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Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the only GOP Presidential contender without at least one victory in a primary, admitted Tuesday that his quest to “win delegates, not primaries” isn’t going as well as he had hoped.
Paul failed to pick up any delegates in the Michigan or Arizona primaries Tuesday and told CNN he “wished” he could have done better.
“Paul hoped to win some of Michigan’s delegates but it didn’t work out that way,” GOP activist Larry Wilson told Capitol Hill Blue.
In front of cheering crowd of supporters in Springfield, VA, Paul sounded more upbeat.
“Everyone keeps asking me about winning states,” Paul said. “We are winning delegates, and that’s what counts.”
But Paul’s strategy of capturing delegates has stalled in recent weeks and he is dead last in the delegate race and 0-11 in primary wins.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney restored his claim to frontrunner status Tuesday night with wins in Michigan and Arizona. Romney captured all of Arizona’s delegates in the winner-take-all Arizona race and will most likely split the count in Michigan, where delegates are apportioned by Congressional district results.
“We’re still winning a lot of delegates,” Paul told supporters in Virginia Tuesday.
Actually, he’s not. Santorum’s strong second place finish in Michigan gives him enough delegates to bump former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to third place while Paul brings up the rear. After Michigan Romney has an estimated 165 delegates, Santorum 44, Gingrich 38 and Paul 27. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to capture the nomination.
Last week, Paul appeared optimistic about his chances to pick up some delegates in Michigan but he failed to even come close, finishing third with just 12 percent of the vote and failing to capture enough votes to take home any delegates in the state’s Congressional district.
Paul stands to pick up some delegates in next week’s Super Tuesday races and he goes into the Virginia primary with only he and Romney on the ballot. Both Gingrich and Santorum fell short in obtaining enough signatures.
Yet the Texas Congressman appeared lukewarm at best about Virginia when asked about his chances over the weekend. On Sunday, Paul said he was still not sure “to what extent” he’d do in the Old Dominion.