Saturday in Nebraska will be Ron Paul’s biggest day ever.
And if Ron Paul’s fervent supporters have it their way, it could also be the libertarian Congressman’s best day ever.
On Saturday, Ron Paul will put all his chips on the table. This will be his Alamo, his last stand, the GOP’s crossing of the Rubicon, the end game — whatever you want to call it, Saturday’s Nebraska Republican Convention has the potential to change the GOP forever.
Here’s why: Ron Paul has managed to collect almost enough delegates in the Republican primaries to force a 15 minute speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., and have his name on the official ballot at the convention.
The only thing that stands in his way is Nebraska. And the Republican Party itself.
More so, the GOP is genuinely freaked out over the fact that this may actually play out in Ron Paul’s favor.
As PolicyMic libertarian expert Robert Taylor explains, “The most interesting aspect about this weekend in Nebraska (and why the GOP is concerned and paranoid) is that if Paul wins the majority of delegates, he will have the minimum amount of states to have his name officially be on the ballot at the convention. And because delegates are unbound, if Romney doesn't get the votes needed at the national convention, then Paul could theoretically be nominated.”
Paul needs to win delegates from five states to get 15 minutes to speak at the national convention. So far, he has enough delegates from four states: Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Louisiana.
Paul can credit his wins in those states to his “It’s the Delegates, Dummy” grassroots strategy, which has sought to influence local and state convention delegates to vote for national delegates for Ron Paul.
Nebraska could push Paul over the threshold. It seems to be the perfect state for Paul's grassroots effort: Nebraska delegates are elected without regard to the results of the popular vote primary, which Romney won with 70% of the vote. There is no guarantee that Romney will secure 70% of Nebraska's national delegates.
The Republican establishment seems to acknowledge this. The state GOP has hired extra security to halt any unruliness that may come about from Paul supporters and mainstream Republicans, as was the case at the Louisiana convention a months ago.
There is clearly a deepening rift among Republicans and the libertarian Paulites.
“The GOP is absolutely shooting themselves in the foot with the way they are handling the Paul grassroots organization and the libertarians trying to work within the party,” Taylor said. “Romney may well get the nomination, but not after some battling. More so, alienating potentially 15% to 20% of possible Republican votes is suicide in the general election.”
So why does this all matter? Well, the extreme is that Paul could still have an outside chance to actually be nominated as the GOP presidential nominee, throwing the wider Republican Party into utter chaos.
The more likely scenario: Paul’s efforts to force a speaking engagement at the RNC would help give the Texas congressman a national audience to which he could relay his libertarian ideals. Paul, at this stage, seems to only be interested in shaping the Republican Party by making it more libertarian. He hopes to set the cornerstone of a libertarian political structure that will affect politics for generations to come, and an RNC speech would be massive in that regard.
Paul only continues to gain in popularity, especially among young people. Though he has "actively quit active spending" (that's the mouthful definition any Paulite will give you) on his 2012 presidential campaign, Ron Paul continues to rake in money … not boatloads of cash, but he does have a steady flow of money coming in.
In May, Paul raised $1.78 million in fundraising, ending the month with $3.3 million in the bank, more than he had in April.
(Side Bar: In typical libertarian fashion, Paul has been efficient with his fundraising earnings and has no debt to pay off — former GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum owe creditors millions of dollars.)
Ron Paul isn’t bringing in “Romney Money” in terms of the size of his fundraising, but his steady earnings do show that his passionate base will continue to fund his R3volution through thick and thin.
Here’s a more visual explanation: RP money bomb x ∞ $ x RP supporters² - campaign spending = More RP in 2012.
As Ron Paul 2012 morphs into some new libertairan campaign, expect these financial contributions to only go up. And as fundraising goes up, influence goes up.
Ron Paul believes in free markets. He knows that an efficient industrial machine leads to prosperity. His campaign — if you can still call it that — has become this uber efficient machine.
Picture Ron Paul 2012 as a start-up company; we’ll soon enter into the next phase of the company’s evolution, and that one may be more profitable than the last.
All he has to do is win in Nebraska.