SPOKANE, Wash. – Rep. Ron Paul on Friday told a crowd here that he’s not winning primary states because “changing a hundred years of history takes a little bit of time.” But the Texas congressman said he “expects to do real well here” in Saturday’s caucus.
Paul, who has yet to win a state, is seen trailing GOP presidential rivals Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in several polls coming out of the Wolverine State. But the Washington process, a non-binding caucus that selects its delegates after a straw poll, has tended to do well for Paul in the past in other states, thanks to his core of loyal supporters.
“I know we’ve always had good support here, we always have enthusiastic crowds,” he said following a rally at the Spokane Convention Center that drew about 1,000 people. “The system lends itself to the people who are energetic and will participate, so I’m cautiously optimistic, but I have no number that I can give you.”
Responding to an Associated Press article calling him “desperate” for his first state win, Paul said, “I never feel desperate about it … and actually, our strategy is that you can come in second and third a lot of times and start accumulating [delegates], and even some places where we weren’t first, we’re gonna come in first with the number of delegates in some of these states, because we know how the system works.”
But earlier this week in Michigan, where Paul had said he hoped to reach the 15 percent threshold in order to secure delegates, he fell short by several percentage points – a result he acknowledged was “a disappointment.”
He also joined Santorum, who is challenging the final delegate allocation in the state, in questioning what he said were “some strange things that go on” during vote totaling.
In addition to Washington, Paul will spend the days leading up to Super Tuesday campaigning in Alaska and Idaho.