January 29, 2008
With many of Ron Paul’s supporters still believing their Republican Presidential candidate will have won Louisiana and its delegates, the focus for many is now on the state of Maine.
"Maine has 21 delegates that Paul has a serious potential of winning," points out Natalie Schultz of the Nolan Chart.
"Why can Ron Paul truly win Maine? Because outside of the political elite urbanites who control the state, the majority of real Mainers are very anti-government gun-lovers. Huckabee is gaining a Christian following, but truthfully, most Mainers are old-school Christians, not Evangelicals."
Paul has planned to campaign in Maine on Monday January 28.
To date, says Maine Republican Party Executive Director Julie O’Brien, activity on behalf of the various GOP presidential hopefuls is relatively high.
"I mean the phone is not stopping," she says.
Supporters of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee are busy and those backing Sen. John McCain of Arizona and ex-Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts are stepping up their efforts, according to O’Brien.
She says former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has a presence.
But most active?
"If I had to say," ventures O’Brien, "Ron Paul," the Texas congressman.
Schultz believes that Ron Paul is wasting his time following the other Republican candidates around "winner take all" Florida, where both Mitt Romney and John McCain lead by a large margin. It should be noted that Rudy Giuliani is already down to 5.5/1 odds of winning Florida at BetUS.com compared to McCain’s 2/1 odds and Romney’s even odds. Ron Paul came in with 40/1 odds of winning the state and this is one bet even his own supporters are not likely to place money on.
"No matter how much time and money Paul spends there, he will not win. The die-hard Paul supporters there will vote for him no matter what. It’s high-time he moves on to fresh waters were there are many fish waiting to bite."
In fact, Ron Paul has had nominal media exposure here in South Florida where a campaign like his would actually be welcome. But someone dropped the ball.
Those of us here on Miami Beach, for example, got a preservationist Cuban female with no money into the office of Mayor – Matti Herrera Bower. She went up against investor and "friend to the real estate developers" Simon Cruz as a big underdog. In the end, Bower won through similar grass roots efforts employed by the Ron Paul camp (including press releases submitted by Gambling911.com parent company, Costigan Media), with the swing vote came from those who typically don’t head out to the polling booths – Her 10 percent win margin came from the young voters. More registered voters under the age of 30 came out to vote for Herrera Bower than in any previous Miami Beach election, something the new Mayor has expressed great appreciation for.
(pictured right: Ron Paul Bangor, Maine headquarters opens)
People who have never voted before (and those who have never taken part in polls) are ready to do so now. Florida makes things difficult, however. One must be a registered Republican in order to vote for the long time Congressman without the ability to switch parties if you happen to be an Independent, Democrat or never voted before.
So even though the potential is there for Florida (and make no mistake about it – anything over 7% of the vote will be considered a victory by the Paul campaign), the focus has shifted elsewhere.
We already realize this election is more differentiated than ever by state. Just look at the results for both Republicans and Democrats where, in theory, there really is no clear front runner just yet.
Impressive showings in Nevada and Louisiana have instilled new life into the Ron Paul campaign.
In Maine, if you are registered to vote but not enrolled in ANY party (you are listed as “Unenrolled” on our towns voter list), you can enroll as Republican 30 minutes before the caucus at the location of the caucus.
If you are enrolled as a Democrat or Green Independent and you wish to participate in the Republican Caucus, you must change your enrollment at least 15 days prior to the caucus at your town office. Unfortunately, at this juncture in time, that deadline has already come and gone. The Maine Republican Caucus takes place February 2 in most towns (while technically running throughout Super Bowl weekend, February 1 – 3). You can learn more here