Ron Paul is indeed still running for president and making some news of late. Over the weekend Rep. Paul won the most number of delegates at state party conventions in Nevada and Maine. While the majority of delegate votes won by Romney in the Nevada caucus earlier in the campaign will still be entitled to him during the first round of voting at the national convention, if there is more than one round of balloting, Paul backers who seized control at the state convention would be untied. Elizabeth Dwoskin of Bloomberg Businessweek describes a possible messy scenario that could ensue in Tampa should Paul supporters continue to maneuver their way to delegate seats from state conventions:
"To win the so-called roll call vote there and become the nominee, you need 1,144 delegates. Romney has 847. Paul has 80. Contest over, right?
Paul is actually gaining ground in some states, where intense contests to divvy up delegates are underway. At one recent gathering in Massachusetts, the majority of delegates elected were Paul supporters. Same story this past weekend in Maine and Nevada. Paul may do just as well in upcoming votes in Minnesota, Iowa and Colorado, according to Josh Putnam, assistant political science professor at Davidson College.
That doesn’t mean Paul’s going to steal the nomination from Romney in Tampa. But his delegates could shake things up right when the party’s supposed to unify behind a single candidate. They could start off by calling for a floor vote, and then jump up in blocs to nominate Paul, one state after another. He isn’t likely to actually get the nomination that way, but multiple states clamoring for him would embarrass the party and make things more difficult for Romney in the months before November."
As the lastman standing against Romney in what has been a sporadic 2012 Republican primary, Rep. Paul has found himself in a bargaining position, holding ransom the hope of party unity at the convention. The only question is what does the 76-year-old retiring congressman still want out of this campaign?
With a miracle needed to obtain the nomination, the "Real News" panel Monday ran through what motives Rep. Paul could still have for continuing his campaign, and whether his continued fight should be celebrated or shunned by conservatives. S.E. Cupp narrowed a continued Paul campaign down to three possible incentives:
- Rep. Paul still thinks he can win the nomination.
- By staying in the campaign, Rep. Paul believes it will shift the positions of the presumptive nominee to the right.
- This is all an elaborate scheme to set-up his son Sen. Rand Paul for success in the 2016 primary.
Guest panelist David Webb commented his belief that the congressman is aiming for a prominent speaking platform at the convention and to further the political legacy of his family.
"Here's what Ron Paul has done for twenty-six years, he's been ineffective. The reality is as an elected legislator, you can have your principles, you can have your votes. But if only one bill out of six-hundred with your name on it have gone anywhere. You're ineffective," said Webb.
"He does want relevance, he wants a speaking position, that's what I believe, at the convention," Webb went on to add. "But if he gets that speaking position--and the party has to think in terms of the general election-- you have to let him speak at some point, but edit."
Buck Sexton agreed that Rep. Paul is playing for continued relevance in the party and to hopefully steer the presumptive nominee Right on certain issues, but doesn't buy into any idea that the congressman hopes to "muck up" the convention.
Watch a clip of the panel debate on the continued Paul campaign: