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Ron Paul dealt a quiet, but embarrassing, blow to Republican rival Mitt Romney this weekend, scoring an impressive delegate victory on the presumptive nominee’s home turf. The Boston Globe reports today that Paul supporters filled more than half of the delegate slots at this weekend’s Massachusetts Republican district caucuses, edging out at least 16 Romney delegates for a spot at the Republican National Convention.
Paul’s wins aren’t likely to have an effect on Romney’s all-but-certain coronation as the Republican nominee. Romney won the Massachusetts Republican primary with 72 per cent of the vote, so 38 of the state’s 41 RNC delegates are legally bound to vote for their former governor on the first ballot at the convention.
But the losses are an alarming indication that Romney’s campaign organisation is still woefully underdeveloped, even in the state where he served as governor, and where his campaign headquarters are located. Romney had a full slate of 27 delegates for Saturday’s caucuses, and the losers included prominent Bay State Republicans, such as the Massachusetts House Minority Leader Bradley Jones, Jr., and former Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, according to the Globe.
The Paul and Romney campaigns did not reply to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
Massachusetts wasn’t the only state where Paul notched delegate victories this weekend. The campaign announced Sunday that Paul supporters will make up 74 per cent of the delegates at the Louisiana GOP convention, putting Paul in prime position to pick up a sizable chunk of the state’s national convention delegates. Paul supporters also reportedly made inroads at Alaska’s GOP convention, overcoming staunch opposition from the state party Establishment.
Even Paul’s campaign advisors admit that, despite the success of their convention strategy, it would be virtually impossible to deny Romney the 1,144-delegate majority he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot. But delegates also vote on the convention chair, the vice president, and the party platform, and Romney could have a hard time controlling those votes if the delegate team he brings to the convention is loyal to another coach.
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