Yesterday, Minnesota held three district conventions.  Ron Paul’s campaign swept all three, winning nine delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this coming August.

Perhaps bigger news yet?  The Paul campaign yesterday picked up twenty delegates in Colorado (on a “unity slate” with Santorum supporters) compared to Romney’s sixteen delegates.

What happened?  Romney took it for granted that when Santorum dropped out of the race, he would pick up all of Santorum’s delegates.  Surprise!  Or, not.  Just because the mainstream news has refused to take Ron Paul seriously does not mean that he is not to be taken seriously.  His campaign is fine-tuned and on a mission.  He has regularly seen 8,000 to 10,000 listeners show up for his recent campus speeches around the country, but one wouldn’t know that from watching mainstream news [ see: Dr. Ron Paul on a Heartland Campus Near You: Danger, Danger Will Robinson! ], nor would they know that many of those rally attendees are young Democrats who have had it with President Obama as much as the right has [ see: “Like” a Rolling Stone: Huey, Dewey, Louie and the New Voice of Youth – Dr. Ron Paul ].

Here is the news report from the “surprised” section of the mainstream media, this release coming from the generally left-leaning Denver Post:

Colorado Republicans split delegate votes between Romney, unified Paul and Santorum supporters

Posted:   04/14/2012 05:39:18 PM MDT
April 15, 2012 1:16 AM GMT Updated:   04/14/2012 07:16:55 PM MDT

By Lynn Bartels
The Denver Post denverpost.com

Delegates show their support as Matt Holdridge, the Ron Paul 2012 Colorado State Director, speaks on behalf of the candidate during the Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention at the Ritchie Center in Denver, CO, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)
 
 

Cindy Smith, an alternate from Douglas County, sports her Sarah Palin pins during the Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention at the Ritchie Center in Denver, CO, Saturday, April 14, (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)
 

Colorado Republicans are heading to their national convention with their most conservative delegation in years, as supporters for Ron Paul and Rick Santorum masterminded a stunning upset in electing delegates.

At the state convention in Denver today, Paul forces easily were the most vocal, adding their candidate’s name at almost every opportunity.  When Republicans sang “Hey, hey, hey, good-bye” to President Barack Obama, Paul backers changed the words to “Hey, hey, hey, Ron Paul.”

The momentum was painful for Mitt Romney supporters, who had assumed when Santorum dropped out of the presidential race this week they’d have a much easier time in winning Colorado’s delegate and alternate seats to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

Instead, some of the Santorum’s supporters united with Paul’s backers to form the “Conservative Unity Slate” to win a slew of delegate slots.  Four years ago, only one Paul supporter was elected to attend the national convention.

“This is a revolution,” said Florence Sebern of Denver, an “unpledged” delegate who was wearing a Paul pin.  She was part of the slate.

Slate supporters said they wanted to send a message to Romney about the importance of sticking to conservative values.

More than 800 Republicans — easily double the number who sought to attend the RNC in 2008 — ran for the 33 elected delegate and 33 elected alternate slots.

At congressional assemblies Thursday and Friday, Republicans elected 21 delegates and 21 alternates.  Thirteen of the 18 winning delegates elected Friday were on the Paul/Santorum unity slate.

Today, to the relief of Romey backers, eight of the 12 at-large delegate slots, and six of the 12 at-large alternate slots went to Romney supporters.  Former Congressman Bob Beauprez and former U.S. Sen. Hank Brown, both Romney supporters, were the top two vote getters.

What happened overnight?

Romney supporters realized they

Supporters take the stage as Senator John Thune, of South Dakota, speaks on behalf of Mitt Romney during the Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention at the Ritchie Center in Denver, CO, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)
 

couldn’t dilute their vote and had to stick with their slate, although plenty of other Romney backers were running as delegates, said Attorney General John Suthers.”The wake-up call was how much discipline you have to have when you have a slate,” said Suthers, a Romney delegate.

Hundreds of Republicans took to the stage and make 15-second pitches to try to get elected as a delegate.  They sang, danced, whistled and even Tebowed to try to stand out.

“More pearls, less ties,” said Vikki Waith of El Paso County, who made a pitch for more women to be elected.

Earlier in the morning, surrogates spoke on behalf of Paul, Romney, Santorum and Newt Gingrich.  Some argued that Romney is not the defacto nominee.

Ron Paul supporters wave their placards as Senator John Thune, of South Dakota, speaks on behalf of Mitt Romney during the Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention at the Ritchie Center in Denver, CO, Saturday, April 14, 2012. Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)
 

“This game is not over until August in Tampa,” said Michelle Morin of El Paso County, who spoke on behalf of Gingrich.  “We need the best leader to defeat the left.”Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who spoke on Romney’s behalf, urged Republicans to “get off the sidelines and into the arena.”

Matt Holdridge, the state director for Paul, read an e-mail from the candidate that began with “Wow!” in reference to the slate of supporters elected Friday.

In the race for at-large regent at the University of Colorado, Matt Arnold, best known for trying to unseat the state Supreme Court, got top ballot line over CU medical doctor Brian Davidson, who narrowly lost the race to a Democrat six years ago.  Both made the ballot after their speeches today to the convention.

Lynn Bartels: 303-954-5327 or lbartels@denverpost.com

Read more: Colorado Republicans split delegate votes between Romney, unified Paul and Santorum supporters – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20398638/politics#ixzz1sAl2CjrV
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