Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R) announced today that he is scaling back his presidential campaign operation.
He said in a statement that he will continue to fight former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for delegates at state conventions around the country, but he will no longer spend any money on upcoming primary contests.
“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process,” Paul wrote in an e-mail to supporters.“Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”
While Paul has already cut back his campaign significantly, as recently as three weeks ago he was airing ads in Rhode Island and Texas.
Upcoming primaries in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas might actually provide fertile ground for Paul. But he has yet to win a single primary or caucus, and his fundraising has dried up.
In the near future, Paul added, “my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help.”
Paul supporters have successfully increased the candidate’s delegate share in multiple caucus states by flooding state conventions and mastering arcane rules. In Nevada, for example Romney won the caucus by 30 points, but Paul took 22 of 25 available delegates.
While in Nevada and many other states delegates are bound to vote for Romney on the first ballot, some Paul supporters hope for a brokered convention that will lead to a second, open vote. Failing that, Paul could use his delegate leverage to get a prime speaking slot.
The candidate himself told CNN recently that his goal was to promote his agenda, not to disrupt the event.
“I'm still a candidate, and to promote something that is very, very important, that is a change in the direction for the Republican Party,” he said.
Paul advisers have suggested that the delegate push is in part meant to pave the way for Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R), to run for president one day. Monday’s statement could be Paul’s way of encouraging his supporters, who have clashed with Romney backers at some state conventions, to think about the big picture.