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Ron Paul Keeps Winning as Supporters Prepare For a Battle With GOP Old Guard

Four years ago, Nevada State GOP insiders so disliked Ron Paul supporters that they actually walked out of the state convention and turned off the lights behind them. In a windowless assembly room with some 2,000 people in it, one might imagine the terror this might cause. In what had been an otherwise orderly meeting, this move took place when it became clear that Ron Paul would sweep the Nevada delegation to the Republican National Convention. A bunch of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington types, inspired by Ron Paul, got involved in their party to effect change, and the party insiders didn’t like having these idealists around.

This year looks a little different. Ron Paul’s supporters have assumed a significant portion of the Republican Party leadership and Ron Paul’s supporters seem like they will show up in droves as delegates to assure their candidate is the best represented in Nevada. At the Nevada Republican Convention this year, 25 of the 28 Nevada delegates will be decided.

A showdown is ahead at the convention in the western corner of Nevada in the town of Sparks, where on Friday and Saturday, Ron Paul supporters will culminate their takeover of the Nevada GOP at all levels after being so brazenly rebuffed in 2008.

That showdown will be between the old guard of the Nevada GOP – the Romney-supporting, McCain-supporting, Bush-supporting neo-conservative establishment – and the more numerous and active conservative and libertarian base of the Nevada Republican Party.

Scheduled to speak the afternoon of May 5 at the state convention is Ron Paul himself.

The harder and more violently the GOP establishment fights the organized grassroots of the Republican Party, the more fervently those grassroots seem to fight back. “Blowback” is how the CIA refers to this phenomenon when referencing political struggles abroad. That same type of blowback seems to be taking place across the GOP. Another notable recent example being in Alaska, where the conservative and libertarian base of the Republican Party are pushing back against a moderate and corporatist establishment.

Alaska Republicans held a state convention last weekend that Politico hailed as “more evidence of the political maturation of the Paul forces, who are beginning to seize the levers of powers from within the state parties.” A Paul supporter was elected state chairman and Paul took at least a quarter of the delegates with him out of the Alaska Republican Convention. There is likely to be much controversy around this transition, however, as the Alaska Dispatch reports that the former state chairman took some $100,000 in party funds with him as he was removed from office by transferring it to a Republican organization that is friendlier to the state’s old guard.

The more intense these fights get, and the more success Ron Paul’s supporters see, the more notice they are generating around the county. “I just came back from the national (Republican National Committee) meeting and everybody was talking about the Ron Paul, well-organized takeover,” said Heidi Smith, Nevada national GOP committeewoman.

There is little question that Ron Paul is pushing hard for delegates and that his plan is starting to succeed. Focusing on delegates is the strategy that Barack Obama used with success against an opponent with greater name recognition. The strategy worked for Obama and it seems to be working for Paul. At the Republican National Convention on August 27 in Tampa, Paul will be a force to be reckoned with. The RNC convenes to choose a nominee and conduct the business of the party. Like any meeting convened under Robert’s Rules of Order, it is the delegates of that meeting who are the ultimate authority.

While the media and Republican establishment have concluded that a Romney-Obama race is a given, Republican voters do not yet seem to agree with that conclusion. After an estimated $80 million spent by the Romney campaign this election cycle and after five years of campaigning for the presidency, Romney has yet to appeal widely to Republican voters and bridge the divides in the party.

Voters are still left, therefore, with a two man race for the Republican nomination - either a moderate challenger (Mitt Romney) running against an incumbent president, which has been an unsuccessful option since at least 1976, or an ideological challenger to an incumbent president (Ron Paul). In the years 1976, 1980, 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008, national elections were either lost by moderates or won by principled candidates. It’s still not clear who the Republican delegates will rally around in 2012.

To win on the first ballot at the RNC, Mitt Romney needs 1,144 delegates to vote for him. If he doesn’t get that, he ends up in an ugly scenario where a floor fight is sure to take place. If Colorado, Missouri, or Minnesota are any indication, Santorum supporters and the religious right are likely to side with Paul over Romney.

National conventions are usually a coronation for an established candidate. That is not always the case, however. During a convention, anything can happen. Any political junky of a certain age remembers the drama inside and out of the 1968 Democratic convention. Political historians know that Warren Harding walked into the 1920 Republican National Convention with the support of only 7% of delegates, before being chosen as the Republican nominee at that convention on the tenth ballot, and elected president later that year.

According to an unnamed party official, a less principled candidate may fare better in a brokered convention: “An important difference between Paul and Romney is that Romney can horse-trade by promising sweetheart deals, influential positions, and government contracts, should he be elected. Ron Paul has only the promise that he will work his hardest to scale back the unconstitutional growth of government…. [Paul’s] philosophy on the role of government may limit how influential of a horse-trader he can be.” Results over the last few weeks from states like Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Alaska tell us that that the Republicans don’t yet have a guaranteed frontrunner and guarantee us only one certainty at this point.

On the floor of the RNC, in late August, on primetime television, the American people will watch a political drama unfold in which the Republican old guard tries to horse-trade its way out of the pressure that has built up around it for years. The Mr. Smiths of the Republican Party are angry and organized and have worked their way into the highest levels of the Republican Party. They are the delegates of the highest legislative body of the Republican Party – the RNC. They have voice and vote to change the direction, structure, and leadership of the GOP, and in 2012 the Mr. Smiths of the GOP seem to like Ron Paul a whole lot better than they like Mitt Romney.

Allan Stevo is author of How to Win America for Ron Paul and the Cause of Freedom in 2012.

This article first appeared at PolicyMic.

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Delegates - Bring a flashlight

in case they try turning out the lights again!

Allen

Are you still passing around this hash pipe? Ron Paul has less than 10K supporters on AE... the minimum that ought be done is flood that damn site and sue the mfers if they refuse to ask him to be their nominee.

And then there is no effort being made to win one non caucus state...NC should have been a big target given what happened in VA.

And then there's zero effort being made to demand a one on one debate with Romney...u guys are either brain dead or u simply just don't want him to win so u can never have to have ur theories tested in the real world of actual governance.

and none of this would have to interfere with this delegate fantasy strategy.

Non caucus states

I guess it takes some of us longer than others to figure out that elections are not won by popular vote. Elections are won in the delegate process....even in the so called Primary states! Have you not noticed that even those states have to ultimately choose delegates?
Ron Paul is doing just fine in those states! I am in VA, a primary state. Paul is on track to win a majority of the delegates here! And there are plenty of other states too. :)
I guess somebody needs to pull their head out of the sand.
In the next couple of months, as the states hold their primaries, Paul is going to win the majority of the delegates in plenty of states. There is nothing Romney can do because the ground work was laid back in february and March. He can try to cheat, but the Paul campaign has spent the last four years learning the rules!
Let Romney keep winning the Primary's. Since they are using rigged voting machines, we can't do much. And then he can watch as we rule the convention with delegates and make Ron Paul president!

I know

that the nomination is won by delegates. I have consistently said Ron Paul will do much better than the MSM thinks when it comes to delegate count. He will finish second in the number of delegates and he may even do well enough to get a second floor vote at the convention but in the end he will not have enough delegates to stop Romney from going over the top.

I will be glad to admit that I was wrong if Ron Paul secures the nomination. Will you be brave enough to apologize for calling me slow when my prediction turns out to be correct?

I would be predicting a different outcome had his campaign done the only thing which could have been done to win this process, a full scale coalition strategy with progressives. Unfortunately sectarians have prevailed upon Dr. Paul to pursue an actuarial campaign to get his grandson elected in 2024.

I wish they had reached a different conclusion about the forces of violence which control the GOP. We would be having much more pleasant conversation right now.

religious right

i'm not sure the religious right will go for Paul over Romney, if only over the issue of Israel-first policy. i think we would have to bank on crowd dynamics and mass psychology with the irate, tireless minority being the loudest voice and then swaying the others. if we have overwhelming support or an equal # of delegates going in, than all the better. idk what makes people think Romney delegates would switch to Paul if not for this reason alone.

there is no left or right, only system and anti-system.

I AM THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT

And i vote Paul.

Some see things as they are and say why,but i dream things that never were and say why not. Robert F. Kennedy

Help Us Watchman

....help us get rid of monikers like Religious Right. Help us unite everyone under the banner of liberty. Let's unite people of all religions under the banner of liberty with tolerance for all.

A day is coming when everyone is going to look for the only hope there is left. Ron Paul knows this as a Christian. He is the political John the Baptist to open the airwaves in the mind as well as the internet for people to have the choice. Otherwise, we WILL have a state enforced religion.

Thank you...from the bottom of my heart...for saying I AM etc. ...and then, I vote Ron Paul.

Let's get rid of all the classifications by standing up and saying "I Am (insert) and I vote Ron Paul. Mr. Watchman, He would approve of your message and I do also. Thank you!

fonta

For every Israel-firster

For every Israel-firster there must be ten former Democrats who have had it with war-mongering. Only Ron Paul did not bow down at the AIPAC convention and make promises for a new war.

Ok, but that assumes those

Ok, but that assumes those former democrats became blue republicans and were zealous enough to switch party affiliation and are willing to go to the convention as Paul delegates. i hope you're right - having the convention in Florida is an automatic disadvantage because of the bible-belt/religious right being strong in the South as well as whatever percentage of Jews (higher than other states) who identify with Zionism as part of their identity and are also Republicans will wield there (i think of the article written in one Jewish publication that had the chutzpah to suggest assassinating "the president," with the implication being Obama although not named. this may not have been in Florida but I think it was in a neighboring state.

there is no left or right, only system and anti-system.

zionist jews

i am sick and tired of the jew bashing that seems to go on here periodically. dr. paul would be ashamed of you! i happen to be a zionist jew who was a ron paul delegate to the nevada state convention and helped secure those 22 ron paul delegates to tampa! we should be building bridges, not walls. dr. paul's tent is a very large tent that includes everyone. that is why he can beat obama by attracting independents and disenfranchised dems because everyone loves liberty and freedom!

Zionism is Jewish nationalism

Zionism is Jewish nationalism and as such is not compatible with American nationalism.

you are in the minority of your compatriots

the reality is if we can quantify the reasons behind why Paul is ignored in the media and ridiculted by his own party - its because of his foreign policy. i'd say one half of this comes from the idea of pulling out of other countries with all our abdundant military bases round the world - but the OTHER half is certainly Israel, and the fact that hardline Zionists who have the influence look at Paul as being against Israel simply because he wants to treat all nations equally and end ALL foreign aid, not only to Israel but to her enemies as well. in the warped, twisted, demented minds of Likkud party advocates this is somehow "anti-Israel." also, Paul's unwillingness to go to war against Iran on behalf of Israel is another strike against him. whether you like it or not, this is the perception Zionists in power have of Paul. Personally, I think it would be a disaster for Israel to attack Iran, and could even lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the region but the entire world, which just might include the annihilation of that state. Now sir, we welcome your support - but you surely are in a minority of Zionists for Paul amongst your own contingent.

there is no left or right, only system and anti-system.

I don't agree or disagree

I don't agree or disagree with you, I just want to ask if you know what Zionist means? Zionism have nothing to do with Liberty and Freedom, you can't be a good Jew and Zionist at the same time.

To bring you right to the subject: http://youtu.be/hbUWfvXZcpc

This is part 5, you can watch it from the beginning (part 1: http://youtu.be/66zOgVAnIgE ...etc) if you find it useful.

I may be indulging in wishful

I may be indulging in wishful thinking, but never having known a Christian Zionist, I have always assumed that Jews have deliberately inflated their numbers. The program is not just to marginalize Paul, but to marginalize our educated white men, who are generally secular, but culturally Christian and middle class - in other words the backbone of America.

its not a question of

its not a question of numbers, but of influence. editorials, commentaries, radio and tv programs, etc. the way ideas spread and are disseminated is how information is controlled for the sheep. i agree with you that their numbers are overstated.

there is no left or right, only system and anti-system.

In other words, it may be

In other words, it may be that there are few authentic Christian Zionists, but saturating the media with Zionist propaganda and attributing it to Christian Evangelicals has been a very effective means of promoting Israel's interests.