Ron Paul’s delegate strategy may be the worst kept secret in Republican circles. And while most observers are treating Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee, it looks as though Republicans are getting nervous that they may have a floor fight at their convention in Tampa:
Paul supporters swept this weekend’s state GOP conventions, picking up 21 of 24 RNC delegates in Maine and 22 out of 28 delegates in Nevada. The twin victories come on the heels of Paul’s surprise delegate wins at district caucuses and state conventions in Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and Louisiana, as well as a Paul-friendly takeover of the Alaska GOP.
Paul supporters have managed to stage these state-level coups despite significant resistance from local Establishment Republicans, many of whom are predictably reluctant to relinquish their power to the insurgents. So far, however, the Paul campaign has attributed most of the Establishment’s “shenanigans” to local animosities.
But there is growing evidence that the Romney camp — and the national GOP — are stepping up their efforts to prevent an embarrassing Ron Paul uprising on the floor of the Republican National Convention.
In Maine, for example, the Romney campaign dispatched its top lawyer, Benjamin Ginsberg, to oversee the state convention proceedings this weekend. (It’s worth noting that Ginsberg is best known for his work for George W. Bush during the 2000 Florida recount.)
Even if the nomination is not in play, an army of Paul delegates could cause significant problems for the presumptive nominee, who needs a smooth convention to assuage concerns about his ability to unite and energize the Republican base.
Again, right off the bat, I am a proud Paul supporter and have made several donations to several of his campaigns and have served as a grassroots coordinator and delegate for the cause—MM
So it was a pretty exciting weekend if you’re a Ron Paul enthusiast. Let’s start with Maine. The Maine GOP held their state convention and basically the Paul forces took it over. The new state Chair, most of the new executive committee, and 20 of the 24 delegates bound for Tampa are Ron Paul supporters.
These delegates are unbound, meaning that they are free to vote for any candidate they support. The Maine caucus that was held earlier this year where Romney narrowly edged out Dr. Paul (with only 87% of the votes counted and with reports of widespread fraud and incompetence) was nothing more than a straw poll. It meant nothing.
The fact of the matter is that Ron Paul has an “air-tight” majority in Maine moving forward. Not that you’ll read or see this in most MSM outlets. In fact, as of a little while ago, most media delegate counts have not been changed except for Google. As a quick aside, I love the Google election results page.
Nevada is basically the same story, albeit a bit different because Nevada’s delegates are bound for the 1st ballot in Tampa; however, Paul has some of those bound delegates coming to him anyways. The kicker is if it goes past one ballot—then those delegates are released and can then vote for the candidate of their choice. 22 of Nevada’s 28 delegates are Paul supporters.
Various people are debating whether having Gingrich in the race helps or hurts Romney’s chances of reaching 1,144 delegates and clinching the GOP nomination. Many of Santorum’s supporters think that Gingrich is robbing him of delegates that he needs to stop Romney, while Gingrich supporters are arguing that splitting the delegates makes it more difficult for Romney to win. The fact is, it does not matter, because barring finding Romney in bed with a dead girl or live boy, as Edwin Edwards once put it, he has clinched it mathematically.
Taking a look at the current standings, estimated by TheGreenPapers.com we have:
- Romney: 493 - 51%
- Santorum: 235 - 24%
- Gingrich: 157 - 16%
- Paul: 77 - 8%
That’s 962 decided delegates with 1,324 remaining.
With that many delegates remaining, how can it be over?
Well, there are two ways to allocate the delegates that remain. One is by a proportional system where each candidate gets some amount of delegates that are in proportion to each candidates share of the vote. So, if 30 delegates are at stake and three candidates split evenly, each would get 10. The other is winner take all, where the person securing the plurality (the most) of the vote gets all of the delegates.
The winner take all states that remain are: DC, MD, WI, DE, IN, CA, NJ, UT.
If a single candidate gets a majority in the following states, is it winner take all, but proportional otherwise: PR, CT, NY.
Let’s assume that Gingrich and Paul stay in and therefore PR, CT and NY will stay proportional. Of the WTA states, Romney is all but assured victory in DC, DE, CA, NJ, and UT. Together, those are 298 delegates. Being as generous as possible and giving Santorum the other 125 WTA delegates we have:
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.
With concern rising over rule changes dealing with selection of state delegates to future conventions and talk of a floor fight growing, Team Romney has struck a deal with Ron Paul to avoid any embarrassment today:
Republican Party officials struck a last-minute deal Monday night in an attempt to avert a messy convention floor battle with supporters of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
Supporters of the libertarian lawmaker were spoiling for a fight over an attempted change to the GOP delegate rules aimed at limiting their ability to gain delegate slots at future conventions. But the bigger concern for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign was assuaging concerns from a number of powerful longtime party stalwarts that the new rule infringed on states’ rights to determine their own delegates.
In an email to Republican National Committee (RNC) members, James Bopp, an Indiana delegate and GOP power player, said he and other conservative power brokers had reached an agreement with Romney’s emissaries to end the dispute, which threatened to be a distraction on the first full day of convention events.
Under the agreement, a bound delegate must vote for the presidential candidate that they are required to vote for under state law or state party rules, leaving the actual selection of delegates up to the states.
Previously, a proposal would have given presidential candidates the power to veto delegates sent by the states — a change that had Paul supporters crying foul, seeing it as an establishment attempt to stifle the upstart contingent.
There have been some worries in Republican circles about delegates aligned with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). During the GOP presidential primaries and caucuses, Paul’s supporters managed to win enough delegates in a handful of states to raise eyebrows. It seemed that some of his delegates would not be sat, but news broke last night that Republican leaders want to avoid any embarassment and decided to make a deal with Paul:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul will enter the GOP convention next week with more delegates after a deal was reached avoiding a potentially embarrassing standoff with Mitt Romney.
The compromise settled a dispute over delegates from Louisiana.
“Paul will be awarded 17 of the state’s 46 delegates in the compromise,” Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton told ABC News in an email. “The rest of the state’s delegates are expected to support Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee.”
In addition, the RNC will seat an additional Paul delegate from Massachusetts.
Supporters of Paul and Romney clashed at the Louisiana party convention in June and ended up holding dueling conventions, with each group submitting lists of delegates.
So there is some good news for Paul’s delegates, but as Brian Doherty explains, “Early word from the more hardcore and rootin-tootin Paul forces on the ‘Net is that such compromises won’t necessarily keep them pacified on the floor, and certainly won’t mean they’ll become good soldier Romney voters.”
While many of his supporters are packing state conventions hoping that they can secure enough delegate spots to cause chaos at the Republican National Convention; Ron Paul admitted yesterday that, while he’ll certainly have a sizable number of supporters in Tampa, it will not be enough to win the nomination:
GOP presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) on Wednesday acknowledged to supporters that he lacked enough delegates to capture the party’s nomination.
In a statement, Paul said the campaign would “send 200 bound delegates” to the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa, Fla., in August. “This number shatters the predictions of the pundits and talking heads and shows the seriousness of our movement,” he added.
The Texas lawmaker, however, admitted to his backers that tally was “not enough to win the nomination.”
Paul predicted that overall he would have about 500 supporters at the convention, including many Romney-bound delegates whom he said agreed with his policy positions.
Paul thanked his supporters for their “hard work and diligence,” saying the delegate total “puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP.”
This was driven home even further last night when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Ron Paul’s son, endorsed Mitt Romney on Hannity:
The delegate process isn’t over in many states, but Mitt Romney, after winning the Texas Republican primary last night, has mathematically secured enough delegates to win the GOP’s presidential nomination:
With a victory in Texas on Tuesday night, Mitt Romney secured the necessary delegates to clinch the Republican nomination that will be awarded in Tampa this summer.
“This was a big day by the way - 1,144. We finally got there,” Romney said at a Las Vegas fundraiser on Tuesday night. “It’s an honor and a privilege, an honor and a privilege, and a great responsibility. And I know the road to 1,144 was long and hard, but I also know that the road to 11/06, November 6, is also going to be long, it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be worth it because we’re going to take back the White House and get America right again.”
Shortly after the polls closed in Texas at 9 p.m. Tuesday night, Romney was projected to finally obtain the needed 1,144 delegates, according to The Associated Press.
As I have previously mentioned, I am a Ron Paul supporter and have served as a grassroots coordinator and served in the delegate process. These write-ups are not so much “news” as they are “views of the revolution” from an activist’s point of view. I had originally done a recap of this past weekend’s state conventions. That can still be found below after I discuss the big developments from yesterday.
So yesterday afternoon I started seeing twitter postings that caught my eye, I then proceeded to open up my email inbox and read the following message from Dr. Paul.
Almost instantly, I saw a few retweets from Drudge Report on my feed. “Paul’s Out,” screamed the headline…it was yet another example of why I’m so glad I started boycotting that hack’s site almost a month ago over his complete silence of anything relating to CISPA (can’t make Republicans look bad). But I digress…
What proceeded over the next couple of hours was nothing short of information overload: Media outlets basically running with the MSM fallacy of Paul leaving the race or suspending his campaign mixed with Paul-friendly sites trying to squelch that misinformation with their own media surge. It finally got to the point where the campaign had to send out another communication. There were also fellow activists either talking like it was the end of the world or theorizing about how it was this Machiavellian stroke of sheer genius. And naturally, there have been surly comments of Paul “selling out” or trying to set up his son’s political future.
While Republicans have constantly tried to dismiss his campaign, Ron Paul has certainly showed that there is a strong battle for the heart and soul of the party; pitting limited government conservatives and libertarians up against the establishment. But Paul hinted yesterday that, while his campaign has had success in exposing these fissures, he has decided to scale back his operation:
An announcement from Rep. Ron Paul indicates that the Republican presidential candidate will no longer actively campaign for the GOP nomination, but will continue to work to secure delegates at upcoming Republican state conventions. “Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted,” said Paul, in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have.”
But the longtime congressman from Texas, who’s making his third bid for the White House, says he’ll continue to try and secure delegates to the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida in late August.
“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future,” adds Paul, in his statement.
Paul hasn’t suspended his campaign, as some media outlets are reporting. The delegate strategy that his supporters are carrying out at caucuses and state conventions is very much alive. However, it seems that Paul is more interested in gaining enough delegates to make changes to the platform, rather than to ruin Romney’s chance at the nomination.