Election 2012

Ron Paul Roundup: Somewhat Ironic Win in Virgin Islands, Delegate Strategy Paying Off? And Is Ron Paul the Next Black Swan?


You may have heard Ron Paul finally won a caucus outright–in the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday.

Paul campaign spokesman Jack Hunter finds it ironic that a press that always reports victors in terms of popular vote, not delegate counts, chose to declare this a Romney victory since he walked away with more delegates.

Paul fans also are annoyed that the Virgin Island GOP's official web page changed to not even mention the 29 percent of votes for Paul delegates, more than the 26 percent for Romney ones, though the original results are still visible in this post from former Reason man Dave Weigel at Slate.

The convoluted, poorly-reported-on rules for the Virgin Island caucus state that no one is voting for the candidate per se, they are merely voting for delegates who are committed to a certain candidate (or not). It seems as though a larger percentage of people voted for delegates who said they were for Ron, but those votes were too spread out among different potential delegates for many of his delegates to actually get selected. Each voter had six different votes to case for delegates.

Residents of the Virgin Islands can't actually vote for president in the general election. And while it is inaccurate to say "Ron Paul won the popular vote," since no one was voting for Ron Paul per se, more people did cast votes for delegates committed to Ron. (384 total votes were cast in the VI caucus.) And yet he's walking away with only one committed one going to Tampa. The New American with more on the double-standard in reporting victors, and Independent Voter Network on the same; how bitterly ironic that the first time the media is scrupulously mindful of the importance of delegate accumulation over raw votes, a point Paul's campaign emphasized early and often, it is to deny Paul a moral victory.

Ron Paul's rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired

Now for some snapshots of the Ron Paul delegate fight from GOP conventions 'cross the land:

*Paul people rock Clark County Nevada, reports the Las Vegas Review Journal. Details:

Supporters of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul on Saturday effectively took control of the Clark County Republican Party by winning election to 14 executive board positions, or two-thirds of the ruling body.

The election came during the county GOP convention where Paul delegates dominated, winning as many as half of the 1,382 delegates nominated to the state convention May 2-4 in Sparks…..

"This is the grass roots taking a stand to change the direction of the party from the county level," said Carl Bunce, Nevada chairman of Paul's campaign and a delegate. "This is bigger than just Ron Paul. This is about liberty and openness and fairness and changing the party."….

Still, the Paul factor could complicate things at the state convention for Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner who won the Feb. 4 GOP presidential caucus in Nevada with 50 percent of the vote….

The 2012 state GOP convention will elect 28 delegates to the Republican National Convention this summer in Tampa, Fla.

Romney earned 14 of those delegates because of his 50 percent caucus finish. The rest of the delegates also were awarded proportionally, depending on the percentage of the caucus vote that each candidate won in Nevada.

??Newt Gingrich got 21 percent of the caucus vote to pick up six delegates.

??Paul won 19 percent for five delegates.

??Rick Santorum won 10 percent for three delegates.

Bunce said Paul supporters would follow the rules, which require the 28 delegates elected at the state level to attend the national convention and be bound on the first ballot to vote in line with the GOP caucus winning percentages.

That could mean a Paul delegate would have to vote for Romney on the first ballot if he's the GOP nominee based on delegates won during the primary season. However, a contested convention could lead to more than one ballot, and delegates could then switch to other candidates.

*Angry non-Paul fan reports from Minnesota:

Up until yesterday, I really hadn't taken the Ron Paul campaign very seriously.  Most non-Paul voters probably felt like I did, and laughed him off as that "kooky Uncle" who didn't have a chance in hell to win the Republican nomination for President.

Well, I've changed my mind.  Big time.

Yesterday I attended the Republican organizational convention for my Senate district here in Minnesota, and what I witnessed was an organized take-over of our nomination process by Ron Paul cultists.  They came to this convention with the sole intent to take over as many of the delegate seats as they could, and sadly, they succeeded….

As soon as the man leading the convention(the Convention Chair) began to ask if there were any motions to bring to the floor, several Paulbots lept to their feet to make motions asking to "suspend" the rules so that people who were in attendance could add their names to the delegate nominations….

The Paulbots, who did NOT submit their names prior to the convention, were now demanding that they should added to the list of nominees that very day.  This is normally outside of the rules, but the Paulbots(there were at least 50 of them spread throughout the auditorium) through a suspension of the rules, demanded that they be added to the list of nominees…they were able to add all of their names to the delegate nominations.

*Daily Caller also sees Paul fan caused "chaos" in a Denver County Colorado GOP convention, with video.

*Nick Weltha, a Ron Paul supporter from Iowa, reports to me personally that "Paul has at least half if not maybe 4/5ths of the delegates in Polk County, Iowa (biggest county in the state) from the historic 12-hour county convention last weekend. This is just my estimate, of course, but the turnout was enormous and every person I ever saw walk into the Central Iowa Paul office seemed to be there, including some of the fringe left-libertarians…we seem to have stacked the state GOP convention in favor of Paul."

*Paul Alaska delegates fear possible skullduggery aimed at them with delegate payments delayed deliberately til after the official deadline. More warnings of possible GOP intimidation against Paul people.

*In Wyoming, the Washington Times reports, Paul's delegate strategy fails with a 21 percent popular vote turning into only one delegate going on to the national convention.

*Paul fans analyze fine-grained data from New York in 2008 and find that merely dragging a buddy or two to vote could be very meaningful in that primary state.

*Rick Santorum has his own delegate strategy, detailed in this long memo that does a decent job explaining why the unbound caucus state delegates will likely not go the way the straw poll votes might indicate. Santorum, like Paul, thinks his people will be better organized and passionate enough to pull off surprises.

*Black Swan author Nassim Taleb hearts Ron Paul: "Only one candidate, Ron Paul, seems to have grasped the issues and is offering the right remedies for the central problems we are facing, so I came out just to support….I think one candidate represents the right policies…and that's Ron Paul."

*My forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution. My April Reason cover story, "The Ron Paul Moment."

NEXT: Jim Epstein on How Stimulus Fails

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  1. Nassim Taleb: “Only one candidate, Ron Paul, seems to have gasped the issues and is offering the right remedies for the central pobrlems we are facing so I came out just to support….i think one caddiate represetnes the right policies…and that’s Ron Paul.”

    Hopefully after he recovers from his stroke, he’ll stump for the good doctor a little more.

    1. I was about to post a comment along the lines of “That movie really drove home how much hotter Mila Kunis is than Natalie Portman” but I guess it’s a different Black Swan.

      1. You needed that driven home?

        1. “I disavow.” ~Newt Paul

        2. You needed that driven home?

          I think Natalie Portman is gorgeous. That’s why I enjoyed watching her masturbate in that movie. Having said that, I think Mila Kunis is simply the most beautiful woman in show business.

          1. I’m not going to use any superlatives; I was merely stating that Mila Kunis is hotter than Natalie Portman. I did not mean to imply in any way that Natalie Portman isn’t really hot in her own right.

            1. I love how this stuff is so completely subjective. Hell, I’m sure you could find someone who thinks Sandra Bernhard is the hottest woman alive.

              But when it comes to the topic of Mila Kunis, I’m more than happy to throw in the superlative “hottest.” For me, Natalie Portman is in the top ten or so.

              1. You mean there are people out there who *don’t* think Sandra Bernhart is hot?

      2. What kind of British-loving, nearsighted ne’er-do-well would think that the pug-faced Mila Kunis is in any way hotter than the radiant Natalie Portman? Wait, are you Jude Law?

        1. I’m just a guy who found MK super-hot in Forgetting Sara Marshall, and who has never understood the obsession with Ms. Hershlag. Also, the fact that she appeared in the most disappointing movie of all time doesn’t help her case.

          And no, I’m not Jude Law. He’s much better looking than I am, although my hairline is holding up better than his.

          1. MK was actually pretty hot in that movie. And don’t let my endorsement of Natalie’s looks in any way appear like an endorsement of her acting or movie role selection.

      3. Mila Kunis is several years younger than Natalie. Natalie is still gorgeous, but she isn’t aging very well.

        1. Actually I find older Natalie to be much hotter than younger Natalie.

          The skinnny Natalie in Black Swan isn’t a good example of that though. The thicker one in Thor is what I’m talking about.

          Mila is hot too.

          1. Natalie was way to skinny in Black Swan it wasn’t a good look for her. I thought Natalie was looking really good in Garden State & Closer.

    2. That typo-ridden gibble-gabble now fixed if you refresh.

    1. “I disavow.” ~Newt Paul

      1. with my name on it while people like Max gleefully destroyed this country and I wallowed in despondency after this voters proved they don’t really want to fix anything. Asshats.

        1. ? Is any white person‘s right an individual or collective right?
          ? Is the right to take a negative or positive right?

          “[The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land … Any white person who brought the element of civilization had the right to take over this continent.” ~Ayn Rand, US Military Academy at West Point, March 6, 1974

  2. Uh, it’s only 128 people in an irrelevant territory. I want RP to win as badly as anyone, but latching on to this of all things reeks of desperation.

    1. Desperation is all the Paultards have left.

      1. But atleast they understand concepts like inflation.

    2. I gotta agree. It was surreal all the emails I was getting over the weekend about the big Ron Paul win. It reeks of desperation.

  3. The GOP has always been vulnerable to this. The times I’ve been involved, the people that showed up to precinct conventions got to be delegates to the larger conventions because we could send more delegates than we had people. If you show up to each successive level with enough people, there’s not a whole lot to be done against you.

  4. If only online straw polls counted for something, Ron Paul would be relevant.

    1. If only online straw polls counted for something, Ron Paul would be relevant winning.

      It’s a good thing young people are the future of the Republican party.

      1. Just wait until after the Czar falls, and see how many promises are kept by the radicals.

      2. I suppose the irony of citing the importance of young people to the republican party while talking about a candidate who was born the same year as Elvis totally went past you, then?

        1. Or you could just check the exit polls in every state, where Ron Paul is winning or near the top of the youth vote results.

          1. Kids tend to like their grandparents much more than they like their parents.

    2. He’s way more relevant than most other politicians, who don’t know a shit about economics and don’t give a shit about liberty.

      1. Not Fibertarians. They’re all for Gambol Lockdown.

        Libertarians secretly worried that ultimately someone will figure out the whole of their political philosophy boils down to “Get Off My Property.” News flash: This is not really a big secret to the rest of us.

        I Hate Your Politics
        March 22, 2002 By John Scalzi

  5. Is this the Ron Paul newsletter that I have heard so much about?

    1. …does it mean anything?

  6. Very small disruptions in the announced delegate counts to date would be enough to create a contested convention.

    That’s all I’m looking to see. For the lulz. And for the pain. But I guess the lulz and the pain are One, so I repeat myself.

    1. Not my pain, so definitely lulz. I take a rather grim satisfaction in the lulz politics generates, since I get nothing else out of the process anymore.

  7. Is tonight the night when Willard clinches?

    1. and finally squeezes out Santorum for good?

  8. I hope Paul gets enough delegates to turn the convention into a clusterfuck, then becomes Johnson’s VP when he’s not nominated for the Republican Party. TV worth watching.

  9. As much as I like and respect Paul, it will actually be something of a relief when he retires at the end of the year.

    If nothing else it will force libertarians to start focusing their attention and efforts on someone younger with more potential, who is hopefully a better and more convincing campaigner.

    1. I’m not very sanguine about our ability to replace Paul.

      Nobody else has the credibility of 20 years of voting No.

      The people out there supporting Paul won’t just jump to the next guy saying, “Liberty!” They could all just support Romney if they were willing to take a candidate’s word for it.

      1. I could come back and be the Savior, but I’m not Republican.

        1. Yet you ate with Republicans and sinners.

  10. This is significant, as you would naturally think that the U.S. Virgin Islands would be Santorum territory. If you know what I mean.

    1. hilarious joe!

  11. They came to this convention with the sole intent to take over as many of the delegate seats as they could,

    And why the fuck were you there, angry non-Paul fan?

  12. Considering that this is the first year the results of the Virgin Islands caucus have ever been reported, and that Ron Paul supporters have been pushing to focus on delegate counts for months, what can you say?

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