Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul emerged from the Iowa state convention with a clear majority of the delegates being sent by the state to the GOP national convention in Tampa in August. Paul won 21 of the 25 contestable delegates, and will have 23 of the 28 total delegates Iowa will send to Tampa.
The Iowa victory marks the third and final time Iowa has had a “winner” of its first-in-the-nation caucus. Mitt Romney had narrowly “won” the January caucus in a first, unofficial count. But that victory was reversed on a recount later that month that gave Rick Santorum the victory by a razor-thin margin of 34 votes. Paul had placed a close third in the caucus vote tallies, but the delegates to the national convention are selected by a state convention and are not bound to the results of the caucus poll. Paul forces continued to organize in the county and state caucuses that followed, and pulled off an overwhelming victory with the June 15-16 state caucus.
“This ends a process that began with the Iowa Cavalcade last summer,” Paul campaign aide Doug Wead boasted on his blog, “when Ron Paul came within a few votes of winning the Straw Vote, and handily defeated Romney, Santorum, Perry, Gingrich and Pawlenty. Dr. Paul’s strong showing was virtually ignored by the main stream media whose executives apparently felt threatened by his call for transparency in the actions of the Federal Reserve, a prime support system for their corporate advertisers and, in some cases, their own parent holding companies.”
Mainstream media websites have continued to project Ron Paul as winning only one delegate in Iowa, and it has become the source of amusement to Paul forces. Wead sarcastically called it a “marvelous fiction” that the New York Times and the Associated Press are still claiming in on-line charts that Ron Paul had won only a single delegate to the national convention from Iowa. The New York Times is also claiming that Paul won no delegates from Louisiana, though Paul won a majority of delegates from the Pelican State.
The Los Angeles Times noted of the Paul campaign, “By working arcane electoral rules and getting supporters into positions of power in local, county and state party operations, the strategy is paying dividends across the nation.” Despite losing the popular vote in every state (winning the popular vote only the Virgin Islands caucus), Paul forces have pulled away with a majority of delegates in many states. Paul forces have organized to take over a number of state Republican parties and were even able to win a large number of delegates from Romney's home state of Massachusetts (though these Massachusetts delegates will be nominally pledged to vote for Romney).
While a presidential nomination appears to be out of reach for Paul, who announced a suspension of his campaign last month before the Kentucky primary, Paul forces appear poised to have a major impact on the Republican national platform and influence in major state and congressional primary races. Indeed, Paul allies have already won primaries in many states, including congressional candidates Thomas Massie in Kentucky and U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills in Minnesota. Paul ally Kerry Bentivolio appears headed for GOP nomination in the Michigan congressional district currently held by incumbent former presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter.
Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images