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article imageDid Ron Paul or Mitt Romney win the U.S. Virgin Islands caucus?

By Andrew Moran     Mar 12, 2012 in Politics
Christiansted - Texas Congressman Ron Paul won the popular vote in the United States Virgin Islands Republican caucuses, but former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gained the most delegates. So who won this weekend's caucus?
Over the weekend, the state of Kansas, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands all held caucuses. Former Governor Mitt Romney was able to capture all of the non-binding delegates in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won Kansas, but the 40 delegates will be allocated proportionally.
In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Paul was able to win 29 percent of the vote (112 votes), which was followed by Romney with 26 percent (101 votes). Santorum came in third place with six percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was last with five percent. 34 percent remained uncommitted.
However, due to its complicated caucus system, Romney walked away with the most delegates. The former governor received seven delegates and the three-time presidential candidate garnered one.
“The media is reporting that Mitt Romney won the U.S. Virgin Island Caucus when Ron Paul actually won the popular vote,” wrote the Ron Paul presidential campaign in an email to supporters. “If the popular vote means you’ve won, then Ron Paul just won the U.S. Virgin Island Caucus. If collecting delegates equals victory, then Paul stands to do well there too.”
The Paul camp, including the campaign’s official blogger Jack Hunter, say the media is “trying to have it both ways” relating to Romney and the Virgin Islands results. It argues that when Paul receives a significant number of delegates in previous contests, it is unreported. However, when Paul does “win” a contest, it doesn’t count.
A lot of people may ask the important question: why? In the U.S. Virgin Islands, you cast a vote for a candidate and then any delegates for the Republican National Convention in August.
Throughout the presidential primary season, the libertarian-leaning Republican Texas representative has focused his entire campaign on accumulating delegates. In most of the primaries and caucuses that have been contested so far, most of them have allocated the non-binding delegates proportionally.
This is what Dr. Paul is betting on – not winning the popular vote. For his campaign, though, at least this weekend, he was able to capture the popular vote but not a majority of delegates.
Meanwhile, Romney’s campaign issued a press release thanking the people of the Virgin Islands for supporting his bid for the presidency.
“I am delighted to have won the support of 7 of the Virgin Islands’ 9 National Convention Delegates. The message from the people of the Virgin Islands is clear, and it’s the same message I hear all over the country. They do not want to send a career politician to Washington,” said Romney.
Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi and American Samoa are scheduled to hold GOP contests Tuesday. The two southern states will hold primaries, while Hawaii and American Samoa will take part in caucuses.
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