Ron Paul Supporters Dominate GOP Caucuses In St. Louis, Jackson County
March 26, 2012
By Joel Currier
“Think Ron Paul is losing? Think again – he is getting delegates left and right.” –KTRN
Ron Paul’s chances of winning the White House may be minimal, but his supporters dominated the Republican caucuses in St. Louis and Jackson County on Saturday.
Paul’s backers won all 36 delegates here while taking about two-thirds of delegates in Jackson County.
The St. Louis caucus was relatively orderly and took fewer than two hours in the cafeteria at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. It bore little resemblance to the rancorous gathering in St. Charles on March 17 that was ultimately shut down after an energetic crowd objected to rules and an attempted ban on videotaping. Police also arrested two Paul supporters during that caucus.
The purpose of today’s non-binding caucuses was to choose representatives to a round of Congressional district meetings in April and June that will repeat the process to send 52 delegates from Missouri to the August convention in Tampa, Fla.
Paul’s supporters cast a majority vote with 158 ballots. The Santorum slate had 74 votes, while Romney’s backers mustered 50 votes.
Some 300 people packed the cafeteria at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park for today’s caucus. Each caucus is run like a mini-convention, with participants electing a chairman and voting on rules, which determine if delegates are selected individually or in a slate, if they are bound to a particular candidate, or if they move forward uncommitted.
Paul, a Texas Republican with a fierce libertarian streak, has polled low nationally but he has been able to pick up delegates thanks to scattered successes in states, like Missouri, using the caucus system.
Most of Missouri’s 142 caucus gatherings were held March 17, but St. Louis and Jackson County, which includes Kansas City, were given special permission to hold them this weekend, so as not to interfere with last week’s St. Patrick’s Day’s events. Official results will not be known until next month.
In some caucuses around Missouri, Paul’s numbers were so commanding that supporters of Romney, the frontrunner for the nomination, sided with Paul to keep delegates from Santorum.