Far from dismissing Ron Paul's 2012 candidacy, Republican strategist Jack Burkman believes the Texas Congressman can actually secure the Republican nomination.
Burkman made his comments on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch.
He said candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have little or no organization in many states. They do not have a credible national strategy and will soon be forced to drop out. As far as campaign funds are concerned, only Paul and Mitt Romney seem to have a large enough war chest.
Burkman also argued that no candidate besides Paul has any base, or groups of real people who staunchly support them.
Gingrich and Santorum's support are notoriously fickle; not many people are fiercely loyal to them and only voted for them - at the last minute - on an anti-Romney whim. Each time these candidates go to a new state, they have to recreate their base, said Burkman.
Napolitano argued that Romney has the base of the establishment. Burkman, however, cast that as a fundraising base, not a voting base.
Romney is just all money...He can't turn on the base at all, said Burkman.
Paul, meanwhile, retains his loyal base and is continuously expanding it.
Moreover, polls consistently show that Paul and Romney are the only candidates who can challenge President Obama in a general election; other Republicans candidates would get crushed.
The two state races so far - in New Hampshire and Iowa - seem to confirm the legitimacy of Paul and Romney's candidacy and the illegitimacy of everyone else's.
So, the race will come down to Romney versus Paul, according to Burkman.
Both candidates will likely compete in the race until the end - all the way to the Republican National Convention. Then, on the convention floor, Paul could very well gain victory over Romney, said Burkman.
He said Paul can expose the contradictions, in a very lawyerly way, in Romney. Indeed, Romney has been accused of serially flip-flipping, switching between conservative and liberal stances for political gain.
Both Burkman and Napolitano contend that Paul is the only true conservative candidate while Romney, like George W. Bush before him, is pro-big government. Moreover, Romney, unlike Bush, has a record of being liberal on social issues.
It is this lack of true conservative credential that may ultimately give Paul the edge over Romney in the Republican nomination race.