By Allan Stevo
In an unlikely turn of events, Ron Paul picked up a quarter of the delegates available in Rhode Island’s Republican primary election on Tuesday. The campaign also received an estimated 25% of the pledged delegates from the Pennsylvania primary.
Professor Josh Putnam, of Davidson College, shared what he calls a “rough, rough delegate count,” from Pennsylvania as primary results were being calculated. Putnam lists 16 or 17 delegates as “uncommitted/unconfirmed,” and divvies up the other 19 or 20 delegates among the campaigns as follows: Romney 7 (35%), Paul 5 (25%), Gingrich 4 (20%) and Santorum 3 or 4 (20%). Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suspended his race earlier this month, but remained on his home state’s ballot.
In what is a multistep process, which started with Tuesday’s loophole primary, Pennsylvania will send a total of 72 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida in late August. Tuesday, a total of 59 delegates were chosen in Pennsylvania, but the allegiance of many of those delegates is difficult to identify.
In Washington last month, Paul supporters witnessed a united move by some of his opponents to marginalize his supporters. Some observers now speculate that Paul’s campaign may have supporters trying to avoid retribution by identifying themselves as “uncommitted,” as was the case in Colorado earlier this month, where Paul’s supporters gained the endorsement of that state’s GOP under the moniker “uncommitted.” Uncommitted delegates make up 44% of the 36 delegates that have been decided in Colorado. If this is the case in Pennsylvania, these numbers are likely to grow in Paul’s favor. That all this took place in former Governor Romney’s backyard, where conservative Christians are not heavily represented, sends a signal that the GOP nomination remains undecided.
This news comes on the heels of a successful weekend for the Paul campaign in which they took 20 of the 24 available national delegates in Minnesota. That momentum will send Paul into the Minnesota state convention, May 18-19, in control of 83% of the available delegates, and guarantees him at least 50% of Minnesota’s 40 delegates to the RNC.
New York, Delaware, and Connecticut also held primaries on April 24.