Ron Paul ready for caucus states
POLITICO: Ron Paul has known for more than a week that he would finish fourth in Florida.
So instead, he skipped the Sunshine State and campaigned in states like Maine, Colorado and Nevada.
“We’ve been having a fantastic trip,” Paul said to cheering fans in Henderson Tuesday night, adding that he had called Mitt Romney to congratulate him on his big Florida win. To Romney, Paul said: “I would see him in the caucus states.”
While the media spotlight has been on Florida, Paul has been waging a quieter, parallel campaign in the caucus states with contests coming up in February. Unlike Florida — which awards its 50 delegates through a winner-take-all process — many of these states distribute delegates proportionally, allowing second and third place winners to nab some of them.
The result is that the Texas congressman could end up winning more delegates over the next few weeks than anyone except Romney.
“We’re in third place when it comes to delegates and that’s what really counts and we’re only getting started,” Paul said Tuesday. “We will be spending time in the caucus states.”
It’s a calculated strategy designed to take advantage of new party rules that allow candidates to peel off delegates in some states even if they don’t place first. Combined, Maine, Colorado and Nevada represent 88 delegates compared to the 50 at stake in Florida. A total of 1,144 delegates are needed to secure the GOP nod….
Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton believes that, if the campaign plays its cards right, it has a shot at winning a majority of the delegates in Washington, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Maine and Colorado. Hawaii is another state in which Paul expects to be a top finisher….
Read … Ron Paul ready for caucus states
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Why February Could Matter
Weekly Standard: Rick Santorum: There's lots of speculation as to Gingrich's chances to mount a comeback against Romney, the clear frontrunner. But what if Newt's campaign collapses? What if he's simply jumped the shark with the "Holocaust survivors" robocall? (The call charged that the former Massachusetts governor once "vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes--Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher.")
What if Santorum does as well or better than Gingrich in the Nevada caucuses Saturday, or in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses next Tuesday? What if Santorum is competitive with Romney in the Missouri beauty contest primary next Tuesday, where Gingrich isn't on the ballot? Couldn't non-Romney voters begin to move nationally from Gingrich to Santorum? Couldn't populist and Tea Party leaders like Sarah Palin do so as well?
In the Gallup tracking poll today, Gingrich is at 28 percent, Romney at 27, and Santorum at 17. Romney will surely move up several points over the next few days--but couldn't Gingrich fall enough and Santorum rise enough that Santorum's number approaches or passes Gingrich? Couldn't Santorum move into second place?
In sum: Could we be heading towards a Romney-Santorum contest on February 28 in Michigan and Arizona, and then in March and beyond? Romney would certainly be a strong favorite in such a contest, given his lead in votes, delegates, money and organization. But wouldn't Santorum ultimately have a better chance than Gingrich to upset Romney, even if it's still a slim one?
read … February
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Tuesday March 13 -- 2012 Hawaii GOP Presidential Caucuses