Tonight Mitt Romney will beat Ron Paul in the Texas primary, and possibly clinch the Republican presidential nomination. But the Paul network will be active in the state’s Senate primary, like other races across the country. BuzzFeed reports:
Quietly, from the remnants of two failed presidential campaigns and the formidable online Paul organizations, a political machine is being born. The Paul agenda of extremely limited government, suspicion of economic elites, and their true outsider street cred have broad appeal in their party’s politics that go well beyond the sometimes-eccentric standard-bearer. The Republican Senate nominees in Wisconsin and Minnesota this cycle owe their nomination in part to the Paul influence. A Paul acolyte, Ted Cruz, is on the cusp of an upset victory over the establishment favorite in Texas Republican Senate primary. And Paul’s son Rand, the junior senator from Kentucky, is now mentioned seriously as a prospect for the 2016 Republican nomination should Mitt Romney fall short in November.
This new attention to state races is, a Paul advisor said, a matter of strategy.
I wouldn’t say that Cruz is a “Paul acolyte” in the same sense as some candidates running explicitly as Ron Paul Republicans. But Cruz has the support of both Pauls, among many other conservatives, and we’ll see if he can force a runoff tonight. (Since some commenters will bring up Paul no matter what I post about, figure I might as well have a genuine Paul-related blog entry.)