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Aug 282012

Jason Merritt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ron Paul supporters have always been very vocal, and the reconvening of the Republican National Convention Tuesday was no exception.

At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, RNC chairman Reince Priebus gaveled everyone back into the convention, welcoming the delegates back to the 2012 RNC. Just minutes before the gavel came down, however, the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum was abuzz with chants for the Texas congressman and two-time presidential candidate.

Paul was on the floor of the space, where he received a rock-star-like welcome. Supporters chanted, “Let him speak” – a reference to the fact that Paul was not given a speaking slot at the RNC (although his son, Rand, will be speaking).

At one point, chants of “Romney” were drowned out by chants of “Ron Paul.” Paul walked around the floor wearing a red, white and blue lei, and he walked through the crowd signing autographs, according to reports from ABC News’ Aaron Katersky. Throughout the hallways of the forum, supporters were easily identified. Ron Paul t-shirts and cowboy hats bearing the representative’s name were sported by various delegates.

The supporters seemed to settle down, at least for the time being, after Priebus came out and banged the gavel, but Paulites definitely made themselves known.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Aug 272012

Alex Wong/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) — Rep. Ron Paul might have fallen short in his bid for the presidency, but on Sunday afternoon the libertarian leaning Texas congressman proclaimed his “liberty movement” was alive and well.

Paul took center stage at his “We Are the Future” rally at the University of South Florida.

Animated and witty, he stuck to the message of limited government, the central theme of his presidential bid and a message he has been delivering all of his life.

“We want to get the government out of the business it’s not supposed to be doing,” Paul said.

In an otherwise highly scripted week for the party, the event on the eve of the kickoff of the Republicans’ nominating convention, was seen as unpredictable.

Paul ended active campaigning in June and unlike most of his GOP rivals, hasn’t endorsed Mitt Romney’s candidacy.  He told The New York Times for a story Sunday that he was denied a chance to speak because he refused to let the Romney campaign vet his remarks and give an unconditional endorsement.

Paul didn’t win a single state during his bid for the presidency, but still amassed more than 150 delegates to the convention.  His coalition is made up of anti-war Republicans, people who want stricter government adherence to the Constitution and those who want to dismantle the Federal Reserve.

Paul encouraged his supporters to continue until their views are the GOP mainstream.

“Believe me, we will get in the tent because we will become the tent eventually,” he said.  “With the energy that we have, it seems to me they would be begging and pleading for us to come into the party.”

Paul, 77, is leaving Congress after his 12th term expires at year’s end.  He will be honored Tuesday night in a video tribute at the convention.  The RNC also amended the party’s platform to include policy provisions Paul has advocated for, such as an audit of the Federal Reserve.

Despite the conciliatory gestures, some of Paul’s ardent supports believe the Republican Party is marginalizing him.

“It’s nice they’re doing a tribute, but it doesn’t change my opinion of them,” said Susie Mann, 55, of Columbus, Ohio.  “Let the man speak.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 242012

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Five Northeastern states — Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island — will hold their primaries on Tuesday, and a total of 231 delegates are at stake.

Before Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, polling had indicated that Mitt Romney was the strong favorite in these contests — the only truly close contest was Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania.

After Santorum dropped out of the race, all of these primaries ceased to be contested.  Romney is likely to walk away with at least a strong majority of the delegates, possibly all of them.  Still, there are several important things to watch in Tuesday’s battles:

1. How many delegates will Romney win?

Although Romney is his party’s presumptive nominee, he is still several hundred delegates shy of the 1,144 he needs to officially clinch his party’s nomination.  Romney has amassed 697 delegates so far, according to ABC News’ projections.

In Tuesday’s contest, the most delegate-rich state is New York with 95.  There are 72 delegates at stake in Pennsylvania, 28 in Connecticut, 19 in Rhode Island and 17 in Delaware.  Delaware awards their delegates on a winner-take-all scheme, but the other states are proportional, meaning there is an opportunity for Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul to pick up a couple of delegates here or there.

2. Will Gingrich pick up a bounce after Santorum’s exit?

Back in January, Gingrich encouraged Santorum to drop out of the race and endorse him.  The logic behind the encouragement, aside from wanting to narrow down the field, was that Santorum supporters would be more likely to back Gingrich over Romney — that Gingrich and Santorum were splitting the more conservative base of the party. 

This theory has been floated throughout the primary season: If either candidate were to drop out and endorse the other, it would benefit the remaining candidate.  There are no hard numbers to back it up the suspicion, however.

Santorum hasn’t endorsed anyone in the race, and the talk of his endorsement so far has been centered on a possible Romney endorsement, not a Gingrich endorsement.  But Tuesday’s primary offers a chance to see whether Gingrich can in fact benefit from Santorum’s departure in any way.

3. Will Santorum still get a percentage of the vote?

Although he suspended his campaign weeks ago, Santorum’s name remains on the ballot in all five of these primaries, so technically speaking there’s nothing to stop dedicated supporters from checking his name.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 212012

Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) — Friday was FEC filing day — that day when political campaigns and independent expenditure committees (more commonly known as Super PACs) are required to submit their financial reports for the previous month. Friday’s reports — which covered the month of March — showed that Romney and Obama had good months for fundraising, while Santorum, Gingrich and Paul had less than stellar months. For Santorum, his debt had begun to pile up by the end of March, and looking over the numbers, the logic behind his decision to drop out of the race in mid-April is reinforced.

On the Super PAC end, the group supporting Romney — Restore Our Future — continued to pull in big donations, while Priorities USA, the group supporting Obama, continues to see slightly anemic numbers. Gingrich’s Super PAC continues to be financed almost exclusively by the family of Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate, and Karl Rove’s Crossroads is king where fundraising is concerned.

Below are the top line fundraising numbers for each of the respective campaigns and groups for the month of March:

Raised: $12.59 million
Spent: $10.27 million
Cash on Hand: $10 million
They have no debt.
Raised: $8.6 million in March.
Spent: $12.7 million
COH: $10.4 million
No debt.
Raised: $4.9 million
Spent: $5.8 million
COH: $1.8 million
DEBT: $1.99 million
Raised: $2.56 million
Spent: $2.68 million
COH: $262,949
No Debt
Raised: $27 million
Spent: $15.6 million
COH: $104 million
No debt.
OBAMA VICTORY FUND (Joint Fundraising Committee with Obama and DNC)
Raised: $18 million
Spent: $22 million
COH: $3.7 million
No debt.
Raised: $2.4 million
Spent: $318,254
COH: $5 million
No debt.
Raised: $1.6 million
Spent: $2 million
COH: $1.2 million
Debt: $4.3 million
Raised: $5.05 million ($5 million of which was donated by Dr. Miriam Adelson, Sheldon Adelson’s wife.)
Spent: $1.5 million
COH: $5.8 million
No debt.
CROSSROADS (American Crossroads plus its grassroots groups, Crossroads GPS)
Raised: $49 million for January, February, March
Spent: $444,639 in March (for American Crossroads only)
COH: $24.4 million (for American Crossroads only)
No debt.
Raised: $2.6 million — down for the third month in a row
Spent: $2.2 million
COH: $1.8 million

No debt.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Apr 202012

Yoon S. Byun/The Boston Globe via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul announced Friday that he raised about $2.6 million in March, beginning April with $1.8 million in cash on hand and no debt.

Paul’s inability to win a single state through the election process continues to hamper his ability to raise money. His haul for March is down from $3.3 million in February and $4.5 million in January.

The bulk of Paul’s cash comes from small-dollar donations or those under $200, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan, non-profit research group dedicated to tracking money in U.S. politics.

A recent Gallup poll shows Paul within three percentage points of Romney among 18-34-year-olds.

Although Paul has attracted large crowds at many of his college events throughout this election, his campaign hasn’t been able to translate that into wins. And while his recent fundraising is dwarfed by Mitt Romney’s $12.6 million haul for March, the continued cash flow does allow the congressman to carry on promoting his ideas in an effort to build a movement around his core beliefs of limited government, controlling the federal debt and protecting civil liberties.

According to Politico, Paul is spending about $110,000 on commercials right now: $40,000 in Rhode Island, which holds its primary on Tuesday, and just under $71,000 on ads in Texas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio