Politics 2012: Battle Brews in Peace Garden State (UPI)
"Of the Super Tuesday states, we have been focusing on Idaho, Alaska and North Dakota, which are all caucus states where we have the highest likelihood of gaining a lot of delegates," Gary Howard, Paul's campaign spokesman, told U.S. News and World Report.
GOP strategist Ron Bonjean said Paul was shrewd to focus time and attention on caucus states, which attract large numbers of Paul supporters and allow them to leverage their enthusiasm into more votes for the libertarian congressman.
"He has shown strength in those Western states," Bonjean says. "The more delegates he earns there, the more powerful he becomes, even if he doesn't win."
The reason he wins even if he doesn't finish first is because each delegate Paul picks up gives him more leverage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this summer, Bonjean told U.S. News.
"Paul measures success differently than the opposing campaigns," Bonjean said. "His not winning doesn't seem to stop him from staying optimistic."
I've been push-polled and called by a volunteer by Santorum's campaign. Both times they seemed surprised I said "no" to supporting Santorum (even the call center guy). I think that's more a function of North Dakota Nice than actual politics -- we don't tend to get ranty, sometimes we'll say "maybe" in the sweetest tone just to get off the damn phone and keep doing whatever was interrupted.
That Paul, Romney, and Santorum have spent any
time in this state during this election is really amazing to me. We're North Dakota. The news media couldn't even get the capitol right until we found oil. North Dakota, South Dakota, it's all the same. So to be so front and center on the political landscape, let alone on the economic landscape, is kind of new to us.
Conservatives and business love us for the oil. Liberals and Occupy love us for our State Bank (go figure -- we also have a state flour mill, want some of that action too?). We have a brief but intense socialist past. We have a high church-attendance rate. We usually send Democrats to DC but keep our state politics with the GOP.
Ron Paul is spending Super Tuesday in Fargo and maybe Bismarck
. I only hope that after the elections all of these people just leave us the hell alone again. We like our anonymity among the penguins and igloos.
(I'm off to work the night shift, so I can't respond to anyone until the wee hours, FYI.)