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Paul still winless after Super Tuesday

By Alyssa McLendon, CNN
updated 8:39 AM EST, Wed March 7, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate without a win in the campaign
  • But Texas congressman continues to pick up delegates in races
  • Paul focuses on low-profile states that often hold caucuses instead of primaries
  • He has consistently won younger voters in most of contests

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(CNN) -- Tuesday night was super to some degree for every Republican presidential candidate except Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Supporters crossed their fingers that Paul would get his first win in North Dakota, only to lose to former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. But Paul said he doesn't see Tuesday's outcome as definitive.

"Nobody's going to clinch the election today," Paul told CNN on Tuesday afternoon before elections results came in. "You get (Newt) Gingrich winning some states, Santorum winning some states, Ron Paul winning some states, and sorting all this delegates selection process, I think we have a little bit of time left before you declare anybody a winner."

Delegate tracker | Delegate calculator

On his third run for the presidency, Paul has the fewest delegates of the remaining candidates so far in this race. But he said he'll continue as long as he keeps picking up delegates.

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"We want a lot more delegates," Paul told CNN's John King. "We haven't even counted the delegates for the delegate process that has been started in the last couple of months, won't finish for another two months. So we don't know exactly what we'll do. So we've got to count the delegates before we make any decisions."

What we learned from Super Tuesday

Paul stuck to his message in a speech Tuesday afternoon to supporters in Fargo, North Dakota, before votes were counted. He used his platform to encourage voters to make a statement about the causes he has championed such as cutting federal spending, property rights and what he calls "sensible foreign policy."

Paul's campaign strategy has focused on states that assign their delegates proportionally as well as on states that hold caucuses.

Romney wins six states; Santorum wins conservatives

Paul has concentrated on low-profile states the other Republican candidates all but ignore. He stayed away from the fiercely contested battlegrounds of Michigan and Ohio and directed his Super Tuesday energy toward Alaska, Idaho and North Dakota.

Paul paid little attention to Missouri, a nonbinding primary, and runs a frugal campaign that doesn't act "like the government and spend money we don't have."

Most of the media attention has focused on the volatile campaigns of the other three GOP candidates, but Paul has been consistent.

Get the latest news on Paul's campaign

He hasn't had a victory yet, but he has placed second in eight states so far: Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Maine, Minnesota, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Paul and Romney were the only two candidates on the Virginia ballot. Romney won the state, but Paul, as he has consistently, won the younger vote.

"In almost every state, I think, essentially every state, I always win between the 18- and 30-year-olds. I always win that," Paul told CNN's Piers Morgan. "If they're thinking about the future, or the fall election, I mean young people are very, very important."

Young people have been instrumental to Paul's campaign in terms of votes and volunteers. His young supporters are passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated and have kept up Paul's momentum, especially on college campuses.

"We have a lot of young people involved in our campaign," Paul said. "We asked a lot of them, and they're doing a lot of hard work; they do the phone calling and the door knocking, and all these things.

Paul said he believes his appeal to young voters makes him the best choice against President Barack Obama.

"I'm the one person that can take young people away from Obama. But nobody in leadership's ever come and said, 'Ron, what is it that the young people like about what you're doing?' " he said. "I think they're afraid of the answer because it might be, well maybe a little less war and maybe a little less spending."

His libertarian views have raised concerns from other Republicans that he'll run as an independent and siphon votes away from the GOP nominee in the fall.

He did not support the war in Iraq, and unlike the 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, Paul said he thinks interfering in Syria is a bad idea. He stands firm in his belief that to get America's economy back on track it needs to cut overseas spending.

Watch Paul share his thoughts on Santorum

In response to the recent controversy over Iran's nuclear program, Paul said he believes the situation is being "blown way out of proportion."

"It's very reckless and very dangerous. And the last thing our country needs and our military agrees is another war."

The volatility of the 2012 GOP race has prevented any candidate from gaining a clear path to the nomination, but it has helped keep Paul in the race.

"You don't know until the end," Paul told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union." "I use the track analogy. I use to run very hard, and I wasn't deciding in my own mind who's going to win, who's going to come in second place; I just run real hard. So that's to be decided, you know, later on. But I just think there's every reason to believe that this momentum will continue."

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