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  Ron Paul Supporters Eye Montana Caucus
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Last EditedRP  Jan 01, 2008 04:13pm
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CategoryStrategy
MediaTV News - Columbia Broadcasting System CBS News
News DateMonday, December 31, 2007 10:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionSupporters of long-shot presidential hopeful Ron Paul say the Montana Republican Party's quirky caucus rules could create an opening for their candidate that other states don't offer.

Under the "closed caucus" system recently adopted by the Montana GOP, voting in the Feb. 5 caucus will be limited to about 3,000 Republicans who hold party posts, such as members of Congress, statewide officeholders and precinct captains. That includes hundreds of volunteer precinct posts that have long been vacant and that some candidates are now scrambling to fill with supporters.

At least three presidential candidates - former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Paul, a Texas congressman - are organizing in the state. A fourth candidate, John McCain, recently hired a Montana campaign chair.

"Some of the minor candidates are scrambling here to win in a small state so they can say, 'Look, we won somewhere,"' said political scientist Craig Wilson, a professor at Montana State University-Billings.

Terry Frisch, an ardent Paul supporter, said he found it remarkably easy to secure a precinct post. The Lewis and Clark County GOP had 80 precinct positions open when he asked for a spot recently. He was given one, and no one asked whom he was supporting.
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