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Ron Paul's secret ninja strategy for Maine caucuses

Ron Paul has a strategy for winning more delegates than caucus results in Maine, Colorado, and elsewhere suggest he would. Patience, grasshopper, and we will explain it to you. 

By Staff writer / February 10, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R) of Texas addresses supporters during caucus night party Tuesday in Golden Valley, Minn.

Jim Mone/AP

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Ron Paul has a secret, ninja-like Seal Team 6 strategy to win big in the Feb. 11 Maine Republican caucuses. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and the mainstream media won’t see Paul’s forces coming until they’ve snatched a majority of the Pine Tree State’s 24 delegates and raced off towards August and the national convention in Tampa, Fla.

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OK, that’s kind of an exaggeration. But it contains a nucleus of truth. The Paul team has a plan for winning more delegates in many caucus states than straw poll votes would indicate Paul is entitled to. Mr. Paul’s supporters are proud of this approach, which has “not been clearly reported”, as Paul campaign manager John Tate said earlier this week.

We’ll use Maine to explain how this works.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, Maine’s Republican Party is set to announce the results of a presidential preference poll taken at caucuses held around the state. (While many of those caucuses will take place on Saturday, some towns held theirs weeks ago, as we’ve previously noted.)

But that poll is non-binding. It’s a beauty contest, a straw vote, a mere indicator of personal preferences. It will not be indicative of how the state’s delegates will be divvied up.

That apportionment will be the result of a second task the caucuses were supposed to accomplish: selection of delegates to the state GOP convention in May. It’s that meeting that will officially put its stamp on for whom Maine’s delegates will go. So if Paul’s folks stick around at town caucuses and get themselves picked as delegates to the state confab, voila, they can then vote for their guy at the state convention. Thus it’s possible for Paul – or any candidate who tries this – to outperform their beauty contest showing.

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