Ron Paul kingmaker and dangerous to the Republicans
Ron Paul is doing much better in the Republican presidential race than anyone not named Mitt Romney. An increasing number of people think Ron Paul will play a huge role in the GOP fight — and in the general election. Here’s a look at why Ron Paul is a force to be reckoned with:
If he can’t win the nomination, why is Paul running?
A cause. Paul and his aides insist that the Ron Paul Revolution will keep on rolling through the GOP primary season, and perhaps all the way to the Republican National Convention in August. If he can win enough delegates, Paul will have leverage at the convention.
How would Paul get the GOP to listen to him?
It’s all about the delegates, which are awarded based on a candidate’s performance in primaries and caucuses. (Only Paul and Romney managed to get on every state’s primary ballot.) A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to secure the nomination. For the next couple months, every primary and caucus awards its delegates proportionally, before giving way to a winner-take-all system in April. If a third candidate gives Romney a run for his ample money, Paul’s delegates could be a critical tiebreaker. Paul could potentially swing his supporters behind the candidate of his choosing, effectively making him a “kingmaker.”
And Paul’s fans are important in the general election too, right?
Absolutely, says Peter Grier in The Christian Science Monitor. “Consider this: In New Hampshire, Paul won 47 percent of voters aged 18 to 29.” Keeping those voters in the GOP fold is key to “making inroads into Barack Obama’s appeal to younger demographics.” That’s why some GOP stalwarts are making “conciliatory noises about the Paulites,” and no longer dismissing them as “cranks, college students in favor of drug legalization, or disaffected liberals.” And even if the GOP doesn’t keep Paul’s voters, they need to keep Paul — the “Republican nightmare” is “Romney as the nominee, and Paul as a third-party candidate.”
Would Paul really launch a third-party bid?
He says he has no plans to, but he views his candidacy “as the leading edge of a much larger movement,” and if that movement is served better by an independent bid… well, anything could happen. And until Paul makes up his mind, he’s “the most dangerous man in (and to) the Republican party.”
[Excerpt of Yahoo article]