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Ron Paul and Mitt Romney
Convention clash.
Based on the results of the February 7 caucuses, Minnesota's 40 delegates should've gone mostly to Rick Santorum—he won the night with 44.8 percent of the vote, compared to 27.2 percent of Ron Paul and 16.9 percent for Mitt Romney.

However, the results were non-binding, and the delegates were actually selected over the weekend at the party's state convention. Actual results?

Ron Paul won 32 of Minnesota's 40 delegates.

In Maine, Paul won 21 of 24 delegates, as well as 22 of Nevada's 25 delegates.

Paul already has 12 of Iowa's 28 delegates, and should easily secure a majority.

In Louisiana, Ron Paul supporters won 74 percent of the delegates to the June state convention, ensuring that Paul will ultimately win a handy majority of the state's 46 delegates.

In Colorado, 13 of 36 delegates are supporting Paul (compared to 16 for Romney), despite getting just 12 percent of the caucus vote.

In Missouri, Paul backers waged a fierce battle with the state GOP, and seem to have a state delegate advantage heading into their June convention, where the final 25 of 52 national delegates will be elected. I say "seem to have" because I couldn't find final results.

Paul has also snagged the odd delegate in states where Romney dominated—winning five of Pennsylvania's 72 delegates, and four of Rhode Island's 19.

Even in states where delegates are pledged to the winner of the elections, Ron Paul supporters are winning delegate slots. They may have to vote for Romney on that first ballot, but they can join the rest of their Paulites in causing convention mischief. In Massachusetts, where Romney won all of the state's 27 delegates, less than half of those delegates are Romney partisans.

Finally, the Paul campaign claims these additional gains, though I wasn't able to independently confirm them: 17 of 33 Virginia delegates chosen thus far, with 16 more waiting to be elected at the state Republican convention on June 15. Two of 14 Vermont delegates, and at least eight of 30 Michigan delegates.

It all seems pretty impressive, in fact, until you start adding them up. The most charitable counts put the Paul delegate total in the low- to mid-100s. Romney is already in the high 900s and will close the deal easily. Not even the Paul supporters think they can close or reverse the gap. With nearly 2,300 total delegates, the Paul contingent will be lucky to make up 10 percent of the total.

What they are fighting for is even more advantageous for us—they want an ideological convention fight.

Romney's nomination may be pre-ordained, but these Paul delegates are on a mission to influence the party platform, the new RNC chair and even the selection of the veep nominee (which must be technically approved by convention delegates). Consider these the 2012 version of the PUMAs—disgruntled delegates unhappy with the nominee. But while the PUMA threat fizzled in Denver as Hillary Clinton delegates opted for unity, these Ron Paul delegates feel no allegiance to the GOP. The potential for fireworks is far greater.

Originally posted to kos on Mon May 21, 2012 at 11:24 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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