Ron Paul announced today that he’ll stop campaigning in state primaries.
“We will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have,” the Paul campaign said.
This means that Mitt Romney is now running basically uncontested in state primaries for the nomination until the Republican National Convention three months from now.
On the other hand, Paul ceasing to campaign for votes in state primaries doesn’t mean he’s quitting—far from it. Paul is taking advantage of the disconnect between state primary results and the assignment of state delegates, who actually select the party’s nominee. This strategy recently gave Paul 22 of Nevada’s 25 delegates, even though Mitt Romney won 50% of the popular vote there to Paul’s 19%.
We reported last week that Ron Paul’s revolution is in the fine print—suspending his quest for votes today is very much in keeping with this strategy. Who needs votes when delegates actually select the nominee? Win over enough delegates, and you’re in business. Paul is dispensing with the charade of the primary system and using the money and resources he has left to do what really matters—court delegates.
Of course, this circumvents actual “democracy,” but it’s the way our system is set up.
On the flip side, Paul used his announcement today to advocate that voters turn their attention to other candidates who share his Libertarian ideals: “I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom are fighting and need your support.”
Unlike presidential elections and nominations that are ultimately decided by delegates, local and Congressional races are actually determined by popular vote.
For his own part, Paul encouraged his followers to try to become delegates themselves: “I hope all supporters of Liberty will remain deeply involved – become delegates, win office, and take leadership positions. I will be right there with you.”
Ron Paul has stopped campaigning for votes, but make no mistake—he won’t stop his campaign until after the Republican Convention in Tampa. And he just may make a sizable dent in his party’s agenda in the process.