Ron Paul claims victory in Louisiana

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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Texas Rep. Ron Paul claimed another come-from-behind caucus victory this weekend, announcing that approximately 74 percent of the delegates to Louisiana’s state GOP convention will be Paul supporters.

Louisiana has a unique system of selecting delegates to the Republican National Convention. Twenty delegates are selected based on the results of the state’s March 24 primary and another 26 delegates are based on the outcome of the state’s caucus process.

“Preliminary results from the Louisiana Republican Party indicate that Ron Paul supporters won majorities in Congressional Districts 1, 2, 5, and 6, with a narrow decision having occurred in District 4,” said a Sunday press release from the Paul campaign. “This means Ron Paul supporters won about four and a half of the six Congressional District caucus conventions held yesterday.

“Taken together, victories across four and half CDs mean that Ron Paul supporters are likely to control the outcome of the state convention in June,” said the Paul campaign. “To be sure, a win on this scale gives Ron Paul supporters a majority of yesterday’s elected delegates and the ability to choose most of the at-large delegates, as well as the three National Delegates from CDs 1, 2, 5, and 6.”

Rick Santorum dominated the Louisiana primary with 49 percent of the vote to runner-up Mitt Romney’s 27 percent. Paul fared poorly — receiving six percent of the primary vote, behind Newt Gingrich’s 16 percent.

The Paul campaign has long touted its ability to garner delegates via caucuses. Supporters of the libertarian candidate are renowned for their enthusiasm and dedication, qualities that are essential in low-turnout caucuses. (RELATED: More on Ron Paul)

Earlier this month, Paul won 20 of 24 delegates awarded by Minnesota congressional district conventions. Paul had received a significant 27 percent of the vote in the state’s Feb. 7 caucuses, but Santorum had won nearly every county in a major blowout.

Doug Wead, a senior adviser to the Paul campaign, wrote after the Minnesota rout, “Romney Hawks are now deeply concerned that Ron Paul has already laid the groundwork for similar success in six more caucus states.”

Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul declined to comment on the record about whether or not the presumptive presidential nominee’s campaign is indeed in “a panic.”

In Iowa, where Paul placed a close third in the Jan. 3 caucuses, his supporters also appear likely to win a majority of delegates.

Despite the series of caucus wins by Paul, not all of these contests have ended in his favor. In the Virgin Islands, Paul won a majority of caucus votes cast, but Romney walked away with all but one of the territory’s nine delegates.

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