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Ron Paul Gets Best Primary Finish Yet

The gadfly candidate is still pulling heavy support away from McCain
 
 
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After Hillary Clinton wraps up her campaign and Barack Obama stakes his uncontested claim on the Democratic presidential nomination -- something that could happen as soon as next week -- John McCain will still have a race on his hands for the Republican nod.

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who is running an anti-war, libertarian-themed challenge to the GOP establishment,refuses to quit.

Indeed, Paul is running better now than when the media was paying attention to the race for the GOP nod.

In Idaho, which held its primary Tuesday, Paul won almost a quarter of the vote -- his best percentage so far this year.

Final returns give Arizona Senator McCain just 70 percent support from Idaho Republicans -- not a very impressive figure for a man who has been the presumptive party nominee since February.

Paul, who has made it clear that he does not intend to endorse McCain, took 24 percent.

Six percent picked "uncommitted" -- in other words, nobody -- over McCain.

Paul gains five delegates from Idaho, adding to the base his campaign hopes to use to force platform debates at this summer's Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

And Paul's not done yet.

He's been to Montana, where he has attracted big-name endorsements and substantial support for his effort to finish strong in the state's "beauty contest" primary on June 3. Paul's also got a campaign going in South Dakota, which votes the same day. And his supporters are packing state conventions in other states, still seeking to win delegates -- and, with them, to make the GOP convention a whole lot more interesting than the Democratic gathering.

 
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