Ron Paul rallies in the Twin Cities
The West has always had a libertarian streak, and the 2008 election year has proved no exception. Ron Paul, the Republican U.S. house member from Texas who was the favored presidential candidate of his party's libertarian wing, did an amazing job fundraising in the West. (This may be a better indicator of support than the number of votes he got, because Paul was effectively out of the running by the time many Western states got around to voting.) According to the FEC, he out-raised every Republican candidate except McCain in Montana and Wyoming, and everyone but McCain and Mitt Romney in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.
For all the talk of PUMAs at the Democratic National Convention, it's Ron Paul and his fans who are this year's truly implacable primary losers. He didn't get an official speaking gig at the RNC, so today he's holding an all-day rally of his own. The New York Times is covering it more thoroughly than I ever could. It's worth following if you want a sense of how the Republican party could be fracturing in the West this year.