Ron Paul's 2012 delegate strategy made gains in Massachusetts and Alaska in recent days, further demonstrating the tactic's ability to have an impact on the Republican presidential primary race.
The Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign has been slowly and quietly working this year to gather the support of delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and the tack has led to real increases in his chances of either winning the GOP nomination or at least having a major impact on the convention and the party's platform going forward.
Ron Paul's 2012 campaign, just like his 2008 one, was ignored since day one by the mainstream media and the punditry, which seemed ready from the beginning to bestow the nomination on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
But as the RNC nears, Paul's resurgent campaign is beginning to show that its vociferous supporters and unlikely resiliency have combined to create a major force capable of changing the course of the 2012 presidential election.
And over the past couple of days, Ron Paul's 2012 delegate strategy has continued to metastasize throughout the United States, spreading to Massachusetts and Alaska.
At Massachusetts' Saturday caucuses, less than half of Romney's 27 chosen delegates won, and the losers list includes some big names like former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey and Massachusetts house minority leader Bradley H. Jones Jr., according to the Boston Globe.
Instead of picking Romney's choices, they instead went with Ron Paul's, the Globe reports. Though the state's delegates will all be voting for Romney as per the rules of the delegation process in Massachusetts, the Ron Paulites will have the ability to influence the choosing of the state's delegate chairman, the state's favored vice presidential candidate and more.
And the Alaska Republican Party convention this weekend was another success for the Ron Paul 2012 delegate strategy, as Ron Paul supporters' chosen candidate won the state party chairmanship, reports the Anchorage Daily News.
Also, six of the state's 24 delegates to the convention will represent Ron Paul. Though not the higher number state Paulites were hoping for, the delegates will add to Ron Paul's total count, which is inching higher as the convention approaches, according to the Anchorage Daily News, which added the following:
At the convention, the pro-Paul convention crowd was so boisterous, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- a supporter of presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney -- couldn't give her planned speech on Friday.
Randy Ruedrich, Alaska's long-time GOP chairman, described for the paper how Ron Paul could win the nomination despite having less delegates than Romney:
Under national Republican Party rules, if a presidential candidate can secure the support of delegates from five states at the national convention, they can attempt to win the nomination even if they haven't won a single state primary or poll, Ruedrich said, according to the Anchorage Daily News. That would give Paul, who at best has made it to second or third place in state primaries, at least a theoretical shot at winning the nomination.
And Fox News reported earlier this month that Paul's presence on the ballot at the RNC looks inevitable at this point.
Ron Paul -- a die-hard libertarian, veteran and medical doctor -- is cut from much different cloth than businessman supreme Mitt Romney, and his ability to remain relevant this late in the primary season (he is the only remaining official Republican candidate challenging the Romney machine) demonstrates the popularity of his unorthodox values and ideas.
Paul advocates withdrawing from foreign conflicts, slashing deficits, reducing the size of government, and has voted consistently in line with these beliefs throughout his decades as a Texas congressman. As it becomes more and more apparent that a major faction of the GOP wants someone more along the lines of Ron Paul than Mitt Romney, party elders will likely begin to view the incorporation of some of the Paulites' ideas into the party's platform, even if Romney is the nominee.
Romney was more of a centrist governor, passing a health care overhaul in Massachusetts that was the precursor to Obama Care, and making other moves that do not play well with the far-right wing of the Republican party. As such, Paul has pull with a significant set of voters who want someone more conservative than Romney to be the next president.
It will be interesting to see over the next few months how much influence Ron Paul's delegate strategy will have in the end.
In 1920, Warren G. Harding went into that year's Republican nominating convention with less delegates on his side than any other candidate still on the ballot. He emerged from the convention with the nomination, and went on to sweep into the White House. The Ron Paul 2012 campaign is aware of this, and it has spent most of the past year seeking to emulate it in pursuit of a come-from-behind win for their candidate. Stranger things have happened.