Ron Paul came in fourth in the 2012 Florida GOP primary. So what is the presidential candidate doing to stay in the race?
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul garnered only 6.9 percent of the vote in the Florida GOP primary, putting him at the bottom of the final four of remaining Republican candidates.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, on the other hand, did very well in the contest, pulling in 47.1 percent of the vote and cementing himself as the frontrunner, over former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich who pulled in 31.5 percent, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum who got 13.2 percent, and Ron Paul.
But Ron Paul's campaign never made a full push in the 2012 Florida GOP Primary, focusing instead on smaller states where Romney's massive war chest would not be as overpowering to a small, insurgent campaign like Paul's, which is based more in grassroots than the corporate-backed Romney and Gingrich campaigns.
So for more than a month, Ron Paul has been looking past the Florida GOP Primary to Nevada's Feb. 4 GOP Primary and Maine's Feb. 4-Feb. 11 primary period. Ron Paul's crew, which just completed a two-week barnstorm of the state, had decided weeks ago that it is more worthwhile to pour money, phone bomb calls and bodies into Nevada rather than expend large amounts of resources in the expensive Florida primary.
The gamble may be a smart one, as Paul came in second (albeit by a long margin) to Mitt Romney in Nevada in 2008, besting eventual Republican nominee John McCain.
Time.com explained the campaign's reasons for not making a full push for voters in Florida: His campaign manager, Jesse Benton, says they don't have the estimated $9 million they would need to vie for sprawling, expensive Florida, wrote Time.com. 'We're not gonna compete in a state where we can't fully compete,' Benton says.
As such, the campaign banked more on Nevada, according to a statement by Ron Paul 2012 Nevada Chairman Carl Bunce: The Ron Paul campaign is serious about a competitive showing in the February 4th Nevada Caucus.
These events will energize voters and other stakeholders to ensure that our seriousness translates into tangible results, Bunce says. The next months will be an interesting time for the Republican field, and Feb. 4 will be a bellwether for the future of Ron Paul's candidacy.
As Time magazine said in 2008, the Ron Paul force is strong in Nevada. In Nevada, where the liberty lobby is strong, McCain got trounced in the primary voting, coming in third behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, the magazine wrote.
When the state GOP tried to crown McCain at its Reno convention in April, so many Paul supporters showed up that party leaders literally fled the hall, turned off the lights and postponed the convention to make sure the anemic pro-McCain camp wasn't swamped by liberty's marauders. It was like a John Ford western set inside a hotel ballroom.
RT.com has also weighed in on the future of Ron Paul's 2012 primary campaign, explaining that Ron Paul is focusing on pursuing delegates in states that divide delegates among candidates rather than winning major winner-take-all states like Florida, where all the state's 50 delegates go to the primary's winner.
In caucus states, says Benton, a win could collect a large number of delegates for the candidate which he will thus be able to rely on come time for the Republican National Convention this August, RT.com reported. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Benton said the goal of the campaign is 'to have a sizable chunk of delegates, enough to influence the platform and stop these big-government conservatives.'
'We will be going to the caucus... states and we will be promoting the whole idea of getting more delegates, because that's the name of the game,' Paul himself said following the South Carolina primary.
'I have been in this business of promoting this cause in the electoral process for a long time. At the beginning, I thought it was just going to be promotion of a cause. Then it dawned on me, if you win elections and win delegates, that's the way you promote a cause, added the congressman.'