Now three people have won Iowa during this primary season. Last night, Ron Paul’s delegate finagling strategy paid off as he guaranteed himself at least half of the delegates in Iowa and Minnesota.
Remember, back in January, Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses by eight votes. This official declaration was made by the state Republican Party chairman, Matt Strawn, despite ongoing discrepancies in the way that county commissioners and the state commissioners were reporting vote totals. Rachel Maddow has some of the footage of the news stations that night re-learning how to cover the complicated Iowa voting system (the video seems to be going viral, btw, as at 9 a.m. the video only had 300+ views, but as of 10 a.m. was pushing 9,000).
Two weeks later, Rick Santorum was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses in what was then termed the certified vote total. Matt Strawn stepped down as a result of all the confusion, and this ended up starting Ron Paul’s coup in Iowa.
Fourteen weeks later, the coup was complete and Ron Paul’s covert, submarine delegate strategy paid off. Iowa has 28 total delegates that it can award, and one of those delegates is the state chairman. Since Strawn stepped down and was replaced by a strong Ron Paul supporter – plus one for Ron Paul. Paul also picked up 13 delegates from the state’s nomination committee, which decided yesterday to go for Ron Paul. Weeks later, Paul’s grinding delegate game has paid off, and at the very worst, he will earn half of Iowa’s delegates.
He pulled off the same thing in Minnesota. The state has 40 delegates and Ron Paul has secured at least 20 of them, confirming Paul’s prediction at the time that “when the dust settles, there is a very good chance that we’ll have the maximum number of delegates coming out of Minnesota.”
Ron Paul is staying in the race for now, displaying his hallmark consistency and commitment to his cause. He may win more surprises with his strategy since many delegates who were originally bound to Santorum can now vote for him, but a lot of the delegates are legally bound to Romney and not many other states have an Iowa system in which procedural savvy can earn extra delegates.