(Photo: Reuters/Eric Miller)
And then there was one. Ron Paul, the last Republican campaigning against Mitt Romney, has announced that he will no longer "actively campaign" in the 2012 race.
"Moving forward … we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted," Paul said in a statement. "Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.
"Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future," he added.
Paul ran a small campaign, and many counted him out much earlier in the campaign for the Republican nomination. However, he recently began to pick up delegates in controversial contests in Iowa and Michigan. Paul's strategy from the beginning was to win delegates and not launch a full-scale advertising campaign.
As other candidates, including Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, dropped out, Paul hoped to gain their delegates going into the Florida National Convention. At last count, he had only 99 delegates compared with Romney's 945. In order to secure the Republican nomination, a candidate needs to have 1,144 delegates, and it appears as though Romney will be the de facto nominee in the 2012 presidential race.
"This campaign fought hard and won electoral success that the talking heads and pundits never thought possible," Paul stated. "But this campaign is also about more than just the 2012 election. It has been a part of a quest I began 40 years ago and that so many have joined. It is about the campaign for Liberty, which has taken a tremendous leap forward in this election and will continue to grow stronger in the future until we finally win."
"I hope all supporters of Liberty will remain deeply involved," Paul added. "I will be right there with you. In the coming days, my campaign leadership will lay out to you our delegate strategy and what you can do to help, so please stay tuned."