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.
“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.
“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.
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 how 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.