He may be down in the polls, but Republican Party presidential hopeful Ron Paul still has his supporters in Delaware, Chester and Lancaster counties. Close to 60 of them, from Newtown Square to Lancaster met at the Brandywine Battlefield Park Sunday, a rallying point before heading out for some door-to-door canvassing.That canvassing was planned for the area from Chadds Ford Township through the Borough of Oxford.

Lynda Lichti from Newtown Square with the Delaware County Ron Paul meet-up group said Paul's message of a smaller federal government and individual liberty is getting through, despite Paul's poor showing in the primary elections and caucuses.

"Because of Ron Paul, Democrats, Libertarians and independents are switching registration," she said. That change is to Republican so they can vote for Paul in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.

Paul Dougherty of Media said he's supporting Paul, the U.S. rep. from the 14th Congressional District in Texas, because Paul wants the government to follow the Constitution, "so we have freedom, not this socialism nonsense we've had for 70 years."

He said neither U.S. Sen., John McCain - the Republican frontrunner - nor former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, the other candidates for the Republican nomination offer such a change. Nor do the two Democrats, U.S. Sens. Barrack

Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Joe Gallek of Cochranville said Paul is his choice because Paul is "more for the working man and the middleclass man and for getting rid of excess government," than any of the other candidates.

Gallek's son, Robert, had been a registered Libertarian but switched his registration to the GOP this spring to vote for Paul in the primary and also to run for delegate to cast a nominating vote for Paul at the Republican Party Convention this September in Minnesota.

As of Feb. 22, according to one source, it was estimated that Paul had 17 delegates, while Huckabee had 226 and McCain had 916.

Nicole Quinn of Colerain Township heads up the Oxford/Solanco Ron Paul meet-up group. She said her people are focusing efforts in the 16th Congressional District and had already started canvassing in Oxford and West Grove.

And while she accepts that Paul is a long shot to get the Republican Party nomination, she thinks that the fact that he's getting the national press that he does, is a good sign.

"The odds are against him, there's no arguing that," she said. "But we have a secondary goal of education, and we're winning in educating people about the Constitution and our freedoms."

As with other groups, Quinn said hers is also drawing Democrats, Libertarians, Constitutional Party members, independents and even a few Green party members.

"While we have differences on less important issues, those issues are not as important as protecting our rights," Quinn said.

"Many [people] have realized that freedom is something that is precious to all of us, regardless of what party we belong to," she said. "We are not involved in this simply for the presidential election. It's also about educating fellow Americans about our Constitution and getting people actively involved in the political process. We're proud of the fact that we have inspired many who have never voted or haven't voted in a long time to get involved."

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