Huffpost Politics

Ron Paul Looking Past Florida Primary 2012 To Focus On Caucus States

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While Floridians will be bombarded with political ads ahead of the state's Jan. 31 primary, one candidate will be missing from their televisions: Ron Paul.

The libertarian-minded Texas congressman isn't running ads in the state -- where media is expensive -- and won't even be in the state on primary day, reports CNN.

Paul is, however, participating in Monday and Thursday's GOP debates in Florida. He finished fifth in the state in 2008, with just over 3 percent of the vote.

Paul also largely wrote off South Carolina, where he finished last.

Instead, Paul is looking for voters in caucus states like Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and Colorado, where his campaign can unleash its organizational savvy.

"We've got four early-caucus states coming up next month. Colorado, which is a caucus-convention hybrid, Minnesota, Maine, and of course Nevada," Paul's campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, told CBS News recently. "We've had field operations there with multiple employees, IDing voters, doing voter outreach, knocking on doors, working the phones and building coalitions, and we plan to compete and win in those caucuses." Paul's campaign is also running ads in Nevada and Minnesota.

The Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported that Paul's delegate-focused strategy is reminiscent of then-candidate Barack Obama's strategy in 2008.

Florida is a winner-take-all primary, which doesn't play to Paul's delegate strategy. It is also a closed primary, meaning that only registered Republicans, and not the independent voters that Paul attracts, can vote. In New Hampshire, he won the independent vote by a 31-27 margin over Mitt Romney.

Paul made it clear Sunday that his focus is on the electoral math: "Our goal is to get delegates. And we're going to be doing the states were they allocate by percentages as well as caucus states. So that's been our plan all along," he said on CNN.

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