By NBC’s Anthony Terrell
Whatever happened toÂ Ron Paul? Remember him?
Beginning tonight at California State University, Chico, Paul will accelerate the pace of his campaign and attempt to become part of the national conversation once again. Over the next 40 days Paul will hold rallies at 16 college campuses across the country — a majority of them in California and Texas — with plans of adding several more stops before schools adjourn for the summer.
Universities have been a friendly atmosphere for the 76-year-old presidential hopeful who attracts thousands of people to his rallies but who has yet to win a single statewide GOP contest.
â€œYou have to reach out to more people than the Republican base,â€ Paul told WMAL Radio on Monday. â€œWeâ€™re going to have big turnouts in places where no other Republican can go. Iâ€™m going to go to Berkeley.â€
Paul will hold a campaign rally on that campus Thursday — not a typical stop for Republican presidential candidates.
According to Paulâ€™s campaign chairman Jesse Benton, thatâ€™s the point. â€œPart of the reason we are going to college campuses is to register people. There are congressional districts we can win and we hope to register thousands of young people for the California primary.â€
The deadline to register to vote for Californiaâ€™s June 5 presidential primary is May 21, and the campaign hopes the passionate young supporters they register will help Paul win a portion of the stateâ€™s 159 delegates â€“- which will be allocated based on the primary results in each of the 53 congressional districts.
The campaign is also focusing its efforts in Paulâ€™s home state of Texas, which holds the second-largest number of delegates, scheduling six rallies at state universities.
Paul is also planning a statewide TV ad buy next week, six weeks ahead of the open primary on May 29.
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