Monday, 12 March 2012

Ron Paul Wins Popular Vote in Virgin Islands GOP Caucus

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Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was the clear winner in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Republican presidential caucuses, having won almost 30 percent of the popular vote. In a stunning reversal of past reporting standards, however, much of the “establishment” press declared the victor to be Mitt Romney, who took only around 26 percent but ended up with more delegates.

The reason Romney ended up with more delegates — he took seven, compared to Paul’s one — is because after casting a ballot for a presidential candidate, voters in the Virgin Islands then select delegates to the national convention. Three delegates backing the former Massachusetts Governor and three Republican National Committee “member pledge” delegates were selected for a total of six supporting Romney.

Only one delegate pledged to Ron Paul succeeded in being selected. And one uncommitted delegate announced he would support Romney only after he was chosen.  

“Although Dr. Paul received only one delegate, his team received up to three alternate delegate slots and will be well represented in our small delegation,” noted Virgin Islands GOP chairman Herb Schoenbohm in a statement after the unofficial results were posted online. Critics lambasted the process in a comment section under the statement. 

Nonetheless, despite coming away with fewer delegates, the Virgin Islands caucus marks the first clear triumph for the Paul campaign in terms of the popular vote. Out of 384 votes cast, Ron Paul took 112, or 29 percent. Romney received 101.

Rick Santorum, meanwhile, placed a distant third with just 23 voters — or six percent of the vote. Newt Gingrich came in last with 18 votes, about five percent. Neither of the two candidates received any delegates. 

Analysts called the clear popular-vote win a “moral victory” for the Paul campaign, while others said the press had “buried” the real story. The liberty-minded doctor has been steadily accumulating delegates across America, but — despite coming very close on several occasions — had thus far failed to win the popular vote outright in any state.

The media has largely refused to report Paul’s significant victories in terms of delegate counts, even with good news for the campaign continuing to pour in. And in a wildly misleading article that differs significantly in how it was framed from past reports, the Associated Press reported that Romney won the Virgin Islands. Nowhere did the deceptive report mention that Paul actually got the most votes.

“If the popular vote means you’ve won, then Ron Paul just won the U.S. Virgin Island Caucus. If collecting delegates equals victory, then Paul stands to do well there too,” the Texas Congressman’s campaign said in a statement. “The media is trying to have it both ways with Romney and the Virgin Island Caucus while ignoring Ron Paul’s actual straw poll first place victory. Not that media duplicity is ever of any surprise to Paul and his supporters.”

In a video ridiculing the deceptive press reports about the results, popular conservative pundit and Paul campaign staffer Jack Hunter took "reporters" to task for misleading the public and concealing the truth. “Here’s a little math lesson for you mainstream media folks out there,” Hunter noted. “Admittedly, I’m not very good at math, but the last time I checked, 29 percent was higher than 26 percent.”

Hunter also pointed out that in every single primary and caucus held so far, the establishment press has reported the winner based on the popular vote count. However, despite the fact that Ron Paul has almost certainly collected far more delegates in multiple states than the popular-vote count would seem to indicate, the “mainstream media” has consistently downplayed or ignored the campaign’s successes. 

“Any responsible journalist, by using the parameters we’ve used throughout this election, would be reporting that Ron Paul won the U.S. Virgin Islands Caucus,” Hunter said. “But once again, when Ron Paul does win, they find all sorts of ways to ignore it — this is just another example of that. Congratulations to Ron Paul on winning the U.S. Virgin Islands Caucus.”

Even big government-supporting Paul foes highlighted the absurdity of the situation. “Something tells me the popular vote won't count in this one,” noted a blogger at the far-left Daily Kos website. “I'm no [dedicated Paul supporter], but if they change the rules here it does say something. How can you read that Paul gets the most votes but gets 1 delegate, but Romney gets seven and not start to wonder if the fix is in?” 

And at Slate, a left-of-center website, David Weigel highlighted the bizarre reporting in a piece entitled “The Virgin Islands Caucus: How Ron Paul Lost By Getting the Most Votes.” “The headline doesn't match the data,” he wrote, pointing to the AP’s deceptive article. “A pity for Paul.”

Over the weekend, Santorum was the overwhelming winner of the popular vote in Kansas’ caucus, taking over half of the votes and more than three out of four delegates. In Wyoming, Romney was the victor, picking up seven delegates. Santorum reportedly took three, Paul earned one, while Gingrich had zero. Romney also won in the territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.  

On Tuesday, Mississippi and Alabama will hold their primaries. Caucuses will also be held in Hawaii and American Samoa.

Related article:

Santorum Wins Big in Kansas, Romney Takes Wyoming

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