LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ron Paul is rolling the dice on Nevada and other caucus states like Minnesota, Kansas and Washington, hoping to keep his nontraditional presidential campaign alive by amassing Republican delegates rather than notching outright wins.

The presidential hopeful came in dead last in Florida’s primary, fourth in South Carolina’s primary and third in Iowa’s caucuses. His strongest showing so far was in New Hampshire, where he placed a distant second behind Mitt Romney in the opening primary of the 2012 campaign.

Undeterred with just four delegates so far, Paul and his advisers say they are sticking to a strategy that avoids major commitments in expensive winner-take-all primaries, like Florida’s and Arizona’s, in favor of lower-cost states that proportionally allocate their delegates.

“Our goal is to win. And you win by getting the maximum number of delegates,” Paul said at a news conference Wednesday in Las Vegas, where he is campaigning ahead of the Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. “I’m delighted Nevada makes it fair, where we can compete for the votes. When we get the delegates and build up momentum, we can win.”

It’s a tall order for Paul by any measure, even though 46 states have yet to vote and just 6 percent of the delegates have been won so far.

A candidate must win 1,144 delegates to secure the GOP nomination. Romney’s victory in Florida has already helped him jump out to a substantial delegate lead — he now has 87 delegates compared with 26 for Newt Gingrich and 14 for Rick Santorum. Those numbers include endorsements from Republican National Committee members who will automatically attend the party convention.

Romney’s deep-pocketed campaign is also built to last, with strong organizations across several states, including Nevada, whose caucuses the former Massachusetts governor won in 2008. Paul placed a distant second in Nevada that year, and his advisers are cautiously predicting a victory on Saturday.

The campaign has been running television ads in the state for three weeks and several top Republican county activists are Paul supporters. The Texas congressman’s diehard band of supporters is expected to show up at caucuses, while many less committed Republicans are likely to stay home.

“A lot of people care about liberty here,” said Paul’s chief strategist, Jesse Benton. “There’s a strong independent spirit. We feel like we have the numbers.”

Nevada’s 28 delegates are allocated proportionally, meaning no one candidate can take them all.

Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, predicted Romney would win the caucuses but Paul would come out strong.

“Nevada has a libertarian streak in politics. Our economy is based on gambling and drinking and low social service provision,” Herzik said. “That speaks to this kind of limited government, individual liberty approach to politics that Ron Paul favors.”

After all but skipping Florida and South Carolina, Paul is signaling a seriousness of purpose in Nevada.

He discussed immigration policy with Hispanic voters in Las Vegas and has laid out a five-point plan for revitalizing the state’s weak economy with proposals like ending the taxation of tips. The campaign estimates that about 20 percent of the state’s workers hold jobs that generate income from tips.

From Nevada, Paul will head to Minnesota, whose caucuses are Tuesday, as are Colorado’s. Minnesota has 37 delegates, Colorado 33.

Paul held events in Colorado on Tuesday, but his campaign is not running television advertising there as it is in Minnesota.

Paul also campaigned in Maine, whose caucuses begin Saturday and run through Feb. 11. The state has 21 delegates.

Those states allocate their delegates proportionally by congressional district. That means Paul would have to win a congressional district to receive any delegates.

From there, Paul is eyeing Michigan, whose primary is Feb. 28. Romney is heavily favored in Michigan, where he grew up and where his father, George Romney, served as governor. Nonetheless, Benton says Paul is likely to pass the 15 percent threshold for winning at least some delegates.

Benton said Paul would probably not compete hard in Arizona, a winner-take-all state whose primary is also Feb. 28. But the Texas congressman is expected to put his energy toward winning a chunk of Washington state’s 40 delegates, which are allocated by caucus on March 3.

Next up: primary-heavy Super Tuesday, March 6, where the Paul campaign is eyeing a possible outright win in Idaho if not much of a delegate haul in the other nine states with contests that day.

More promising are other states with March caucuses: Kansas, March 10; Hawaii, March 13; and Missouri, March 17. A week later, on March 24, comes the primary in Louisiana, another state where Paul’s campaign thinks it can do well.

Caucus states typically go through a three-stage process. Voters at the precinct level elect delegates who then go to county and state conventions. Benton said the Paul campaign has active organizations in caucus states to ensure the delegate strategy would be followed all the way to the state conventions, where actual delegates are allocated.

Paul raised $13.3 million in the last quarter of 2011 and was pulling in about $100,000 per day, Benton said.

Herzik said Paul faced tough odds trying to slow Romney.

“Romney can match Paul for organization, and has a broader base of support. And after Florida,” Herzik said, “Romney has the momentum.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (28)
  1. getaclue says:

    ofcoarse it’s a ” tall order to win” deligates for Paul,with the conspiracy of a consolidated mainstream media’s bias against him,and plenty of sheep who only vote for the candidate the presstitutes want…”tall order to win” <<< see how they use terms ,like it's not possible for dr.aul to win,and that is if they don't out right ignore the good masns name in articles…Paul wins most of the polls,has more bumper stickers and signs,the only one with plans for the real issues destroying the u.s.,but then is behind in the caucus votes?…something is amiss

    1. Frozenrunner says:

      what are thinking in terms of Paul winning s poll. The only poll he wins is the most dedicated following. Consistent in his 10 % of people who will temporarily identify themselves as Republican. That amounts to about 3% of the general population. That is stinger than his part totals as libertarian candidate. To advance his agenda, some worthwhile, other parts total fantasy, Paul and his minions will soldier on. If he lives long enough he will be relevant. Sorry Deep.

      1. Don'tTread says:

        You fail to realize that his supporters actually tend not to identify themselves as republicans because an ideology they feel is important, not a political party. Support the party and you force yourself to support important issues you may not agree with. Then you come to regret your decision to vote for that candidate because you only had two choices. It’s a very weak argument to criticize supporters because they wont pledge themselves to the blood of a party but to rather the truths they believe in.

        1. frozenrunner says:

          Your candidate is rumbaing as a Republican, when he ran for congress last time it was a Republican. The statement Ron Paul wins polls could be true on a college campus. However that is not how the campaign works. He can win a non binding straw poll. but that isn’t the way it works.In regards to your comment on supporting the party, that is what is wrong with the Republicans. There often appears no room for discussion of ideas, no tolerance for divergence.

          1. DEEP says:

            I think I get your angle Frozen. I actually like it and in some ways agree with you. Ron Paul isn’t really the focus for me. I think he is great but I want to hear from the next freedom loving person just as much. I have spoke on stage. I have yelled on a soap box…… I really believe it is as it should be and even the Obama supporter is needed for us to move on to the next chapter. I simply identify most with Dr. Paul’s message of freedom. GO RON PAUL 2012!

    2. uh huh says:

      Uh Huh.Flouridated water,MSG,Corn Syrup,T.V.addiction,Too Many Vaccines At Too Young Of Age,plastics,ect…

  2. Deadra says:

    The sheep will vote for who the media picks plain and simple. Vote for who you like but don’t listen to the media as they are all owned by the NWO chaps.
    Their power lies in the conspiracy theory theory. It’s the man behind the curtain they don’t want you to see so they will call you a conspiracy nut if you try to sneak a peek.Just consider all the options when you vote. Trust no one.

    1. Deadra says:

      If you don’t believe me check this out it is just a small fraction of some of the information out there.

    2. yes sir says:

      Agree Deadra, and it’s simply a matter of punching up some facts on some of our established politicians and corporate C.E.O.”s and their consultant firms,and the heads of monetary policies and the huge banks.. Where do people think they come from?start with A.I.G.,then chase names and companies and banks…Amazing what you find

  3. Army veteran says:

    I hope people actually pick a topic, any topic (gay marriage, war,taxes,debtreligion,etc) and go to youtube and put in Ron Paul’s name with that topic and listen to his unfiltered take on the matter.

    They would be instant Ron paul supporters. Even Vegas would make that bet.

    But, most people will listen to what the media/newspaper tell them and not do their own research. It’s sad, that most Americans don’t find out if the stories being told them are true or not, they just mimic what they are told on TV

  4. Don'tTread says:

    If Mitt Romney or even Newt Gingrich wins in 2012, 4 years down the road we will see the exact same objections to his leadership that we see with Obama right now and Bush in 2008. The back and forth of power sharing with no significant results has no choice but to continue when the candidates have no solutions to real problems affecting our prosperity. Not one legitimate solution to inflation. Not one to spending. Not one to excessive government. More of the same is truly the message, just presented in the guise of a GOP candidacy.

    1. Frozenrunner says:

      Ron Paul is no different than the other candidates. Less government and all the problems will go away.Soundbite to hook people. The why of what the institution were created is not addressed. How to fix the problems that these agencies were meant to ease not addressed. Say earmarks are a bad thing and goes and gets them for his district. Healthcare reform is having people buy their own malpractice insurance. Base the currency on the assists of the country in one place, sell off the assists is advocated in another.
      In Ron Paul’s word housing inspectors would not be needed. If your housing is substandard move out. It is not that easy. Requiring contractors to be licensed, bonded and insured would be needless. Gee, wonder why these rules were put in place?

      1. DontTread says:

        WordPress doesnt want to let me respond. Maybe they like the adulterated version of his position as well.

      2. DontTread says:

        I’ll try again. Your arguments are very disingenuous. I’m curious if your understanding is based only on what you see in debates, where he’s allotted the least amount of time. You should read his books. On healthcare, he supports HSA’s because they reduce insurance co’s leverage and would allow dr’s to charge less. He supports ch. 11’s because they allow toxic assets to liquidize and transfer hands to more responsible ownerships, rather than socialize the losses. This harms capitalism and prolongs recovery, along with debasing the currency and making people poorer. Paul adamantly supports the 10th amendment. Inspections, bonding, licensing, all functions of state/local govts. They would stay as they are. He’s against earmarks but also against taxes. He does what he should to bring them back. That’s his job.

        1. Ron Paul 2012 says:

          Excellent DontTread. You are never going to change Frozenrunners head when it comes to Ron since he’s got a long posting history of dispising him but you put the facts out there for the rest of them and I really appreciate that!

        2. frozenrunner says:

          OK One of the departments Dr Paul wants to cut is the department of interior. To do so you would have to sell off all of the governmet land as there would be no management function for the lands and buildings the government own. Great you say, no parks. Sell offtheGrand Canyon
          Under the Department of Commerce is the patent office. If you aretransfering functions you are not getting rid of government, but you are appealing to the people who cry government is evil. From a libeertarian standpoint Dr Paul wants to get rid of regulation and oversight. I used housing as a quick simple example of why there are ruls and regulation. Sorry I confused you with a local example rather than a national one.
          There is plenty of information about Dr Paul from hisown website to multiple slants of news sources.

          1. DontTread says:

            Once again… FEDERALISM! There is a demand for these resources. There is an inherent desire from society to maintain these standards and to preserve these locations. Transfer govt is the point! The position is that the federal gov’t is to obscure of a handler to efficiently manage these functions and there is no doubt they have failed to prove differently. W/o these agencies, federal taxes will decrease and responsibility will shift to the states. The states will no doubt tax more to take this on, but some won’t have to tax as much as others, and people will actually have more of a choice (no blanket burdens). The point is not to elimate the services, it’s to get the Fed’s blubbery fingers off them so they can be done more efficiently w/o wasting peoples time and money. We teach these very basic principles to our children but they aren’t put in place as they should. It’s no wonder congress is so unproductive. If adults can’t understand this than there is something seriously wrong.

          2. DontTread says:

            Sell off the Grand Canyon. Are you serious? Do you really foresee a flood of development moving into a gigantic pit only accessible by mules? That’s the kind of lunacy that distracts people from the point. C’mon. Common sense. No… seriously, read Paine’s “Common Sense”.

            1. frozenrunner says:

              Federalism died with John Adams. They figured out over 200 years ago that there needed to be a stronger leadership. Wether it is the state or the feds the efficiency will be about the same, except you will have 50 more agencies. You have a dislike for the federal government.
              What you would appear to know about health care and the expenses is very micro. Office visits are cheap, A week of intensive care for someone who is already dead is not. The acutely ill cost the money, not the health maintenance. You get every rest under the sun more due to if you miss something in this complex world and a negative occurs there will be a lawsuit.
              Dr Paul has not ran a medicine practice in years. Times have changed

              1. DontTread says:

                “Federalism died with John Adams”. And they say Ron Paul is crazy. That statement is even beyond most liberals. Move to Canada, they love those ideas. Fortunately, there’s very little desire in this country for your beliefs.

                1. Frozenrunner says:

                  Federalsim is what it is.Not liberal or conservative. Think of it as an x. One point is conservative, the opposite is liberal. One point would be libertarian, the other point would be strong central government. Technically the opposite of libertarian is fascism, but thanks to a dictator in Italy, fascism conjures up a different image. than what fascism is
                  That being said, the politic of both parties is undeniably a strong central government. Surely you can’t be blind to that fact. Read any party platform. They are manifestos of how they think the world should be. They are not giving up control.
                  I expected better out of you than a move to Canada comment Australia is more appealing anyway. wink wink.

      3. DEEP says:

        Bad reply Frozen. Ron Paul stands alone. Ron Paul is the Constitution. I feel like a sucker trying to identify with you on that other post. I guess I did say “I think I get your angle”…… I guess I don’t get it. Ron Paul and more importantly We The People are dangerous to the status quo!
        The violent nature of our current situation in the USA just with the drug war alone is horrific! God help us! 47 THOUSAND dead on our border!? Fast and Furious!? Iran Contra back in the day!? To think that my productive, respectful neighbors, friends and family that consume cannabis can be raided by some goon thug pig cops makes me sick. We The People will hold back and be peaceful as long as we can. The new world order will not win.

        1. frozenrunner says:

          @ Don’t and deep
          Health savingsaccounts pay for the high copay or for lack of coverage by an individual party. Increasing the usage would be an individual thing. Increasing the ammount one could put in one will not bring costs down. Universal coverage will bring costs down as now the insured pay for charity care at hospitals. 5 to 25 % of the hospital costs are coverage of charity care

          1. DontTread says:

            W/ HSA, if you have to pay for basic checkups basically out of pocket, it will give you the opportunity to negotiate with dr’s on the appropriate tests needed. If you have an emergency, you use your account to match the high deductible, which happens very rarely for most. If everyone had this option, it would make a HUGE difference. w/ PPO’s you pay a copay of $10 or so and get every test under the sun because the dr’s charge the ins. co’s which you pay to much for in the first place. This keeps prices high. Once again, read his book. It explains it all very clearly. He is also a very successful Doctor, so you cant deny his credibility on the subject.

        2. Frozenrunner says:

          @ Deep.
          Victimless crime is not a crime so therefore should be legal.

  5. Common_Cents says:

    It gives me hope to see sincere discussions about Ron Paul. It ‘s refreshing that people are actually thinking instread of just following.

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