Why Ron Paul Still Matters …

April 29, 2012

Even though the numbers make it impossible for Ron Paul to win a first-round victory in Tampa – and those same numbers suggest that it’s virtually impossible for Mitt Romney to NOT win a first-ballot victory in Tampa, many Ron Paulers are impassioned about his candidacy, and vow to go the distance for Dr. Paul.  Some – though not Paul himself (though there have been hints) have talked of a third-party or write-in candidacy for Dr. Paul.  And that’s why he still matters, even though it’s a mathematical certainty that he can’t win the Republican nomination.

First, the numbers, then the analysis:

As I noted in another recent blog post:  “After Romney’s sweep, last Tuesday, of five primaries, it has become a near mathematical impossibility for anyone else to gain the Republican nomination, and a virtual mathematical certainty that Romney will gain a first-ballot victory.  Today, according to the New York Times (updated daily) delegate count, Romney has 847 delegates – Ron Paul has about 9 percent of Romney’s total – merely 80 delegates.  There are 962 delegates yet to be chosen, and Romney (or an opponent) needs just 1,144 to take a first-round nomination in Tampa.

:So, even if Ron Paul takes every delegate remaining (a practical and logical impossibility for a man who has yet to win a primary), he won’t have enough to secure the nomination – in fact, he’ll be 102 delegates short of victory. However, with 962 delegates remaining (and having won five-for-five on Tuesday, suggesting a groundswell of support), Romney needs only 295 more delegates to secure a first-round nomination (meaning no brokered convention and no chance for back-room deals to bring another candidate forward).”

Those numbers are from the New York Times, updated 8 minutes ago as I write this (http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/primaries/delegates) – other delegate-counting sources provide similar delegate counts.  None show Dr. Paul with any chance at all of winning a first-round victory, or of stopping Romney from winning that same victory.

What does this all mean?  It means that, should Ron Paul succumb to the temptation to run a third-party campaign – or to put his name forth as a write-in candidate … or if his supporters do this on his behalf (or even if his supporters stay home on election day), Obama will have a second term.  As much as I’d like to see that man lose, I know that if Ron Paul runs – or his supporters vote for him or stay home – Obama cannot lose.  The proof is in what happened in 2000 (when Ralph Nader was a candidate) – this same phenomenon happened in 1992, with Ross Perot playing the spoiler, but at least he had been an active third-party candidate for more than six months before the election, while Ron Paul is currently at least pretending to be a loyal Republican.  So the 2000 election results are more germane to 2012.

Here’s what happened in 2000:

In that election cycle, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader received 2,883,105 votes, which equated to 2.74 percent of the popular vote.  However, since elections are decided by electoral votes rather than popular votes, let’s look at two states which were so close that Nader made a difference.  In New Hampshire and in Florida, Nader’s votes dramatically exceeded the difference in the vote totals between Gore and Bush.  Winning either state would have given Vice President Al Gore the presidency.  It was especially close in Florida, where George W. Bush defeated Al Gore by 537 votes, and Nader received 97,421 votes. In a post-election book he wrote, Nader himself acknowledged that he represented the margin of victory for Bush: “In the year 2000, exit polls reported that 25% of my voters would have voted for Bush, 38% would have voted for Gore and the rest would not have voted at all.”

This, assuming it’s true, means that without Nader in the race, Gore would have received 12,665 more votes than Bush in Florida, giving him the state, and the Presidency.

This could happen in 2012.  Ron Paul hasn’t done better than third in any state’s primary or caucus to date, but he has garnered significant numbers of votes – and nobody denies his supporters’ passion and organization.  Should they decide to hang together after Tampa, and vote as a block for Dr. Paul (or stay home as a block and not vote at all), it is very likely that their absence from Republican vote totals could easily put Obama back in the White House for four more years, with almost unimaginable consequences for our Constitution, our laws, and our country.

So despite the mathematical certainty that he cannot win a first round nomination (and the near-certainty that Romney will cinch a first-ballot win within the next month), Dr. Ron Paul still matters in 2012.  He can’t put himself in the White House, but he can keep Barack Hussain Obama there for another disastrous term.

I fervently hope that Paul’s supporters have the good sense to realize that Anybody Is Better Than Obama – but, having sampled their passion, I’m not confident that they won’t blow the election for reasons of their own.

Ned Barnett – Nevada Conservative

Ned Barnett has worked in campaigns, and as a speechwriter to candidates and elected officials, since he was the “mascot” to the local Young Republicans in 1964 (Goldwater) – he has managed media and strategy for three state-level Presidential campaigns, and worked hand-in-glove with the legendary Lee Atwater in South Carolina in the Ford Campaign.  In 2009-10, as an active Tea Party supporter, he served as both the Clark County/Las Vegas and Nevada Republican Party Communications Director.  He owns Barnett Marketing Communications in Las Vegas, and provides a full range of PR, marketing, issues-management and fund-raising services for clients in Las Vegas, around the country, and in several other countries.  He can be reached at 702-561-1167 or ned@barnettmarcom.com …







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One Response to Why Ron Paul Still Matters …

  1. […] Mitt Romney to NOT win a first-ballot victory in Tampa, many Ron Paulers are impassioned about his candidacy, and vow to go the distance for Dr. Paul.  Some – though not Paul himself (though there have […]

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