This article was originally published by the Madison Independent Examiner. A video documenting voter supression at the RNC is available to view there.
After being shunned by the RNC, Ron Paul held his own rally in Tampa on the eve of the GOP convention. Supporters cheer as they listen to speakers while waiting for the former Republican presidential candidate.
A full three days after the GOP took a shellacking in the general election, as many as 19 reasons have been put forth by both parties, pundits and the corporate media as they grope for explanations for President Obama's win. The woman's vote, the Hispanic vote, media bias, a poor campaign message, Tea Party extremism, Romney too moderate, hurricane Sandy, New Jersey governor Christie, even voter suppression -- the list goes on and on.
While all of these factors did come into play, the truth may be that the single most significant factor is what the Republican establishment did to one of its own candidates, Dr. Ron Paul, and his many ardent supporters. By disenfranchising Ron Paul supporters, Romney won the primary, but because of that he may have lost the election. For that, the GOP has no one to blame but itself and very few in either party or the media seem to want to mention the Ron Paul factor.
In the Republican primary, Ron Paul's delegates and supporters were systematically shut out of the process, yet Karl Rove has the nerve to say on Fox news that President Obama won by "suppressing the vote." Take a closer look at your own party, Karl.
Ron Paul brought the youngest delegation in the history of the Republican Party to the convention (RNC) in Tampa in August. They were not political hacks, millionaires, CEOs or attorneys -- they were ordinary young adults from all walks of life who thought they could make a difference. They were welcomed by GOP hacks by having their signs confiscated and torn up before their eyes.
The Maine delegation, apparently having too many Ron Paul supporters, was unseated and then walked off the floor at the RNC, chanting, "As goes Maine, so goes the nation." It is befitting that Maine's electoral votes went for President Obama.
Ron Paul delegates even sustained injuries as they were arrested in Louisiana after it became clear to GOP leaders that they were in the majority at the state convention. After Ron Paul supporters booed Romney's son Josh at the state convention in Arizona, the air conditioning and lights were turned off by GOP operatives in order to prevent Ron Paul delegates from being elected to a party position. Romney campaign officials were caught distributing fake delegate slates in Maine and Nevada. In Missouri, police were called to shut down the St. Charles caucus when a Ron Paul victory appeared imminent.
While young people are encouraged to follow their dreams and ambitions, to get involved and make a difference in many aspects of their lives, that is apparently not allowed in Republican Party politics. And the pundits wonder why President Obama secured a majority among voters under 30.
Here is another reason why the GOP lost badly. It is called simple math. The following statistics were put together by Hamdan Azhar, writing for policymic.com. It reveals that, "in no less than five states, Romney's margin of loss to President Obama in the general election was less than the number of votes received by Ron Paul in that state's primary." Although not all of the votes have been counted and recorded yet, the trend is obvious.
Obama votes: 4,141,618
Romney votes: 4,094,952
Romney loss margin: 46,666
Paul primary votes: 117,461
Electoral votes: 29
Obama votes: 366,089
Romney votes: 325,668
Romney loss margin: 40,421
Paul primary votes: 56,872
Electoral votes: 4
Obama votes: 2,691,861
Romney votes: 2,584,620
Romney loss margin: 107,241
Paul primary votes: 113,256
Electoral votes: 18
Obama votes: 1,868,191
Romney votes: 1,767,692
Romney loss margin: 100,499
Paul primary votes: 107,451
Electoral votes: 13