"This week, Ron Paul is likely to win more delegates to the 2012 GOP convention than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. In fact, he’s likely to win more delegates than Gingrich and Santorum combined.
“Hold it”, you’re saying, “How can that be? Rep. Paul’s polling in single digits in Florida. He’s going to finish behind Gingrich and Santorum, as well as Mitt Romney, in Tuesday’s Florida primary. How can that translate into beating any of his rivals at all?”
We’ll tell you how – because he’s not winning those delegates in Florida. He’s winning, or will probably win, at least a few delegates in Maine."
Indeed, while the other three remaining Republican candidates have been busy in Florida, Paul has been focusing his time and energy on a strong finish if not a win in the Pine Tree State and in Nevada. Solid performances this weekend could give Paul momentum and energize his supporters headed into the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses next Tuesday.
As the Monitor notes, it’s still very unlikely that Paul will win the GOP nomination. But his focus on Maine and Nevada while his three opponents were busy slugging it out in Florida demonstrates that Paul is a shrewd political strategist who isn’t ready to be counted out. If he can defeat or at least hold Romney back on his New England home turf and put up a fight against his opponents in Nevada, Paul will prove after a couple of very bruising finishes in South Carolina and Florida that he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the race for the Republican nomination.