Paul and Kucinich: Two More Years!

Forget the Hillary-Barack sideshow. Everyone knows the real story is the local races of presidential dreamers Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul.

There was some doubt that the two long-shot candidates could win their own districts in Ohio and Texas, respectively. They both faced challengers looking to take advantage of their presidential distractions. (Kucinich foe Joe Cimperman called him “the absentee candidate”—”Show me one person here who’s got health-care because of his fundraising with Sean Penn in Hawaii,” he said.) Kucinich dropped out in January to defend his seat. Paul hinted that he might do the same but remains officially in the presidential race.

Both candidates appear to have survived the attacks. Paul won 70 percent of Texas’ 14 th District, overwhelming his opponent, Councilman Chris Peden. The full results of Kucinich’s district in Cleveland haven’t been tabulated, but early results showed him leading two-to-one over Cimperman.

Paul’s strength didn’t carry over to the presidential field, though. He’s trailing in the Texas presidential race at around 5 percent of the vote; same in Ohio. You’d think that might be a sign that he should drop out. Or you might think that McCain’s mathematical clinching of the nomination would deter Paul. But as he has pointed out , it’s not like he’s going to run out of money. Why not stick around for a few more races, rack up a few more delegates, and maybe score a speaking gig at the RNC? His constituents certainly don’t seem to mind.