It’s still early in the Republican primary season. Only 9 of the 41 primaries/caucuses have occurred. The nomination is a long way from being decided. Any one of the four remaining candidates can not only still win it, but can still win it by a landslide. Large victories on Super Tuesday and in the California, New York, and Texas contests can all but nullify any value of victories obtained so far. So why do the candidates fight so hard to win in small states like Maine and Nevada?
The answer is momentum. Right or wrong, most voters are in some way affected by their perception of whether each candidate has the ability to win, rather than strictly by their political positions. Republican primary voters consider two questions. Can he win the nomination? Can he win the general election?
Thus, victories in these early and – from a quantitative perspective – meaningless primary contests are valuable to candidates purely for the effect they may have on the minds of voters in bigger states.
Ron Paul has chosen to focus his campaign on the caucus states, where he can acquire delegates even if he does not finish first in the contest. That strategy seems to have been successful so far, as Paul has locked up delegates in excess of his percentage of the straw poll votes. However, he and his supporters also know that he needs a win in at least one state to avoid going into the big contests with the disadvantage of not having one.
Paul’s best shots to win so far have been the caucuses in Iowa, Nevada, and Maine. Since long before the voting started, Paul’s supporters have had their eyes on these states due to the receptiveness there to Paul’s ideas and the conduciveness of their caucus processes to Paul’s strong political ground game. Paul finished in striking distance of first in Iowa and lost by less than 200 votes in Maine. He finished far behind Romney in Nevada, but was in contention for a very respectable 2nd place finish. He ended up finishing a close third to Newt Gingrich.
Coincidentally, those three caucuses where Paul had the best chance to win are the only three states where some sort of controversy or irregularity has arisen in the election process.
- Ron Paul: Donald Trump Is ‘Arch Enemy’ of GOP (politicalvelcraft.org)
- Ron Paul Says He Can Beat Obama Too (dfw.cbslocal.com)
- RON PAUL Maine @ 36% 2nd Place 194 votes from Mitt & WINS 10 DELEGATES ! (teapartywpbfl.wordpress.com)
- Ron Paul: All Your Delegates Are Belong To Us (crooksandliars.com)
- Ron Paul 2012 Posters (teapartywpbfl.wordpress.com)
- Mitt Romney ‘Wins’ The Maine Caucuses, Unless Ron Paul Actually Won Them (businessinsider.com)
- Prison Planet.com ” Ron Paul’s Nevada Caucus Speech: Markets Are More Powerful than Governments! (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Ron Paul’s Energetic Speech After Solid Second Place Finish in Maine.avi (tatoott1009.com)
- Ron Paul gets one of his strongest results so far, and the count still might beat Romney’s (trutherator.wordpress.com)
- Ron Paul: Uniting All People! (tatoott1009.com)
- Ron Paul’s delegate strategy targets the unbound (cbsnews.com)
- Ron Paul Is Secretly Taking Over The GOP – And It’s Driving People Insane (mountainrepublic.net)
- Ron Paul money bomb pulls in more than $1m (newstatesman.com)