Ron Paul skipping primary night in Florida, will make debates

(CNN) -- Want more proof Rep. Ron Paul is looking past Florida to February's contests? Well, here it is.

While the Republican presidential candidate and longtime congressman from Texas will attend both of the GOP debates being held in Florida this week (including a CNN debate on Thursday night in Jacksonville), Paul won't be in the Sunshine State on primary day, January 31.

Instead the Paul campaign tells CNN the candidate will be in Nevada and Colorado. Nevada is next up after Florida in primary and caucus calendar, holding its caucuses on February 4.

Colorado's caucuses come three days later, on February 7. Minnesota and Missouri also hold contests the same day.

The Paul campaign told CNN last Friday that they also won't go up with TV commercials in the Sunshine State. With its multiple and more costly markets, Florida is an expensive state to run campaign ads. Instead Paul's going up with spots in Nevada and Minnesota.

Fifty delegates are up for grabs in Florida, but it's a winner-take-all state and Paul's campaign feels the can better spend their resources in February's early caucus states, where they think they have a better chance to pick up delegates.

Paul finished third in Iowa's January 3 caucuses, a strong second in New Hampshire's January 10 primary, and last in Saturday's South Carolina primary.
 
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