“The Paul folks couldn’t get their people turned out for the caucus,” said veteran Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston. “But they outmaneuvered the Nevada Romney people ever since and dominated the county conventions and this is the inevitable result. The question remains: To what end?”
Nevada delegates are bound by the state’s results on the first convention ballot, so Romney will still get their support. Paul’s Nevada supporters are not challenging that rule, for fear of losing their convention seats altogether. Delegates who abstain will be replaced with alternates.
But some Paul supporters are hoping for a brokered convention, at which they could back Paul on subsequent ballots. Given Romney’s massive delegate lead, that’s highly unlikely. At the very least, they can vocally cheer for their preferred nominee and pressure the party to give Paul a bigger voice.
Paul supporters, which pulled off a trick in Maine, won 22 of Nevada’s 25 delegates, whether or not they actually vote for Paul.