(CNN) – It’s some Republicans’ worst case scenario: a presidential primary which “drags on.”
But that’s what GOP presidential longshot Ron Paul is looking for.
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“We need more debate, we don’t need people closing this out, saying, ‘We got our candidate,’ ” Paul said Thursday in an interview on CNBC.
Asked about suggestions that the continuing primary race could hurt the Republican Party in the future, he replied emphatically, “How do they know that? How do they make that assumption?”
Despite Paul’s rhetoric, the numbers are stacked heavily against him.
Paul has yet to win a primary or caucus, and lags significantly in the delegate count. He has 71 delegates, according to the latest CNN estimate, and Romney has nearly eight times as many. Nearly 45% of the delegates have been apportioned, and Paul has only 6% of those needed to win the GOP nomination.
He has vowed to stay in the race, and in January said it would be “fun” to use his delegates to influence the Republican Party platform, even if he has no chance of winning the nomination.
Tea party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina echoed the sentiments of a growing number in his party when he said Thursday that the party ought to focus their fight on President Barack Obama.
“The sooner we can make a decision, I think the sooner we can focus on the real problem, which is Obama,” DeMint said.
A poll released earlier in March showed an increasing number of GOP voters see the ongoing contest as bad for their party.