Jan 7, 2008

How to Get Ron Paul the Nomination

Because I am always interested in the mechanisms of politics as well as philosophical matters, this sort of thing is very interesting to me. There is only one part of this that may run afoul of the official campaign strategy and that is the decision not to waste time with the typical republican. This may not be an option in some states where the primary is not open. In fact, if the deadline has already passed for voter registration and the primary isn't open, talking to non-republicans is a complete waste of time. It bodes well for the general election though should we persevere.
What we did in Jefferson County


Please circulate


We had a great night here in Jefferson County, Iowa. Ron Paul won with over 35% of the vote out of 838 votes cast, Huckabee was second with 31%! The conversations at our victory party last night were about how wonder ful it would be if Jefferson County could secede and become our own country with Ron Paul as our President! We want everyone to know why we won and what you can do to improve on our results. We think we have some extremely important and positive information to share with all of our friends around the country, and the world, who believe in Freedom.

You should know where I am coming from so you can better appreciate the perspective that is being shared in this message. I did not grow up in Iowa, I grew up in the Chicago area and have lived in several different states including California for eight years. I have worked in virtually every major city in the country in my various business activities and as a professional speaker. I moved here with my family in 1982 and ran for Governor here as the Libertarian candidate in 2002. I have a pretty good perspective on this state and how unique it is.

The first thing you need to know is that Jefferson County has different demographics than any other county in Iowa. A significant portion of our population, like me, did not grow up in Iowa. Jefferson county is demographically more like the rest of the country than any other county in Iowa. We have a University here that has attracted families from California, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and literally all over the country. In my opinion this creates a diversity of opinion and backgrounds here that resembles the rest of the country more closely than other Iowa counties.

In general Iowans expect their elected representatives and the media to tell them the truth, there does not seem to be as much skepticism about what they hear in the media as in other states. There is no tradition of success for third party candidates in this state. Those of us in the Paul campaign tried to get, what seemed to us, basic constitutional reforms like eliminating the Department of Education, in the party platform last night. The general response was that we were being too radical. In summary, Iowa is a great state with wonderful people and a great place to live, but it is not likely to be a state that is going to lead the nation in embracing change. At this point the Ron Paul message is to extreme for the average Iowan.

If you look at the difference in the straw polls nationwide, versus the straw poll in Iowa, and you look at our caucus results here in Jefferson County, versus the caucus statewide results you get the picture. The picture looks pretty darn good.

Straw polls: Nation wide

Ron Paul has finished in the top 3 in 84% of the straw polls (41 out of 49)
Ron Paul has finished in the top 2 in 69% of the straw polls (34 out of 49)
Ron Paul has finished 1st in 55% of the straw polls (27 out of 49)

Straw poll in Ames, Iowa

Ron Paul finished in 5th in Iowa with 9.1% of the vote.

In the January third caucus Jefferson county's results were:


State wide the results were:

Huckabee 39,814 34%
Romney 29,405 25%
Thompson 15,521 13%
McCain 15,242 13%
Paul 11,596 10%
Giuliani 4,013 4%
Hunter 515 1%

1. Jefferson county has more people from other states per capita than other Iowa counties and Ron Paul was a clear winner here, that bodes well for other states.

2. The Straw poll results in Iowa for Ron Paul were close to the caucus results in Iowa, 9% to 10%, if that trend holds for the other states that is incredible news for the Ron Paul campaign because Iowa had just about the worst straw poll results of any of the straw polls held anywhere in the country.

3. The fact that we did well in Jefferson County and we have a higher per capita ratio of out of staters is a strong indication that Iowa is unique and that the straw poll results will be a good indicator of how election results will turn out in other states.

We worked hard in this state and we did improve a bit on the straw poll results. However, if we just do as well in the other primaries as we did in the other straw polls Ron Paul will easily win the nomination.

One other point, our experience with young people here in Jefferson County leads us to believe that Ron Paul would have done much better state wide if the election had not been held during the holiday break. That probably cost us enough votes in the large college towns to keep us from owning a solid third place finish state-wide.

The other reason we did well in Jefferson County, in our opinion, is that we did not waste much time on regular Republican voters. We focused on anti-war independents, anti-war Democrats, and especially on young people. We highly recommend this strategy. We also did a lot of work here and I am including a complete list below of what we did. This list was compiled today by Roger Leahy, one of our key organizers.

I have to mention a couple of other items as well. We had a phenomenal campaign chair here that worked 18 hours a day seven days a week. His name is Brian Horsfield, he is a British citizen and can't even vote in America!

One great thing we did that we recommend to all the campaigns. We held a speech competition a week before the caucus and we had nine contestants participate. We went out of our way to recruit young people to participate. The two winners were Samara Burnes who is 21 years old, and Monty Congden a 28 year old military veteran. Both of them attended the local public high school. They absolutely blew people away at the caucus, both of them had many people approach them to let them know that their speeches tipped them over to Ron Paul. The speech competition also served to completely energize all the supporters who attended. We blew it by not getting their speeches taped for youtube. We have asked them if they will let us video their speeches so hopefully we will have them up for you soon.

One last item, my comments about the people in Iowa are not meant to be critical, it is just a unique culture here. I am confident that once the people of Iowa have the opportunity to get the full picture of who Ron Paul is and what he stands for they will come around and be very supportive. They did not really have that opportunity. The state's main newspaper, the Des Moines Register, makes Fox look fair and well balanced. They did not even list Ron Paul as one of the Republican candidates in their daily campaign reports! I guess there just wasn't enough room on all those pages.

Good luck to all Paulites
Clyde Cleveland

From Roger Leahy:
We have received compliments from the RP campaign staff, and inquiries from Ron Paul supporters in other states wanting to duplicate our success.
This has prompted me to recall those various ingredients. They have included:

An early rally in person by Dr Paul in August where 500 persons heard his message at the town square.

Enthusiastic travel and participation in the Straw Poll in Ames by local RP supporters.

Building a list, mostly locally with help from the campaign, of about 150 local RP supporters.

Having a fantastic Meetup organizer in Brian, who has inspired us on a daily basis with national RP news and setting up local RP events.

Staffing a booth on Saturday mornings at the Farmer's Market from August through December where we were available to discuss Ron Paul.

Staffing booths at the monthly Art Walk to promote Ron Paul.

Lots of local signs for Ron Paul, including 4' by 8' signs on the main roads and far more yard signs than any other candidate.

We set up a small local office on the town square, with internet and phone, where literature, buttons, signs and bumper stickers were available 24/7.

All these materials were provided free to the public and were sponsored by local donations.

We dropped Ron Paul literature on Sundays at church parking lots, and distributed RP literature on door knobs around town.

Weekly and Ads and occasional inserts were placed in the local (daily and weekly) newspapers for the past couple of months.

A focus on local areas of concern, particularly health freedom, restoring civil liberties, opposition to the Patriot Act,

restoring the Constitutional limited Federal government, a humble, non-interventionalist foreign policy, etc.

We met weekly over lunch for organizational meetings that were open to the public.

We help Public Ron Paul meetings in the public library about monthly, showing videos and giving talks.

Held a speech competition to choose and selected two great young speakers to talk for Ron Paul at the caucus.

We outfitted 2 pick-ups with 4 by 8 Ron Paul signs and parked them prominently on the main highways or on the town square.

We bought some RP magnetic signs and put them on our car doors.

We emailed and called our lists of friends and business associates to explain the importance of supporting Ron Paul.

We directed our efforts mostly to our friends, who were largely Democrats, Independents, or non-political folks.

We tried to win over Obama and Edwards supporters, in fact some of our Ads contrasted Ron Paul with them.

We made a strong effort to get people to register Republican just for voting for Ron Paul, even if they switched back the next day.

We communicated often via emails (sometimes dozens per day) sharing ideas and inspiration (allowing folks to opt out if they wished).

Although we had a Meetup Group (totally open and un-monitored), only about 1/3 actually joined it. The rest we just emailed directly.

We emailed and talked with each other continuously and inspired each other continually with Ron Paul news and links.

What we did not do:

We had very little contact with traditional Republicans or the conservative Christian community.

We did not make phone calls to Republican or any registered voter lists. (we tried it, but found it disappointing.)

We did not focus on Ron Paul's positions on abortion or immigration (unless asked about them).

When I wrote the above list, I was pretty impressed with our local activities.

We have such a core group of Ron Paul patriots, and we are not going to settle for less than a transformation of our country.

We wish tremendous success to the Ron Paul Revolution in New Hampshire and up to the Convention.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to inaugurate President Ron Paul?



1 comment:

Laura said...

Of course the problem with that is that there are so many variations on the system. Some are closed, some are open; some are semi-open; some are irrelevant (for instance, here in Nebraska, the primary is just a "beauty contest"--the only way to get national delegates is by having delegates elected to the state convention, where they are chosen; the only way to do that is by having delegates at the county conventions who will elect delegates to the state convention. In other words, you're going to have to play with party regulars. We have 93 counties here--active Ron Paul supporters in maybe a third of them. We need regular Republicans to like us. In a number of states (I did some research on this a while back)delegates to the national convention are elected at the state conventions, and are only partially dependent on the results of the primary. I know there's a sentiment out there to just ignore "regular Republicans." I think that's a losing strategy in most places (except, perhaps, in sparsely populated counties like Jefferson County Iowa, pop. 16,000, where a small group of people can make a huge difference--or where the current party structure is exceptionally weak), and considering where we are in the nomination process, I don't think we have time to collect the numbers to stage a total takeover of the Party without a significant number of party regulars coming over to our side.

Besides, if we can grab the nomination, it would be nice to have those Republicans vote for us rather than staying home in the fall because they resent a hostile takeover.