Ron Paul’s campaign succesfully navigated a confusing ballot process in Louisiana to secure delegates at the state's Republican convention.
Early reports indicate that Paul’s campaign won 5 of the 6 Congressional Districts in the Saturday, April 28 statewide vote, with a sixth district still up in the air. Analysis of the results estimates that upwards of 70% of the delegates to the Louisiana Republican Convention held in Shreveport, LA on June 2 will be composed entirely Ron Paul supporters. The delegates at the state convention then choose the majority of the delefates that get sent to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida later this summer.
Louisiana is allotted a total of 46 delegates to the RNC. Twenty of those delegates were allocated to presidential contenders by primary voters, but those allocations are not finalized until the state convention when delegates can be differently allocated. Given Ron Paul’s success in the Louisiana delegate process, re-allocating the delegates is a likely option. Thirty-eight national delegates are chosen by the delegates to the state convention and an additional eight delegates are either party officials or chosen by party officials.
Romney supporters were in damage control mode Saturday, undermining Paul's numerous caucus state victories and insisting that a broken process caused Romney an embarrassing finish in Louisiana. Romney supporter and Greater New Orleans Republican Chairwoman Sarah Roy complimented Ron Paul's campaign: “We congratulate Ron Paul supporters for apparently capturing their first state delegation in this Presidential election cycle through an excellent get out the vote effort today.”
In a statement released Saturday, Roy called for the party's old guard to step down after pointing out that the results from Louisiana, in which Romney took only 8% of the delegates, would cause problems for him and his ardent supporter, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. "This odd and undemocratic result unfortunately will embarrass and distract Governor Jindal, as he labors to pass his Legislative agenda, and presumed Presidential nominee Mitt Romney."
The Ron Paul campaign’s Louisiana State Director Pete Chamberlain said of the victory, “Yesterday, Ron Paul’s dedicated Louisiana supporters showed what passionate, persistent activism can achieve when centered around a consistent message of freedom and prosperity.”
“Ron Paul’s victory shows his delegate-attainment strategy is working and demonstrates that the media and Washington pundits are underestimating his influence in the nominating process," said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Manager John Tate.
The Louisiana results illustrate yet another example of a regular trend for this campaign cycle – Paul fairs well in the popular vote by usually taking second or third place and occasionally first, but then dominates the delegate process. As delegates are the ultimate decider of whom the party’s nominee will be, this technique was precisely the technique successfully used by President Obama’s 2008 campaign to defeat Hilary Clinton. As late as May 2008, then Senator Obama was still being referred to as unelectable in the media, until his delegate strategy started to show clear results.
Unofficial sources report that there was little organization or support among former Governor Mitt Romney’s, former Senator Rick Santorum’s, or former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s supporters in the process, while Paul’s supporters appeared heavily organized and involved in the process.
While former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won the popular vote on March 24 in Louisiana, the April 28 delegate results show that Paul’s campaign has seized control of the Louisiana delegate process and is poised to take control of both the national delegation and the Louisiana State Republican Party.