Another weekend, another state Republican convention where Ron Paul's forces managed to capture another batch of delegates to the Republican National Convention.
This time, it was Louisiana, where supporters of Paul and front-runner Mitt Romney split the vote and Paul apparently won a majority of the delegates to the national gathering.
Paul strategists say the Texas congressman, who is the lone remaining challenger to presumptive nominee Romney, captured 27 of the 46 delegates to which Louisiana is entitled.
Paul supporters also elected one of their own, Henry Herford, to a senior party post. But emotions ran high, and Herford was hurt at one point when he was removed from the convention hall by security officers after he became embroiled in a dispute with other Republican activists.
Week after week, Paul forces have been using GOP rules to dominate or exert a large influence at state Republican conventions and send pro-Paul delegates to the national GOP convention in Tampa, Florida August 27-30. They hope to influence the national party platform and gain a prime-time speaking slot for Paul. Some GOP officials are concerned about the possibility of disruption or protests by Paul backers during conventon week.
Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, has won enough primaries and caucuses to surpass the 1,144 national delegates needed for a majority and has clinched the nomination, according to Associated Press estimates. He has 1,191 delegates to Paul's 137, according to the AP.
But Paul forces dispute those totals and say their candidate has far more support than the AP gives him.
Romney, however, is expected to add to his lead on Tuesday when delegates are chosen in five more states—California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota.
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Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Facebook and Twitter.