Which of the four Republican presidential candidates would serve the poker community best? The answer is more than obvious – Ron Paul. In fact, he seems to be the most poker-friendly candidate even taking into consideration the Democratic candidate, President Obama. However, Paul's prospects of becoming the Republican candidate for the 2012 election seem hazy. Or do they?
In his recent analysis of how the Republican presidential race could impact the online poker legislation in 2012, PokerNews' Matthew Kredell provides the current race results: “Mitt Romney has the lead with 123 delegates to Rick Santorum's 72, Newt Gingrich's 32 and Ron Paul's 19.” However, as Kredell points out there are still 437 delegates to claim and therefore nothing's decided just yet.
Out of the four Republican candidates, Paul is the only one supporting online gaming as well as many other activities he believes people should be free to engage into without the federal government interfering with their affairs. The other two Republican candidates, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have made their feelings toward online gaming pretty clear when interviewed by Jon Ralston for his local NBC show in Nevada. Rick Santorum Video. Mitt Romney Video. Newt Gingrich video. Ron Paul video.
With gambling in the state being a big issue Ralston asked the candidates about their point of view when it comes to online gaming legalization. Both Romney and Santorum claimed they were against it and that there are already enough gambling facilities as it is. Paul, on the other hand said that people in America are smart enough to make their own choices.
“I think people should have legalized freedom,” Paul said. “I think people should be free in the nation to make their own decisions and there should be no regulation of the Internet.”
When asked about the poker players' attitude towards the Republican leaders being against online poker legalization, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) executive director John Pappas did not give much credit to their statements saying they did not gain enough publicity in order to make a big impact on the issue and that Romney and Santorum just might change their opinion once they learn more about poker.
“I don't think their opposition was high-profile enough to impact day-to-day thinking of lawmakers on this issue,” Pappas said. “If they were to come out in a debate or campaign ad or something like that, I think it would elevate the issue among rank-and-file Republicans. I don't know if they are opposed to regulating Internet poker under any circumstances. I don't think they are that informed on the issue. While their position is pretty clear right now, it could evolve.”
Still, all this becomes relevant only if one of the two, or Gingrich, whose campaign is supported by an anti-online-poker casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, becomes the presidential candidate for the Republican party. And that doesn't necessarily have to happen. Although the current results are not in Paul's favor, The Guardian's New York correspondent Paul Harris reports that Paul may rise against all odds if his caucus delegate strategy proves successful.
“Ron Paul's campaign strategy is to get enough of his precinct-level supporters to volunteer to become delegates to the county conventions so that they outnumber other campaigns,” Harris explains. “Their strategy is to gobble up as many of these slots as they can,” said Professor Josh Putnam, a political scientist at Davidson College. Then, if you manage to stack the beginning of the process with Ron Paul delegates, as the system moves through the county conventions and the district and state-wide conventions the chances of Ron Paul-supporting delegates emerging at the end and being chosen to go to Tampa is greatly increased. The entire strategy is helped by the fact that Paul's supporters are seen as far more organised and dedicated than other campaigns.”
The answer to which one of the four Republican candidates is most likely to outrun the rest in the race for the Republican presidential candidate spot should become more clear after Super Tuesday set for March 6th, which is just a week away.
Image courtesy of katu.com.