Ron Paul hasn’t had much to celebrate in recent weeks. His plan to snatch up loose delegates isn’t amounting to much — the Texas congressman has about 71 delegates, according to CNN’s tally. That’s 65 less than third place candidate Newt Gingrich and far behind Mitt Romney’s 569 — and his latest moneybomb is struggling toward $1 million after a week; his other attempts, like one in January, easily broke $1 million in a matter of days. But as the campaign struggles to survive, the Paul camp finally gets some bragging rights: the candidate is the first Republican to get his name on ballots in all 50 states.
“Being first to appear on the ballot in all fifty states proves that Ron Paul is the only candidate with the organizational muscle, resources, and stamina to challenge Mitt Romney,” said Paul campaign manager John Tate in a press release disguised as a news article. “In concert with our delegate-attainment strategy, which is working well in states like Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Missouri, we’re prepared and eager to continue on the long road to Tampa.”
There’s little doubt Paul will be at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, but it won’t be because of these ballots: the states have various ballot access rules, some harder than others, but not appearing on the ballot does not automatically mean a campaign will lose. President Obama, for example, removed his name from the Michigan primary in 2008 because that state’s Democrats broke party rules. And Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum didn’t make the Virginia ballot this year, yet they’re still ahead of Paul. So have a nice time celebrating this non-win, Team Paul; you deserve something to be happy about, even if it amounts to very little.