Ron Paul is "poised to finish strong in the Iowa caucuses," says Ben Smith's editorial team at BuzzFeed, and that's just step one in "a quiet, complex plan to force a long battle with Mitt Romney for delegates to the Republican National Convention in August." Paul's "uber-organized" foot soldiers have built a strong presence in 10 caucus states besides Iowa — Colorado, Washington, Maine, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and North Dakota — where organization is key to winning delegates. The core Paul-ites are experienced; they learned the drill in 2008. And this time around, Paul's "libertarian, anti-government purity" is striking a louder chord, thanks largely to the Tea Party. Four years ago, many GOP voters might have dismissed Paul as "weird." Now they want to hear what he has to say. Here, an excerpt:
Paul is following the roadmap set by Barack Obama's 2008 strategy: Start early, learn the rules, and use superior organization and devoted young supporters to dominate the arcane but crucial party procedures in states your rivals are ignoring — states where caucuses and conventions... elect the delegates who will ultimately choose the Republican candidate....
Paul's rivals dismiss his chances. "Ron Paul's not going to be our nominee," Mitt Romney said flatly in December. But Paul's organization is girding for the long haul, and while the 76-year old Texan is vanishingly unlikely to be the nominee — primaries in big states like New York and California could shut him out — observers in the caucus states say they expect Paul to win, and perhaps sweep, dozens of delegates from unexpected corners of the map. Those delegates, in turn, will give him at least a prominent position at the Republican National Convention, and a plausible shot at emerging as a kingmaker if a strong mainstream challenger to Romney emerges.
Read the entire article at BuzzFeed.
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