Book sales numbers aren't the only metric of success Ron Paul cares about now. He's finishing up a mini-tour of campuses in North Carolina and Indiana, reminding voters that he's on the ballot, bidding for protest votes that will (almost assuredly) pump his total for the primary season over one million. From the North Carolina stop:
Paul told the crowd that his hopes of winning the White House will continue to the end.
"If there's money in the bank and you want to continue the process and you want to go all the way to the convention and make sure our message is heard, that is what I intend to do," said Paul.
This from a two-city, two-campus stop in Durham and Chapel Hill. I assume the stops went as well as the stops I saw in Pennsylvania, probably with more repeat business by Paul fans driving from event to event. (Durham and Chapel Hill are closer than Gettysburg and State College.)
"It's improbable, but not impossible," said Bill Thompson, 75, who drives 150 miles round-trip from Sampson County to attend the weekly meetings of the The Wilmington Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group.
You would have been hard-pressed to have missed the group's handwork over the past year. They've held signs at the intersection of College Road and Oleander Avenue, passed out anti-income tax leaflets on April 15, and even broadcast a continuous loop of an interview with Paul on a low-power radio station beaming on 1610 AM.
And, of course, they have put up roadside signs, which have sprouted like wildflowers. Many are hand-painted with slogans like "Dr. Paul Cured My Apathy," "Vote Ron Paul and Win a Free Country," and "Legalize the Constitution—Ron Paul '08."
"I don't think you can drive five minutes in Wilmington without seeing a sign," said Martin Goter, a computer repairman and a leader of the local group, which claims 160 members. Most are written on others' signs reclaimed from the dump.
The biggest libertarian event in the state won't be the presidential race, though. It'll be the 4th district congressional primary, where Paul activist B.J. Lawson is running against Augustus Cho, a deeply unimpressive candidate who's basically running to prevent a Paulite from getting the nomination. The second biggest event: The 3rd district primary, where Paul-endorsed anti-war Republican Walter Jones will beat pro-war challenger Joe McLaughlin like a drum. (I've met both of them and Joe's better than his campaign.)