Ron Paul Wins Virgin Islands Caucus
Saturday, Texas congressman, Ron Paul, ended his drought and won his first caucus – primary state vote in the 2012 election year cycle. Ron Paul posted 29% of the popular vote in the Virgin Islands’ Caucus. Former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney came in second with 26%. Former Senator, Rick Santorum and former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, followed with 6% and 5% respectively.
The victory announcement leaked out Sunday, when official returns were posted by the GOP. The story was somewhat anti-climactic. Saturday news stories had erroneously declared former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney the winner. In a moment reminiscent of the Iowa Caucus, where a Romney supporting, GOP Chairman had refused to release data showing former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, not Romney, as the winner, the Virgin Island GOP Chairman, Herb Schoenbohm, publicly announced to reporters that Romney had won the Virgin Island Caucuses. Schoenbohm told reporters that Romney could count on seven delegates from the Islands and had picked up three more in voting in St. Thomas and St. Croix. Ron Paul got one delegate. Most news agencies duly reported the Schoenbohm announcement, learning on Sunday that Ron Paul had actually won the popular vote.
Ironically, the Ron Paul campaign has pursued the same delegate hunting strategy that Romney employed in the islands in numerous caucus states where other candidates have been declared the winners. The Paul campaign contends that it may have actually won Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, North Dakota, Colorado and other caucus states where Romney or Santorum have been called the winners and where they won the popular vote. The delegate selection in those states is still pending and is unrelated to the popular vote. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum campaigns are cooperating in Minnesota to try to stop a Ron Paul takeover of the State GOP. Meanwhile the old Romney GOP Chairman in Iowa is out and A. J. Spiker, the former State Co-Chairman of the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign has been named as the new Iowa GOP State Chairman.
The Ron Paul win of the Virgin Islands Republican Caucus should come as a relief for the thousands of Ron Paul supporters, calling themselves “Ronulans,” who vowed to move to the first state or territory that their candidate wins. Some were fully prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice and move to North Dakota, where cars must be plugged into an electric socket at night, not to recharge but just to be able to start the next morning. The Ronulans can now fulfill their vows and move to St. Johns, St. Thomas or St. Croix and enjoy sandy beaches, the smell of suntan lotion with coconut oil and feel the warm breezes while reading about the latest quantitative easing in their Wall Street Journals.
The next four contests are on Tuesday, where Republicans in Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and American Somoa will chose among the four remaining Republican contenders.