Friday, February 8, 2008

#110 - A Brokered Convention

Ok I thought I'd take some time to explain what I do understand about a Brokered Convention to clear up some of the confusion going about among the Ron Paul Grassroots so let's start out with real question.

1. How do you win the Republican Nomination?

Is it by Winning the Popular vote? No. Is it by winning the most states? No.

It's by getting the voted by 1191 delegates during the Republican National Convention, which will not be held until September.

2. What are Delegates?

Delegates are individuals who will be voting at the RNC (Republican National Convention), there different amount of delegates alloted to the 50 states + territories. How these delegates selected differs from state to state. Delegates can individually be the supporter of any candidate, but some are bound and some are unbound.

A bound delegate MUST vote for whoever his states primary process decides for them to vote for.

An unbound delegate can vote for any candidate they want at the RNC despite who won there states primary.

3. How many delegates does each candidate have right now?

Your guess is as good as mine. The numbers you see on TV are estimates based on the popular vote in each Primary/Caucus. So some candidates like Mccain might have lot less than estimated and other candidates like Ron Paul may have a lot more than estimated we won't know until September. This is why this is a marathon, not a race. States that have already had caucuses are yet to decide who gets their alloted delegates.

4. Wait... then when do we know who gets Caucus delegates?

Well, you must understand the caucus process, when people go to caucus they are voting on county and state delegates who will vote at a state convention. At this state convention the state delegates will vote national delegates to the National convention. An organized campaign will coordinate to make sure these state and national delegates are their supporters. State conventions arn't until the summer so any cacucs estimation are pure speculation.

5. So what is a brokered convention?

At the RNC the delegates will have 4 opportunities to vote, if a candidate does not hit 1191 votes in the first vote then in the 2nd ballot many of the bound delegates become Unbound. at this point the different campaigns will negotiate with each other over the extra votes. A well organized campaign will have seen that all the bound delegates were his supporters. Basically they will vote again, and if a majority is not reached then they vote again and more delegates become unbound.

6. So how does Ron Paul stand a chance in a brokered convention?

- Caucus delegates, while the popular vote each caucus state puts Ron Paul typically 2nd or 3rd in caucus states, the campaign was organized and has been able to elect more state delegates than the other candidates which will give him the majority of the delegates in those states. Especially with Romney out of the race who was the only other heavily organized campaign at the caucuses.

- With Romney being out, much of the Anti-Mccain vote that Romney was getting will be going to Ron Paul and Huckabee. This should be enough o give Huckabee wins in the remaining states guaranteeing a brokered convention.

- Many of the bound delegates in many states are actually Ron Paul supporters due to a serious efforts during Q3/Q4 to fill those delegate slots in every state. So they may have to vote for Mccain in the first vote, but will become Ron Paul delegates in future votes.

So, that's a super dumbed down, simplified explanation of a Brokered Convention and how to win the Republican Nomination.