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Ron Paul's Fuzzy Delegate Math

Updated from Feb. 10, 7:47 p.m. with further clarification of the 13 delegates from one precinct in Larimer County mentioned by Paul's campaign manager

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ron Paul is crunching numbers using some fuzzy delegate math.

Paul's campaign manager John Tate said Wednesday that the Texas congressman was poised to pick up a larger share of delegates from Colorado than what the vote may have shown, but it appears that Paul's delegate claims there are misleading.

Ron Paul

"In one precinct in Larimer County, the straw poll vote was 23 for Santorum, 13 for Paul, 5 for Romney, 2 for Gingrich. There were 13 delegate slots, and Ron Paul got ALL 13," Tate said in an email to the press.

The problem with that delegate count is that not all of those 13 delegates will directly vote in Colorado's state caucus or congressional assembly -- the two bodies that select Colorado's delegates for the Republican National Convention, at which the party's presidential candidate is nominated -- and none of those 13 are delegates for the GOP National Convention.

"Candidly, it's very misleading how he's describing it, and that's unfortunate, but ... the precinct caucus is just the first step in a multistep process," Ryan Call, Colorado Republican Party chairman, said in an interview.

Put simply, Coloradans voted Tuesday night in a Republican straw poll. After each precinct tallied the straw vote and reported the numbers to the state party, they then voted on which delegates would go to the county assembly to represent the precinct. Each precinct then chose from the group of county-appointed delegates which ones would be sent to the congressional assembly and the state caucus.

People in the precincts who wanted to run as delegates for the county assembly had the right to announce which candidate they supported, but they could also remain uncommitted. The uncommitted delegates, Call said, would essentially run on the premise that their fellow precinct voters could trust their judgment when it came to picking delegates to represent the right candidate.

"What we did find, however, is that a lot of the Ron Paul delegates refused to tell their caucus voters who they were supporting," Call said. "That's unfortunate to a degree because then that undermines the representative nature of caucuses and assemblies."

The Paul campaign's claim that it won all 13 delegates in one precinct in Larimer County and all five in Delta County is not incorrect, but the assertion leaves out the fact that not all of those delegates get to vote for the placement of national delegates.

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