Watching the GOP race this year has been like watching a modern day edition of the Olympic Games: You already know what is going to happen and you even know how it will go down, but it is still exciting to watch every turn as it occurs.
Now that the dreaded Super Tuesday is done and gone, we all wonder where is the race really going. Romney won, unsurprisingly over his three contenders, that begin to look like one by now. Santorum won where his ultra conservative speech has taken him, again, unsurprisingly. Gingrich won pretty much the only state contest he was going to win, with no surprise at all… which makes one wonder about Ron Paul, the conservative who is not.
Paul has been dubbed a libertarian for his somewhat centrist approach to politics and to traditionally controversial topics. His follower base is made up of mostly young people who, like all of us at one point, seek to naively change the world by holding forums, making signs and staging protests. But this ardent sentiment does not go beyond that: a mere sentiment. Paul´s followers have failed to deliver a single victory for the representative, and his results in the rest of the contests have been almost the same in terms of percentages, never achieving a total result of over 8%.
Hang on! Did we not establish in a previous entry that swing points represent normally just a bit above that very percentage? Could it be that Ron Paul´s 8% of the GOP voting base is precisely that swing vote that the GOP is keeping in its pocket for a rainy day?
Consider the case of Vermont: Only Romney and Paul presented their names in that state, with the latter making away with roughly 40% of the result. Then in the rest of the states, where all four candidates have ran, his result has been what can be construed as a swing vote, not a representative one. Why is this so? Simply, because Paul´s voting base is young, emotional, uneducated and, well, swinging. The GOP´s goal is to secure the presidency, not to tear itself apart over contraceptives and Rush Limbaugh´s indirect Obama campaigning. They need to have the swing vote up their sleeve. Keeping Ron Paul in the race keeps also his libertarian, young voting base republican. A base which, if unchecked, could turn democrat in a flash were its leader gone. They cannot afford to lose these votes.
Politics is a game, and a good one, too. It reflects people´s thoughts better than a confession at church or a session with the psychiatrist.