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It is no doubt to anyone that Ron Paul is running an unconventional campaign and it isn’t just his patented guerilla grassroots replete with money bombs and a legion of fervent Paulistas that raises eyebrows. Paul has a unique and long-term caucus strategy focusing on proportional delegates, picking his fights carefully.
His campaign is famous for relying on relatively decentralized even “rouge” and local efforts who distance themselves from even official Ron Paul campaign organs, as evidenced in South Carolina. The Washington Examiner reported: “Charleston for Ron Paul prefers the official Paul campaign to stay unaffiliated.”
Many lauded the technical acumen of the Obama campaign for its utilization of social media and get out the vote efforts, but it pales in comparison to the self-starting nature of Ron Paul’s campaign. For example, RonPaulCountry.com has a “Grassroots War Room” founded by volunteers out of New Jersey and it literally makes you feel as if you’re in a real time political bunker.
Inundated with timetables for the next primary and information directing potential Paulites to where they are needed most. It offers an impressive platform all the while reminding its members: “…Because saving the country should be fun”, yet another example of the privatization, technical prowess and devolution inherent to Paul’s unique brand of electoral politics.
While some in the mainstream media saw the Paul campaign backing off in South Carolina it could have also been as easily characterized as de facto delegation of campaign responsibility. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. In the end Charleston for Ron Paul efforts were entirely volunteer, self-funded and self-directed – frugal.
These examples of spontaneous organization couldn’t be more fitting for a man who has spent over 30 years educating the American public on the benefits of the invisible hand in the free market, a hand which evidently has its fingers all over Ron Paul’s campaign.
Looking Past South Carolina
While South Carolina wasn’t a win for Ron Paul, the Gingrich win will sap strength from Romney and guarantee a longer primary season, moreover it will reduce the prospects of Rick Santorum climbing any higher than his Iowa zenith. While Paul has sustained a significant blow in South Carolina, his campaign will undoubtedly continue to slog through this back loaded GOP marathon.
As I have argued before Ron Paul’s plans to Win the West, a region more in line with his libertarian social platform is key to his success at forcing the GOP to assimilate much of his platform. Even if Paul doesn’t win the nomination if he can accumulate enough delegates he might be able to impose a libertarian platform upon the eventual nominee.
After South Carolina, while the nation has already started to become distracted by the Florida throw down and its boatload (no pun intended) of delegates, Ron Paul was the first to buy ad time in Nevada and Minnesota (site for his 2008 shadow convention). Nevada political guru Jon Ralston confirmed my sentiments about the libertarian leaning Silver State, which may deliver Ron Paul a needed victory. According to Ralston: “Nevada is to some extent still a very libertarian state…That goes across party lines and Paul is officially a libertarian running in the Republican party. There’s a lot of resonance there.”
The Hispanic Vote
Time’s blog Swampland mentioned that much of Ron Paul’s appeal to Hispanics which makes up 26% of Nevada’s population, nearly 34% in California, 27% in Arizona will theoretically play into Paul’s favor. While Ron Paul supports English as the official language of the Federal Government, building a boarder fence, minutemen volunteerism, ending or better put clarifying the 14th Amendment’s controversial birthright citizenship provision, and rejecting amnesty he is overall pro immigration free from federal subsidy through food stamps, social security, hospital mandates and free education.
The disparate affects on Latinos on both sides of the borders who are caught in the middle of the War on Drugs should prove to play in the West as well. Recently, it was found the US-Mexico border region was deadlier than war torn Afghanistan, the vast majority were cartel-sponsored murders. There were even bizarre stories of gladiator games, which would select the strongest captor for suicide bombings in towns controlled by rival cartels.
Stateside, Latinos are four times likely to be incarcerated than whites according to the Department of Justice, talk about "resonance". Both Romney and Gingrich scoff at the prospect of reevaluating drug laws, they would rather demagogue the issue than solve it. Hispanics evidently agree with some of this as 51% view Paul in a favorable light compared to 25% for Romney.
The fact the West Coast as well as upcoming Minnesota leans left bodes well for Dr. Paul as he is often credited for pulling left of center issue voters into his coalition of civil libertarians. West Coast independents whom gravitate toward these same social values will find Paul’s brand much more appealing than those of Gingrich and Romney whom are attempting to desperately evince social conservative metal.