It looks like Mitt Romney is the winner in the Texas primary and it looks like he will be the Republican nominee for 2012. The media is saying that he officially clinches the nomination with his Texas win. Of course, this is ridiculous because the whole delegate count that the press is using is just a guess. We won't really know the delegate count for sure until the convention in Tampa.
This does not mean that I think Ron Paul and his supporters will miraculously snatch the nomination away using a delegate strategy. I have already said that this would be extremely unlikely. If the situation were reversed and Ron Paul were winning, then I would worry about Romney and the establishment stealing the nomination away. But the Ron Paul people are too honest to make a serious challenge at this point.
I never really expected that Ron Paul would get the Republican nomination. Things would be far more interesting if he were on the Libertarian Party ticket. But I am still impressed by his vote totals. He will get about 2 million votes when everything is done. However, unlike the other Republican candidates, he has a great deal of support outside of the party. He gets just as much support (sometimes more) from independents and Democrats. Someone like Rick Santorum would get very few independents and almost no Democrats.
Things have changed a lot in America. While government has gotten bigger, the lines of communication have opened up. The number of liberty-minded people has to be larger now than it has been in the last hundred years or more. It is no longer completely crazy to support someone like Ron Paul. It is far more socially acceptable now. It makes it easier for others. It opens up people's minds when they know they won't be called a lunatic for supporting a particular position.
The Ron Paul group, combined with other libertarians, anarchists, etc., are a significant group now. They can't influence policy in the direction of smaller government yet, but they can slow down big government. There will come a tipping point where things shift and it could happen quite quickly, particularly with the fragile state of the economy.
The number of principled libertarians does not have to reach a majority status. If 10% of the population is strongly libertarian, this might be enough. I think 15% would mean a radical change in the direction of this country. 20% would just about seal the deal, as change would be inevitable whether it would be through repealing legislation at the federal level or secession.
While Romney vs. Obama is a depressing thought, I am optimistic for the long run. The libertarian direction that America is starting to take cannot be stopped.