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Michigan GOP Controversy – Where Are The Delegates?

I first learned about this story by listening to Jamie Dupree on the Neal Boortz show. He was talking about it as I was driving home from work. When the results from Michigan’s primary came in Tuesday, Mitt Romney had won his home state, albeit narrowly. This resulted in the delegates being split evenly between Romney and Rick Santorum, with 15 going to each candidate. Whoa, halt, wait just a minute! The Michigan GOP later announced it had made a mistake in the way the delegates were to be allocated, so Romney was to receive 16, with Santorum getting the remaining 14. I bet you can guess where this is headed. Here is how the Republican National Committee explained it away. This comes from Jamie Dupree’s post.

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“Regrettably, there was an error in the memo drafted and sent to the respective campaigns,” said the Republican National Committeeman Saul Anuzis, who said the campaigns had been told two statewide delegates would be awarded by a proportional formula, when it should have been winner-take-all on those two delegates.

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“There is no disagreement amongst the members that this was the intent of the Credential Committee and there is email traffic between the committee members and counsel discussing the same,” Anuzis added.

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Okay, maybe Anuzis is right and there is a good explanation for this, but that doesn’t keep the Santorum campaign from objecting strenuously to Romney-Santorumhow this has played out. I received an email from the campaign last evening that had a very angry tone to it. They clearly are not happy with the results, even though Santorum lost only one delegate.

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As you can imagine, all kinds of claims are being made. Twitter went wild with these claims. Jamie Dupree has a list of some of them, but suffice it to say most of them are claiming the establishment is doing what it can to prevent Rick Santorum from obtaining the nomination. I would recommend you read the entire post from Dupree. He quite honestly points out that even though the documents leading up to this delegate allocation seem to point to the fact that nothing is amiss, it still lends credence to the theory that Mitt Romney will do anything to win the nomination.

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We are nearly to Super Tuesday, when Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia will be holding their contests to see who their choice for the nomination will be. Several of these states are in contention for each of the candidates. I will be surprised if my home state of Oklahoma doesn’t go to Rick Santorum. Massachusetts will probably go for Mitt Romney and I would expect Georgia to vote for its hometown favorite, Newt Gingrich. I plan to vote for Ron Paul, but I am not sure how much success he will have. He is looking more towards the caucus states, although he and Romney are the only two candidates on the ballot in Virginia.

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Speaking of delegates, here is how the 40 delegates that are up for grabs in Oklahoma will be awarded. This is taken from US Election Atlas.

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Statewide Delegates: Winner Take all if the top candidate receives a majority of votes or the top candidate is the only candidate to receive at least 15 percent of the vote, otherwise delegates are awarded proportionally to those candidates that receive more than 15 percent of the vote.
Congressional District Delegates: Winner Take all if Majority, otherwise top-vote getter wins two delegates and the candidate with the next highest number of votes receives one delegate.

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Did you get all that? If so, am I the only one who thinks the delegate allocation rules are entirely too complicated? Maybe they should have a warning label that headaches and nausea could result if you try to study and understand the results.

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Seriously though, this could be a major issue. A lot of delegates are in play on Super Tuesday and with the race being as close as it is, they are a valuable commodity. Depending on the results from next week, this could go on well into April and possibly May, and you can count on one thing. The delegates are going to be counted again and again, as the race draws close to an end. We better buckle our seat belts.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • LD, I reblogged your post on my site…this whole process burns my cookies. The RNC and the DNC are such a rotten influence on our process. What burns my crackers even more, is that these two organizations have a corrupts affect on our political process and most folks just blithely go along…they need to be fettered so that this no longer happens…what happened to the STATES having control of elections? They have given their Constitutional power to a bunch of politicians with special interests…power and control…how can ANYONE look at our system and say we have truly “free” elections when we gave two cabals of people controlling the whole process from start to finish? As an independent Conservlatarian I have to choose a party out of two that I can’t stand…then THEY choose my candidate for me and I’m left to choose the lesser of two evils…its insane…Then we have Carly Fiornia (?) of the RNC on one of the puff and fluff “moaning” shows talking about Rush Limbaugh’s comments about that dipstick law student that appeared in front of Congress to indignantly DEMAND contraceptives from the American public so that she and her “sister” students can have sex as much as they want…”distracting”…Here’s what I would have told the hysterical media…Move on, its a free country and Limbaugh can say whatever he wants its his show, all he was doing was pointing our that the American public shouldn’t have to pay for co-eds to have “protected” sex…AND that this is NOT about their access to contraceptives, this is about religious freedom in this country, period. *sigh*…mental eye-roll…

    • I appreciate you doing that, Chef.

      I agree that the process leaves a great deal to be desired. Like you, I am not at all enamored with the idea that our candidates are chosen for us, or so it seems. I’m not sure what the solution is, but something needs to change.

  • I think it makes sense. They don’t want it to be a winner take all on the basis of a plurality. If all the delegates are going to go to one person then that person needs to be the clear winner with a clear majority.

    • I don’t have a problem with that, Jack. What I do have a problem with is how this seems to have been orchestrated to favor Mitt Romney. Maybe that’s not true, but it sure looks suspicious to me. Especially considering that they seem to have changed the rules in the middle of the game.

  • This whole primary process is finally exposed for what it is. A process that is ripe for corruption. There must be a uniform process. Open primaries, Caucuses, what in the world?

    • I totally agree that a uniform process should be a requirement. I don’t like the idea of open primaries, but I was talking to a lady this week that believes there is nothing wrong with them, as long as the people crossing over to vote are not doing so out of mischief. (I’m not sure what other reason they could have for doing so, but that may be the subject of another discussion.) It is worth noting that this lady is a candidate for a position on the Republican National Committee.

  • I just want Newt to be gone.

  • I actually kind of like the proportional awarding of delegates, especially in a race that ends up being close. But while Santorum only lost one delegate in this Michigan controversy I think it is troubling because the GOP leadership appears to be willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Romney wins.

    Super Tuesday could be very interesting if Newt does well in the south and Santorum takes Ohio. Personally, I want to see this dragged out of spite because I am tired of the media and the pundits telling us that Romney is the natural choice and I want to see him struggle. I do not like Romney at all, but I like it even less that he is being pushed upon us by the GOP establishment.

    • I like the idea of a proportional awarding of delegates. The way it was handled in Michigan? No so much. There was/is entirely too much room for corruption and the general public doesn’t have a clue.

  • I think the real issue is Ron Paul gets short changed… after the contests I heard ZERO mention of him. Then Newt is discussed but no Ron Paul.

    What’s up with that?

    • Interesting that you should mention Ron Paul. I have been wondering the same thing. Part of it may be that his focus hasn’t really been on the primaries. He is working on the caucus states and believes he can have a good deal of influence at the convention. I am sure many of his supporters would disagree with me on this, but I am not convinced he is all that interested in winning the nomination at this point.

      • Driftforge

        From everything I’ve seen, Ron Paul is focusing now on picking up delegates – in which he is still in second place – and doing everything he can to see that once delegates unbind his people are in place.

        Failing a state win to get some momentum going, I don’t see there is much else he can do.

        But the bigger picture remains the growth of the movement. Everything is being set up to continue to grow into 2016. Regardless of any other outcome, ‘Ron Paul Republicans’ are going to be ‘infesting’ the system for the next 4 years.

        Unlike the other candidates, it’s not all about 2012. Sure, a win would be nice. But a win this time, or a higher platform to keep on…

        • It is true that Ron Paul is focused on the delegates. I also agree that he is looking past 2012. If not for him, then certainly for his son, Rand.

  • bill

    i don’t get it either mr. jackson. it seems to be difficult to find agreement on the number of
    current delegates awarded in this kerfuffle as well. i will say that while the arcania of electoral
    politics and power-mongering are not my strong suit, the states themselves have little
    sway over their own affairs anymore. the progressives proved they could subvert federalism
    with the passage of the 17th. manipulating the apportionment of electoral votes in a party
    primary is child’s play.

    in other words we’re gonna get who they give us again;
    the good news is that wordpress seems to be back, thank you…b

    • Between the penalizing of states like Florida and Michigan for holding their primaries out of sync with the national party, and the awarding of the actual delegates, I am surprised anyone can figure it out. To say it is a total mess is an understatement.

      Quick sidebar, was WordPress not working today? Or did the blog go south and I was unaware?

      • bill

        as far as i know wordpress has been fine since it’s ‘resurrection’.
        i was commenting on the switch-back for discus…b

    • Driftforge

      Most of the ‘caucuses’ held so far have not yet elected delegates. That’s why they don’t’ lose numbers like the early primaries do – the initial selection of county or precinct delegates is just step 1.

      Oh – and it is the selection of those local delegates that is the critical vote that takes place in terms of delegate numbers, not the concurrent poll.

      So while the MSM suggests Ron Paul has ~ 20 delegates, it is more likely that he is around 90 at this stage, in front of both Gingrich and Santorum.

      • bill

        i’m glad somebody knows what’s in the weeds, thanks driftforge…b

  • In a country as big as the US, it appears impossible to design a nominating system in which all the people can have an equal voice.

  • This is nothing for the moderates who control the Michigan GOP. In 2008 all of the moderates, including the ringleader Saul Anuzis, were in the McCain camp. Of course Romney won the primary but McCain won all of the delegates. How? The moderates rigged the state party convention so that only McCain delegates were up for election. No one realized what was going on until it was to late to nominate other delegates.

    In 2008 it created annoyance among Republicans in Michigan. But it didn’t create outrage because by the time the stunt was pulled McCain was the clear winner nationally. Had the delegates mattered it likely would have created a statewide outrage.

    It’s unsurprising that the same weasels who orchestrated 2008 are tossing aside the rules and stealing a delegate from Santorum.

    • Stories like the one you have shared make my blood boil. The national party clearly manipulates the system for its own advantage. Personally, I think weasel is much too nice of a word.

    • Driftforge

      The establishment doesn’t like it so much when the same shoe is on the other foot.

      Ron Paul – been there, done that.

  • – How do you know who is sure to lose the Republican nomination?
    – When he starts saying that it is all about “delegates’.