and Maine), the more complicated and less publicized a caucus is, the better the Ron Paul people do. It makes sense, since we’re mot motivated, better organized, and well, smarter.

    I think we would have done well in Wyoming, too, except that most of the voting spots were locked up two years ago by establishment GOP types. Montana has similar rules, but had far more vacant voting positions to snap up.

    Other states where Ron Paul has a fighting chance: Minnesota (caucus, independent streak), Arkansas, Tennessee, Colorado, and California.

  10. Trust me, Alaskans don’t care about politics. They just vote on whether you are hot or not.

  11. Should have said “more motivated” above….

    Ron Paul will also do well in Washington, which is the most anti-war state from what I can tell, and where his rallies have been impressive.

  12. We’ll see about the turnout. In one state, after an e-mail blitz, less than 10% of the RP contributors showed up at numerous locations to sign his petition to just get on the ballot.
    A short drive and ten minutes – couldn’t be bothered. A several hour caucus – what are the chances?

  13. reason sucks

  14. The publication or the adherence to logic? Both have their serious drawbacks.

  15. Alaska is probably the most libertarian state in the nation and Paul’s best chance to win a state. Ed Clark, the Libertarian Party’s candidate in 1980, won 11.66% in the general election in a race that already featured a more well known third party/independent candidate (John Anderson). He beat Anderson there.

  16. Great comment, Stephanie.

  17. I’ve never caucused before in 18 years of Republican voting. But I’m planning to caucus for Ron Paul on Saturday. I hate the way the media bastards and the party bigwigs try to grind him down. They’d like to just see him drop off the face of the earth. Well, that’s not going to happen.

  18. The Newshour menitioned that Ron Paul probably has the most cash on hand of any of the Republicans.

  19. Romney will win Alaska. In fact, it’s now looking like he’ll sweep the Northwestern States tomorrow: North Dakota, Colorado (he’s ahead by 18 points), Montana and Alaska.

    The West likes Romney.

  20. Where is our good buddy Dondero? Did he die of rage?

  21. Ah, there he is, just in time to make my post look stupid. D’oh!

  22. Ah, there he is, just in time to make my post look stupid. D’oh!

    But not before he made his own post look stupid

  23. Yet another Dondero prediction! I wonder if this one will be as successful as his last “Rudy will eat Romney’s still beating heart!”

  24. Really? I said “Rudy will eat Romney’s still beating heart”? Can you give me a link for that statement?

    BTW, how do you all expect Ron Paul to do tomorrow? Any wins? Surely, he’ll win Alaska, right? Maybe North Dakota at least?

    Why are all the Ron Paulists silent all of a sudden?

  25. I guess the Paul fanatics have smartened up a bit.

    Before Wyoming it was “Ron Paul will absolutely win Wyoming.” He ended up with Zero delegates.

    Then there were all those Paulists who thought for sure he was “going to win New Hampshire.”

    And then came Nevada. Oh yes, Nevada. That was a “sure thing” for Paul. He ended up a distant tied for second with McCain at 13%.

    You started seeing signs before Florida that the Paulists had smartened up a bit. No grand predictions of a “sure thing” in Florida. Now here we are on Super Tuesday, and the Paul people are nowheres to be found.

    Even the bravest of Paul souls are not predicting any victories. Sure, there’s a crackpot or two out there, saying that an Alaska win is “possible.”

    But long gone are the days of “Ron Paul Revolutions sweeping the Country… He will win everywhere!!”

  26. Now if we could only figure out how to shut up the Giuliani fanatics…

  27. Dondero — your list of “the Northwestern States” for the sweep did not include Oregon, Washington, or Idaho, the, uh, northwestern states. (Let’s call AK the “reallynorthwestern” state.)

  28. More (pathetic) Dondero flamebaiting, more vapid Dondero predictions, more of the same disappointing literary diarreah from a lifelong political hack and hothead loser.

  29. Wikipedia sez about Idaho:
    In 2004, the religious affiliations of Idahoans were surveyed as: [9]

    Protestant – 29.3%
    LDS (Mormon) – 22.8%
    Catholic – 14.3%
    Christian – 13.6%
    None – 12.7%
    Other – 7.2%

  30. Why are all the Ron Paulists silent all of a sudden?

    I guess we just don’t have the sense to switch to supporting whichever candidate’s winning at the moment.

  31. I heard Napoleon Dynamite endorsed Ron Paul. Kip is backing Obama, the little bastid.

  32. Really? I said “Rudy will eat Romney’s still beating heart”? Can you give me a link for that statement?

    Are you so dense you do not recognize sarcastic hyperbole when you see it?

    Before Wyoming it was “Ron Paul will absolutely win Wyoming.”

    Really? We said “Ron Paul will absolutely win Wyoming”? Can you give me a link for that statement?

    Some people said… sorry, let me correct that… A TINY HANDFUL of people suggested that Ron Paul might do well in Wyoming. The campaign itself did not. The supporters as a whole did not. Lew might have said that (he tends towards extreme optimism when he’s been drinking) but I can’t for the life of me recall anyone else who hinted at that.

    But it does not matter. What really matters is that you hero LOST Florida! You keep laughing at us for Ron Paul not winning any states, yet Rudy LOST! By your own standards you are a pathetic loser! Rudy is not a loser, he at least had the courtesy of according respect to Ron Paul for winning the debates. It is YOU who are the loser for refusing to live by your won criteria of worthiness. Your candidate lost therefore you deserve the same abuse you heap upon us.

  33. Romeny is over. McCain is the nominee for the Republicans. Hillary for the Democrats. Obama is pretty much over, too.

  34. Well, Cesar, in that case I guess the ‘Dondero for McCain’ posts will begin on Wednesday?

  35. Thanks – great article!

    We are collecting links to articles like yours at http://www.WhatTheySayAboutRonPaul.com for all the latest news about Ron Paul.

    If you want to help ensure your future articles about Ron Paul are noticed by even more Ron Paul supporters and others following the Ron Paul message you can go to http://www.WhatTheySayAboutRonPaul.com and post links to your own articles as soon as you make them available online.

  36. Lars we don’t need another ghey ron paul site.

    If I want news I will go to LewRockwell or DailyPaul.

  37. Wow, Dondero — you choose an interesting time to show up and start bad-mouthing Paul, after your candidate/boyfriend was bounced from the race with a grand total of 1 delegate.

    Maybe you should be quiet and just learn something for a while.

  38. Who care about Ron Paul. Let him crawl back under the rock he came out from:

    WASHINGTON – Dr. Ron Paul, a Republican congressional candidate from Texas, wrote in his political newsletter in 1992 that 95 percent of the black men in Washington, D.C., are “semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    He also wrote that black teenagers can be “unbelievably fleet of foot.”

    An official with the NAACP in Texas said the comments were racist and offensive.

    Dr. Paul, who is running in Texas’ 14th Congressional District, defended his writings in an interview Tuesday. He said they were being taken out of context.

    “It’s typical political demagoguery,” he said. “If people are interested in my character . . . come and talk to my neighbors.”

    Dr. Paul, an ex-congressman and former Libertarian Party presidential candidate, defeated Rep. Greg Laughlin, R-West Columbia, in April for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House.

    An obstetrician from Surfside, he faces Democratic lawyer Charles “Lefty” ! Morris of Bee Cave in the November general election. Mr. Morris, who said he was familiar with the writings in question, declined to comment about the specifics.

    “Many of his views are out on the fringe,” Mr. Morris said. “But voters in the 14th District have to characterize these the way they see it. His statements speak for themselves.”

    According to a Dallas Morning News review of documents circulating among Texas Democrats, Dr. Paul wrote in a 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.”

    Dr. Paul, who served in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s, said Tuesday that he has produced the newsletter since 1985 and distributes it to an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers. A phone call to the newsletter’s toll-free number was answered by his campaign staff.

    Dr. Paul also said he did not know how his newsletter came to be ! included in a directory by the Heritage Front, a neo-Nazi group based in Canada. The newsletter was listed on the Internet under the directory’s heading “Racialists and Freedom Fighters.”

    No one answered calls to the Heritage Front, which lists only a hotline connected to a tape-recorded message in the Toronto telephone directory.

    Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP, urged Dr. Paul to apologize for his comments about blacks and asked Republicans to denounce their nominee.

    “We need someone who can represent all the constituents of Texas, not someone who is negative or engages in stereotypes,” Mr. Bledsoe said. “Someone who holds those views signals or indicates an inability to represent all constituents without regard to race, creed or color.”

    About 11 percent of the population in the 14th District, stretching from near Austin to the Gulf Coast, is black.

    Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be r! ead and quoted in their entirety to avoid

    misrepresentation.

    Dr. Paul also took exception to the comments of Mr. Bledsoe, saying that the voters in the 14th District and the people who know him best would be the final judges of his character.

    “If someone challenges your character and takes the

    interpretation of the NAACP as proof of a man’s character, what kind of a world do you live in?” Dr. Paul asked.

    In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

    “If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.

    He also said the comment about black men in the nation’s capital was made while writing about a 1992 study produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank based in Virginia.

    Citing statistics from the study, Dr. Paul then concluded in his column: `Given the inef! ficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    “These aren’t my figures,” Dr. Paul said Tuesday. “That is the assumption you can gather from” the report

  39. Who care about Ron Paul.

    Tarzan? Is that you?

  40. Shane Brady: Get lost kid. If you were crapflooding just to irritate the H&R participants I might respect your posts more than this pathetic quest to deep-six a zero chance fringe candidate for President. Your “contributions” add as much value as that zealot Joe Allen’s anti-Reason “blog” article spamming in the wake of the newsletters publicity scandal. In fact, I might even be persuaded to respect your little flaccid Mountain Dew-drinking white boy keyboard slappings if you were to direct a fraction of such efforts toward things you disagree with concerning any other major Presidential frontrunner.

  41. Low turnout, a fractured GOP, a libertarian streak in the state, and a proportional delegate-awarding system: Tailor-made for Paul.

    And a caucus system. Paul has done much better in caucus states, which reward committed supporters, than in primary states. He’s really failed to expand outside the committed base. (But what commitment!)

    Not really surprising; a candidate that does well in raising funds from small donors should do well in a caucus system. They measure similar things.

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