Who Has The Party Delegates?
What all the GOP candidates are after, are so-called ‘delegates.’Elected officials that will broker the convention of either party this fall. Officials are parcelled by the amount of votes, the candidates receive in the primary.
During Michigan’s primary recently, for instance, there were 30 official delegates, state-wide. Two were ‘at-large’ candidates, which meant they could be assigned individually to any winning candidate. The other 28 were ‘proportional’ ones, alotted through 14 congressional districts. During the push for the nominations in Michigan last night, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum spent millions of dollars to influence the voting population; with TV ads, pamphlets, media, interviews, rallies, stickers, and much more. Michigan’s grand sum of politcal expenditure was near six million bucks.
Delegates are what really counts at the GOP convention. What looks to be happening, is that no clear winner will come out victorious. There’s a righteous number: 1444 delegates will win any nominee the victory-nod of the Republican National Committee. Nationwide, 2169 delegates are extended for contestation, until the RNC celebration in Tampa, Florida. From the RN Committee, an additional 117 delegates are added into the mix, ostensibly to keep debate lively and clear-up dead locks. So what appears, on first looks, to be a rather hot-headed and fast paced Republican rocket-launch to the RNC, is more like a jammed or misfired pistol in a duel.
Momentarily, Mitt Romney is in the lead, with 167 total delegates. Rick Santorum is second with roughly half, at 87. Newt Gingrich won only one state and has 32, while Ron Paul has 19 carefully collected delegations. The count may reshuffle at any moment, since constitutionalism and populism together, ring alarm-bells in states such as Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The 2012 election cycle has been interesting, partly because there’s been quite some redistricting in many states, and some specialty cases have been able to hold their primaries sooner, than usual. Additionally, an aspiring melee of Social Conservatives, Liberals, Republicans In Name Onlies (RINOs), Libertarians, Moderates, Cross-overs and Republicans turned Independents, has made the field more unstructured and free-bridled, than it would usually be. The Housing and Credit crisis, pointed to as the culprit of many foreclosures; has also had the effect, that voters no longer live in their original registration locale. Candidate’s polling and surveying is to little avail in such a climate. Political brinksmanship, is running blindly.
In many ways, this race resembles the living outside world- day-in and day-out-lives lived far from the beltway- which has been shredded, gutted, dis-equilibriumed and been hard to figure, by mere guess work. We tend to forget that politics reflects real life, the lot of us that follow it on the TV or Internet. Yet, politics is politics: which means there is always a healthy dose of mystery, and dealing. Only, 2012 won’t be as cleanly arrived at, as incumbents did 2000 or 2004. It’ll be a yard-scrap, to the endzone. Grass up your nose. Dirt under your eyelids. Recession, collapses, bailouts and Eurozone panic, have made this a certainty.
Super-Tuesday on March 6th of this year, will be a watershed in the RNC reclaim of the White House. Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Vermont will open polls for voting in their respective primaries.
States like Ohio and Idaho will do well among family voters, and isolated communities, who will slide the delegate count towards Rick Santorum, his message of morality and government-sponsored ethics, willing. Alaska and North Dakota are possible toss-ups; as is independent Vermont, which could, give Ron Paul a boost!
Newt Gingrich will finally get his day; in states of the South and Midwest, where his moderate populism will grab-ahold of farmhands and agricultural tradesmen. Massachusetts, will, as it has so many times in the past, go to the star: Mitt Romney.
However, the most interesting states will be West Virginia and Virginia, where only two candidates have made it on the ballots: Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. Paul has campaigned extensively in, or near, Washington D.C. in the past half year. Holding celebrations, speeches and fundraisers. He has been the only candidate, to leave the trail and fulfill his responsibilities-dutibound to the Constitution- on Capitol Hill.
Whatever cards remain on the trail’s pathways; each candidate has their own plan for election: their strategy. Predictions are difficult to make clearly, but the main challenger to Mitt Romney has been Rick Santorum’s “convenience store” politics, pandering government morality, sexual justice, steeled faith, social gospel and knock-about record, by inflammatory insinuation. It has worked, his curve has clearly taken off, leaving Mitt Romney to quip that Santorum was trying to “kidnap the primary process.”
How candidates have fared can be found through Real Clear Politics, in a color graph, here; and varieties of polls further below. Rick Santorum has been able to reverse some of the early gains, made by Mitt Romney; although Romney is still strong after his foot-shot wins in Michigan and Arizona. Next up are Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana: more states where Paul, Santorum and Gingrich have at least a chance of gaining a proportion of delegates.
At the crossroads, America needs to make decisions- and make them now- as to what the future should look like. While Pres. Obama touts his Auto-Industry bailouts on Michigan shopfloors, GOP candidates are arguing. If we can’t get it together amongst each other: as Libertarians and Conservatives, we are only wasting valuable time in our unified effort to unseat Obama in the general election.
There is a sort of fracture among the voting public, which doesn’t seem to vanish: Christian faith vs. Mormon faith, whether the 2008 recession is economic or social (moral), what it means to be conservative; economically or ideologically, Tea Party vigor rather than Occupy rage, and which, if any, of these will launch the pebble, that brought Goliath to his bloody, scuffed knees. Right now, Rick Santorum is holding the American heartland, convincingly. Mitt Romney holds some battleground states, that’s all.
It has not been an election of vindictive, the way liberals portrays it; but one of deep; ceaseless search for truth. The truth about republicanism. The truth about America. The truth about liberty.
Some value-laden delegate states have been able to push their dates back into the summer, which means that large parcels of influence for the RNC Assembly are yet unspoken. Texas has a redistricting problem, weaning its way through it’s legislatures.
All the states where the respective candidates have hailed from, or have shown their governing influence, are also in the future. Will Santorum’s golden spike, peak? Does Romney tire on the trail? Will Paul’s delegate count be surprising?
Ron Paul was recently received by an enraptured throng of supporters at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Obviously, this is not a Detroit manufacturing crowd, but this exactly underlies Ron Paul’s appeal: the generation of tomorrow. Applicants looking for jobs in 2014, and their families! They want a fair shake, without taxation, in a free and prosperous market.
We’ll have to bargain, deal, influence, banter, coalesce, judge, retract and argue among ourselves; the good old fashioned wild-and-democratic way. One thing that’s always been a lasting strength, is America’s resolve. Our will and determination to overcome this rhetoric, this sabre-rattling.
We will unseat Barack Obama!