After Ron Paul’s impressive performance in New Hampshire last night, his campaign believes that they have finally solidified the 2012 Republican presidential race into a contest between the Texas Congressman and Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee.”We have consolidated this into a two-man race now,” Paul’s campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, told Business Insider. “There are two serious candidates with the fundraising, with the organisation, with the electoral success to compete all the way for the nomination — there’s Mitt Romney, the status quo, and there’s Ron Paul, real change. The other candidates, they’re not on ballots, they don’t have the breadth of support, they don’t have the national organisation, they don’t have the message.”
Paul, long seen as a “spoiler” candidate with no chance of winning the nomination, has exceeded expectations in the first two voting contests. The campaign now sees their candidate as the only viable conservative alternative to Romney, and they are prepared to fight all the way to the Republican National Convention this summer.
“It’s very, very likely this thing won’t be decided until June,” Benton said. “We’ve got the organisation, we’ve got the resources to fight it till the end, and we have a plan to win.”
More than other candidates, Paul’s strategy is largely based on accumulating delegates to the RNC. The plan focuses primarily on picking up delegates in states that hold caucuses, rather than primaries. But as Paul picks up steam, the campaign is also focusing its resources on states that award delegates proportionally, including South Carolina, and possibly Florida, which is considering changing from a “winner-take-all” primary to one that awards delegates proportionally by Congressional district.
“We continue to keep our focus downstream on caucus states, moving forward to Super Tuesday,” Benton told BI. “We’ve got four big caucuses coming up in February, and of course South Carolina — we are looking for a very strong surge there. Our internals have us very strong in South Carolina, we’re going to have a big rally there tomorrow, pick up some key endorsements. We’re looking to do very, very well in South Carolina, we’re excited about that.”
Benton conceded that Paul will have to compete in primary states if he wants to win enough delegates to compete for the nomination.
For Paul, the benefit of this strategy is that even if he does not win the nomination, a sizable chunk of delegates will move the party in the direction of the Ron Paul Movement.
“The best way to push the party is to win elections,” Benton said. “Our first and foremost goal is to win elections — it spreads the word and it spreads the cause of liberty.”