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Did Ron Paul get robbed of Virgin Island victory?

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Charlie Riedel/AP

(Read caption) Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas talks to supporters during a rally on Saturday, in Springfield, Mo.

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Did you know that Ron Paul sort of won the US Virgin Islands caucus last weekend? You might have missed it – that’s one vote The New York Times didn’t consider important enough to live-blog. We say “sort of won” because there’s some controversy over exactly what happened. Representative Paul got the most votes, which in many circles is considered an indication of victory. Mitt Romney got more pledged delegates, however, so his camp says he’s the true winner of the Smackdown in Paradise.

Yes, we know what you’re saying – the Virgin Islands has a caucus? What’s next, the Antarctic primary? Hold on and we’ll explain about politics in the US Insular Areas. First we’d like to focus on Paul.

According to the Virgin Islands Republican Party, Paul won a plurality of 29 percent of its nonbinding presidential preference poll. Mr. Romney got 26 percent. However, a separate tally chose delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. After the smoke from that vote settled, Romney had four delegates, Paul had one, and one remained uncommitted.

Initial mainstream media reports – yes, there were a few – reported this as another Romney triumph. This incensed Paul campaign official blogger Jack Hunter, so he produced a video to explain to doubters how 29 is a bigger number than 26.

“The mainstream media is trying to have it both ways,” said Mr. Hunter. “Once again, when Ron Paul does win, they find all sorts of ways to ignore it.”

OK, we’ll take the point. We declare that henceforward we will no longer say that Ron Paul has to prove his staying power by winning somewhere.


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