After last month’s tumultuous, unfinished caucus, St. Charles county in Missouri held a do-over caucus Tuesday, April 10.
This time around, audio and video recording were permitted (the ban of which caused the beginning of the end for the first caucus attempt), and the caucus was reportedly conducted in an orderly fashion without significant interruption or confusion.
Ron Paul supporters won the day, after laboring extensively in the preceding weeks to increase turnout. Being numerically in the majority, his supporters elected their own caucus chair: Brent Stafford. Stafford was one of the two caucusgoers who were arrested at the original St. Charles caucus (on charges of trespassing) after he led dissenters who complained that the the temporary caucus chair had broken the rules of the caucus, as determined by the Missouri state caucus rules and Roberts Rules of Order.
This time around, the caucus also avoided its previous mistake of electing a caucus chair by “voice vote” – an imprecise method that was used to elect the chair for the first caucus, despite the loud protests from Ron Paul supporters.
With Stafford as chair and Ron Paul supporters in the majority, the caucus moved smoothly and the county’s 88 delegates were elected – all of them Ron Paul supporters.
According to Todd Rio, caucus coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign in Missouri, St. Charles was a game-changer in Missouri. “The results of the caucus in St. Charles will decide the fate of Ron Paul delegates in District 3,” he said before yesterday’s caucus. St. Charles will send 88 delegates to the District 3 Congressional caucus, which will be held on April 21. District 3 receives 300 delegates, so St. Charles county will represent nearly 30% of the delegates at the district’s caucus.
A similarly important victory took place in the Boone county caucus (held March 17). The county contains the University of Missouri and Columbia College – a good thing for the Ron Paul campaign, considering the strong support he has among college-age voters. Ron Paul supporters were in the majority at that caucus as well, electing their own chair, and claiming all of the county’s 53 delegates. District 4 – in which Boone county sits – has 292 total delegates.
At Missouri district caucuses, over half of Missouri’s total number of state delegates (who will attend the Republican National Convention in August) will be chosen, along with the majority of the state’s electors (for the electoral college). So every victory at the district level translates into more delegates for a campaign who has delegate-garnering its primary strategy.
While Missouri went strongly for Santorum in the non-binding, oft-criticized February primaries, the Ron Paul campaign is showing that tenacity, passion, and organization can – and do – translate into votes that matter.
See this article for more details on Tuesday’s caucus.