I can’t derive 55

Here’s the latest chapter in the quest for understanding the GOP convention delegate selection process in Tennessee. State party chair Chris Devaney reads some of the relevant text in this video.

So let’s test that against a recently posited method of picking delegates if one were a Rick Santorum supporter. The strategy for choosing fourteen at-large delegates went like this: select all ten of those pledged to Rick Perry, and then select the four uncommitted delegate candidates.

So, according to the last couple of slides in the video, both Rick Perry and “Uncommitted” would have to do well in the preferential primary, so that each would get allotted delegates to actually attend the convention. See, just because you vote for a delegate candidate, based on that candidate’s explicit (or assumed or hoped) convention intentions, doesn’t mean that candidate gets to go to the convention, even if he or she wins a high number of votes in the state or district.

The math hinges on the preferential primary outcome. It is not likely that either Rick Perry or “Uncommitted” will win a high percentage of the primary vote; and therefore it is unlikely that the cadre of convention attendees will be uncommitted or Perry delegates who’d then be released.

What does this mean for the Santorum voter? Well, you’d have to hope your candidate does very well in the preferential primary, because that would force the State Executive Committee to work out how to apportion the 55 convention delegates to reflect the outcome. I’m still not exactly sure how that process would work. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to attend the SEC meeting and report on the proceedings.

But we have to get through Super Tuesday first.

Breaking: the GOP establishment has been located

Well, sort of, maybe. A Mitt Romney supporter breaks down the Republican Party’s various power factions and concludes that there is no such thing.

In fact, one only needs to look at how heavily Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie and, to a certain extent, Haley Barbour and Jeb Bush were courted at the beginning of the process to know that there has not been a full-court press from some monolithic “Establishment” trying to force GOP primary voters to accept Romney as inevitable. Decent money got behind Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry before they left the race as well. In Perry’s case, powerful leaders in the party backed him. Would that have happened if a single powerful cabal of party insiders were calling the shots? I don’t think so.

Let’s also not forget that 4 short years ago we were arguing whether or not Romney or Huckabee should be the anti-establishment pick against John McCain!

How to pick delegates for Santorum in Tennessee

On Tuesday, February 28, the Hamilton County Election Commission will wrap up early voting and prepare for “Super Tuesday” one week later.

Voters here and across Tennessee have been asking several variations of this question for days: “Gee, I really like what I hear from that sweater-vested fellow; but he doesn’t have any delegates on the ballot, so how do I pick delegates for him?” Continue reading