Republican Presidential primary hopeful Ron Paul made a last minute campaign trip to Alaska over the weekend. Paul spoke to packed houses at ‘Town Hall Meetings’ in Anchorage and Fairbanks to rally voters before ‘Super Tuesday’.
It was standing room only at the Dena’ina Convention Center in Anchorage Sunday night, where a diverse crowd turned out to hear Ron Paul’s campaign pitch.
“People from Alaska I have known have always been independent minded. They’d just as soon the feds stay out of their lives and stay out of their wallets,” Paul said.
Paul made his last minute sweep through Alaska Sunday, rallying an estimated 1,100 people in Fairbanks and 1,500 in Anchorage. He focused his Anchorage talk on getting back to the basics of the constitution and making government smaller.
“The more they spend, the lower the interest rates go. You know they just print the money. And it’s a fallacy. It’s a figment of their imagination that they think this is the answer. And the worst part of it all is that enhances big government,” Paul said.
437 delegates are up for grabs in 10 states, including 24 in Alaska. Most states hold primaries or caucuses. But in Alaska, there will be a Presidential Preference Poll and District Conventions. Paul’s message seemed to resonate with the Anchorage audience and his outlier status proved a plus.
“Ilona Farr, Anchorage, Alaska. I thought it was really good, I’m a physician – I’m extremely concerned about Obamacare. And I’m glad that there’s a fellow physician running. He stands for liberty. He stands for Freedom. And I was really glad that he was one of the only candidates that took the opportunity to come up here and hear from the people of Alaska.”
“My name is Josh Fryfogle and I’m from Wasilla. Well, as an Alaskan, ahhh … there’s definitely an independent streak in Alaskan mentality. You know we think of ourselves not only as geographically separate, but it definitely has its own vibe … so I think just that alone, there’s a lot of support for Ron Paul because of that streak, you know.”
Mitt Romny sent his son to campaign for him in Anchorage and Fairbanks in February … but no other candidates have campaigned *in-person in Alaska. Since the state does not hold a primary, it’s not usually considered a priority state for candidates, but this year the race is close and that means candidates are paying more attention than usual to the last frontier. Randy Ruedrich is the Chair of the Republican Party in Alaska. He says anything could happen in the final hours before the poll.
“One never knows, for example how many pieces of mail will appear, how many phone calls will appear. How many phone calls will be made. Many of those phone calls will be made in the last 36 hours,” Ruedrich said.
There’s a history of underdog candidates picking up votes in Alaska during caucus time by campaigning in-person. Republicans went for Pat Buchanan in 1996 after he visited the state … and Steve Forbes was just a few votes behind George W. Bush in 2000 after he made multiple trips. Paul made it clear at his ‘Town Hall Meeting’ that he was counting on Alaskans to get out the vote on Tuesday.
“We have a tremendous opportunity, on Tuesday, to make a difference. I hope you will join and make sure you’ll be there on Tuesday,” Paul said.