Rep. Ron Paul speaks at a campaign event in Las Vegas (Feb. 3, 2012)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Anywhere he goes, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul draws a dominant crowd, and his support is unwavering, despite being far behind in the delegate count. His Nevada supporters, however, intend to make a strong presence at the state convention this Saturday.
"I expect if not half, then more," said Nevada For Ron Paul Chairman Carl Bunce, predicting how many Ron Paul supporters will show up at the convention in Sparks, NV.
On Wednesday, a two-page letter from the Republican National Committee, addressed to Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, explained that any attempt to "un-bind" the state's delegates would "jeopardize the seating of Nevada's entire delegation to the National Convention."
The letter further urges state leaders to ensure candidate loyalty.
"You can't just change the rules in the seventh inning of the baseball game and say now we're going to have to have the presidential campaign come in and prove and certify every delegate," said Bunce during a phone interview Thursday.
It has been suspected that Ron Paul supporters may try to flood the delegate count, and instead of 20 of the state's 28 delegates going to Mitt Romney, Paul's people would pledge support to one candidate and then change their vote at the last minute.
"This is not going to help the party nationally or locally at all," said FOX5 political analyst Dan Hart, who argues that even the possibility of a disruption paints a picture of disorganization for Nevada Republicans.
"Clearly the Republican National Committee wants some certainty about the number of delegates that are coming out of Nevada and who they're voting for... Ron Paul's supporters, on the other hand, want to disrupt the status quo, and that's where the fight is," he said.
Bunce, however, contends the matter is not about disruption or a takeover.
"We're participating in the process," he said. "At no point are we taking over anything. The more delegates that happen to support a candidate show up at a convention… they set the tempo at the convention."
The state GOP did not return FOX5's request for comment Thursday. A representative said party leaders were traveling.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation).All rights reserved.
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