By Raymond Thompson
For Reporting Texas
Ron Paul recently wound up a busy few weeks barnstorming Texas youth even as his official presidential campaign wound down. An April 26 rally at the University of Texas at Austin drew 6,000 supporters, according to campaign estimates. In addition to speaking at a Tea Party rally at the Capitol on May 6, Paul held a three-day series of town hall styled events at college campuses across Texas, including the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Houston.
Despite suspending active campaigning, Paul is still looking to build eleventh-hour momentum for his campaign. And young voters’ enduring fascination with the 76-year-old Texas congressman is an obvious bell to ring.
Mathematically speaking, Paul can’t catch Republican front-runner Mitt Romney for the party nomination. According to The Austin American-Statesman, he is angling to win the votes of uncommitted delegates or from those delegates whose vote is not awarded in the primary process.
Texas’ GOP runoff on May 29, where 155 delegates will get their marching orders, is important to the overall strategy. Paul also hopes to capture delegates in the six states holding primaries in June.
It’s an uphill battle, to be sure, but that didn’t stop supporters from attending the UT rally, where they cheered and waved signs with Paul slogans like “End the Fed” and “Principle Not Party.”
Paul’s unconventional platform, which proposes eliminating five cabinet departments, a 10 percent reduction of the federal workforce, lowering corporate taxes and the repeal of a long list of federal regulations, plays well among a voting bloc concerned about the future of the economy and their stake in it.
Brad Parsons, 45, a Ron Paul supporter, thinks the young voters’ interest in the congressman’s platform stems from their real concern about job prospects after graduation.
“He is not actually targeting the youth. They’re just the ones responding to his message,” said Parsons, who attended the UT rally.
Students attending the event expressed fatigue with the current group of politicians running the country.
“For me and a lot of my friends that have the same Ron Paul mindset – Romney, Obama, Bush, I feel their all just paid puppets,” said UT sophomore Logan Davis. “Ron Paul is the one that comes across as something real.”