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Monday, January 23, 2012

Ron Paul Won't Be In Florida On Primary Night

By Susan Duclos

Trending on CNN is the announcement that while Ron Paul will participate in the twp Florida debates this week, he will be heading to Nevada and Colorado afterward and will not be in Florida for primary night.

Want more proof Rep. Ron Paul is looking past Florida to February's contests? Well, here it is.

While the Republican presidential candidate and longtime congressman from Texas will attend both of the GOP debates being held in Florida this week (including a CNN debate on Thursday night in Jacksonville), Paul won't be in the Sunshine State on primary day, January 31.

This comes as news of Ron Paul supporters gathering in Cocoa Beach, Florida today at the intersection of State Roads 520 and A1A from 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M.

The Christian Science Monitor wonders if Paul's strategy of debating but not campaigning in Florida will backfire.

He also emphasized what his goal is right now: "In the beginning, I thought it would just be promotion of a cause. Then it dawned on me, when you win elections and you win delegates, that’s the way you promote a cause.”

US News and World Report, on January 18, 2012, gave one possible reason why Paul might not do as well in Florida even if he had decided to campaign there.

In Florida, there is no way to register with a party affiliation the day of the primary; voters must register 29 days before the Republican primary to vote for a GOP candidate. This means a candidate who might have made a large, late surge in another state won't be able to do so in Florida.

It's potentially devastating for Ron Paul, who earned 30 percent of the independent vote in New Hampshire, according to a Fox News exit poll.

It seems Ron Paul's ceiling of support has expanded to include independent and even liberal voters who have gravitated toward the Texas congressman's message of smaller government and less interventionist foreign policy.

"This is definitely going to hurt Ron Paul," says Daniel Smith, a professor of politcal science at the University of Florida. "It is going to limit the surge he's so well known for getting in the last few days [before a vote]."

While some Ron Paul supporters may be disappointed with Paul for not sticking around and actively campaigning in Florida, strategically, it might be best for Paul to move along and focus on other states.