By Garrett Quinn
Manchester, N.H.—After a strong second place finish in New Hampshire last night the Ron Paul campaign will move on to South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada. Yet despite his success in both Iowa and New Hampshire, people are still asking Paul when he will drop out of the race and whether he will run as a third party candidate. Jesse Benton, Paul’s national campaign chairman, thinks these suggestions are pure hogwash.
“We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think we could win. We’re gonna surge in South Carolina like we did in New Hampshire. Then we’re on to the caucuses,” he said.
Benton also confirmed that the campaign is reevaluating its Florida plans because the state may make changes to the way it awards delegates that would help the Paul campaign.
“We have strong organizations in Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, Washington state, and Arizona. We’re going to win some of those caucuses,” Benton said as victory music and chants of “Ron Paul” punctured the air.
One of the other places where the Paul campaign has exceeded expectations is ballot access.
“I think deadlines have only passed for about half of the states but we’re on all the ballots where deadlines have passed and we will be on all the ballots,” said Benton.
Benton also criticized Paul’s opponents for failing to make the ballot. “Jon Huntsman isn’t on in Illinois,Virginia, or Arizona. That’s pretty disgraceful actually. Arizona has the easiest ballot laws in the country; that means they’re not serious. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, not on in Virginia. If you’re not on the ballot in those states you’re not a serious candidate.”
Benton summed it up quickly before moving on to other interviews: “This race is coming down to two candidates now. There’s Mitt Romney who’s a nice guy and he represents the status quo, and there’s Ron Paul who represents real change. We’re in this thing to win it.”
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