Lessons From Wyoming


Last weekend I blogged about the Wyoming GOP county conventions rejecting Ron Paul’s bid, denying him any delegates. I pointed out that the voting was mainly restricted to party hacks elected in 2006. However, I was happily corrected that the Ron Paul forces made headway against the Wyoming machine, losing a delegate spot by just a few votes. Here’s their story. ~ Eric Garris

Let me tell you all a story of how it all went down, In the barrens of Wyoming, in an isolated town…

Wyoming's counties chose their delegates to go to the national convention on Saturday, January 5th. Some counties had little or no organization and few active supporters, but for me and the rest of our meetup group, it was the culmination of a lot of work and campaigning. In the end, my county gave the Ron Paul delegate 45.6% of the vote. We stormed the barricades, crashed their party, and almost, almost, won it all. Unfortunately, Romney's guy got 54%. So we made a good show. If we could have switched over 4 Romney people or got 8 more of our people out, we would have had it (you can calculate this, but the result was 37–44). Oh well.

It was probably largely my fault for not doing enough early enough to get everyone registered and jumped through the hoops back in December. We had several Ron Paul supporters that could not vote because they hadn't met registration deadlines and this and that, some that even came to the caucus this Saturday (for moral support and to see it, man the table, and help however they could; they couldn't vote, due to not doing aforementioned hoop-jumping). Despite the discouraging loss, step back and I think you will realize that 45% is not exactly haplessly weak. We did well! Ron Paul clearly had more enthusiastic supporters at the caucus than any other candidate, and we won the straw poll at the caucus with a plurality. We just couldn't win the real vote because we didn't have a raw majority – the other neo-con candidates' supporters joined hands in neo-con brotherhood to vote for the Romney guy.

Even one delegate from Wyoming would have been major victory. Iowa gave Paul 2 delegates, after a ton of focus, time, campaigning there, millions of dollars spent, etc., and they are a much larger state with millions of people. If little Wyoming with just a half-million people could have got 1 delegate for Paul, especially when we've had very little attention from the national RP campaign, I would have considered that we pulled our own weight.

Alas, it was not to be for my county.

And finally, I saved the best (or maybe the worst) news for last: in Fremont County we also lost… by one vote. One vote.

Ron Paul is a front-runner, make no mistake. Non-front-runners don't get 45% of the vote. We just weren't very organized.

The lesson is this: All you meetup people need to realize: you ARE the campaign.

If YOU do not make it happen, no one else will!

Own your turf.

Your county/town/suburb/whatever is Ron Paul territory now, as of this moment.

You will inundate your streets with signs.

You will put slim jims on car windows everywhere.

You will talk about Ron Paul to merchants you visit.

You will wear a Ron Paul shirt and other gear everywhere you go.

This will help you to run across other supporters who will comment on your shirt.

You will get the contact info of any supporters you meet.

You will follow up with these supporters, get them out to your meetups, go over to their houses, associate with them and work with them.

You will research your own state's convoluted process and do everything you can to convince these people to do whatever is required to have their voice heard.

This election is yours.

You are legend.

You are a one-man campaign wrecking ball.

You can't win the nation. But you can win your county or equivalent 35,000-person area. Or you can at least come up 7 votes short like me. And you can then be sad and disappointed but you can at least know you can tell your grandchildren you did something.

I wish I could come bearing a delegate. I really wanted to. Eight votes made the difference between sweet, sweet elation and bitter. Bitter. Defeat. Do better than me. Go win. And remember to have fun.

Be a legend.

January 10, 2008