March 3, 2012
Ron Paul finished strong at second place in the ‘beauty contest’ straw poll vote for today’s Washington caucus, according to early results tailored towards putting Romney’s name in the headlines. The Paul camp has been hoping for the psychological victory of his first “win” in the primaries. But in reality, it’s just another state among many where Paul can score delegates in the long-battle of caucus organization for precinct, county, state and/or finally national conventions (with variations per state).
The “vote” reported in the media is a non-binding straw poll, and the real contest is again for delegates, where Ron Paul does very well, even when not ahead in the caucus polls. Ron Paul beat Romney there in 2008, taking third in the Washington caucus with some 22 percent of the vote– and only 3% down from winner John McCain.
The media also boosted a prematurely-declared Romney victory in Maine, besting Paul by only a few points. Yet, with clear evidence that Maine never had a full count, the Ron Paul campaign demanded a recount, which the state agreed to do. However, it too is a state whose caucuses will determine delegates over a longer course likely to favor the strong organization and enthusiasm of the Paul campaign.
At the Washington Caucus: Ron Paul on Delegate Strategy & Polling Edge Against Obama
Romney takes early lead over GOP field in Washington caucuses
March 3, 2012
Early returns out of the Washington caucuses show Mitt Romney battling Ron Paul and Rick Santorum for the lead, as the Republican presidential candidates compete for the final prize before Super Tuesday.
With just 8 percent of precincts reporting in Washington, Romney is ahead with 31 percent. Paul is close behind at 27 percent, followed by Santorum at 24 percent. Newt Gingrich is trailing with 14 percent.
Paul, who has not yet won a Republican primary contest, is the only candidate who plans to actually be in Washington state for a post-caucus rally.