April 24, 2012. Des Moines. Two networks yesterday, CNBC and MSNBC, broadcast a little known fact – Ron Paul appears to be winning the Republican nomination for President. When the popular Texas Congressman repeatedly assured supporters that the race was about delegates, not beauty contests, he apparently knew what he was talking about. Now, after three more states locked in delegates to the GOP nominating convention – CO, MN and IA – indicators point to a brokered convention with a possible, even probable, Ron Paul victory.
Mitt Romney in a panic
The only report announcing the news of another Paul victory yesterday was the Doug Wead Blog. That write-up, which included the headline, ‘Romney in a Panic’, was picked-up and reprinted by a number of independent news outlets like RT News and The Daily Paul. Wead’s conclusion is based on a number of factors. First and foremost, Ron Paul continues to win more delegates than Mitt Romney during each state’s respective slating processes. Additionally, the writer points to drastic, last-minute changes to GOP procedure showing an attempt to limit the Paul vote. Some measures include a new poll tax in Washington and robo-calls in New York telling Republican voters that only Mitt Romney remains in the race.
What has the GOP power-brokers and their candidate in such a panic? In three short words – Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa.
Keep in mind that every major US news outlet continues to show Texas Congressman Ron Paul in last place for the GOP nomination and with only 75 delegates. View Politico's delegate tracker as an example. They show Rep. Paul winning 3 delegates in Colorado, 17 in Minnesota and 1 in Iowa. Those networks however, have based their numbers on which candidate each state’s delegates are pledged or likely to vote for. The more important number is who they actually do vote for. And in that race, the only race that matters, Ron Paul is shocking the political world.
As reported by this author last week in the article, ‘Colo, Minn, GOP Delegates chosen – Paul Strategy Working’, the local Colorado Ron Paul campaign teamed up with the remnants of former candidate Rick Santorum’s supporters. Together, they created a fusion slate of delegates to take on front-runner Mitt Romney and throw their collective voting power behind the last challenger remaining, Ron Paul.
Last week, the Paul campaign sent out a press release quoting the Denver Post’s headline proclaiming, ‘Stunning Upset’. The Post was referring to Congressman Paul’s delegate haul in the state party’s selection process. More importantly, the Colorado selection was the first to be conducted since former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum dropped out of the race, leaving it to the final two men standing – Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
The result, and a possible indicator of things to come, was Colorado Republicans refusing to give Mitt Romney even half their state’s voting delegates. If that trend continues, Mitt Romney cannot mathematically reach the needed 1,144 delegates, at least not on the first ballot.
This author pointed out last week that most of the national media, as well as the Colorado GOP, refuse to acknowledge Rep. Paul’s delegates in Colorado. The state party simply calls Paul’s delegates, “unpledged”. As the Paul campaign, as well as a small handful of other publications pointed out – Ron Paul actually took home 12 Colorado delegates, compared to 16 for Mitt Romney and 8 for Rick Santorum. Together, the anti-Romney delegates outnumber Romney’s 20 to 16.
The independent-leaning state of Minnesota was one that many thought Ron Paul might win outright. While the candidate didn’t win the “beauty contest” as Paul calls it, the libertarian conservative is cleaning up with regard to delegates. Minnesota’s delegate selection process is one of those that happens over the course of a few weeks and occurs locally, as Ron Paul puts it, “one precinct at a time, one delegate at a time.”
A few days ago, the Paul campaign and this author both announced the candidate’s surprise delegate haul in Minnesota. At the time, three major Congressional districts locked in their delegates and Ron Paul carried all three. In the excited words of the candidate himself, Ron Paul exclaimed, “Have you heard the news yet? Yesterday, Minnesota held three district conventions. Our campaign swept all three – winning nine delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.” Again, read this author’s April 16th column titled, ‘Colo, Minn, GOP Delegates chosen, Paul Strategy Working’ for more information.
Now, just a few days later and with another block of Minnesota GOP delegates being chosen, Ron Paul has guaranteed himself a victory in the state. As confirmed by Rachel Maddow last night and by Ron Paul himself while he was the special guest host of CNBC in the morning, Ron Paul has already locked in 20 of the state’s 40 delegates. 16 of those 40 still remain to be chosen and will be awarded over the coming days. As Paul announced yesterday, and Maddow confirmed last night, 24 Minnesota delegates were chosen through this weekend and 20 of them are Ron Paul’s.
In the most stunning and unbelievable example of the Republican Party’s dysfunctional Presidential nominating process this year, the state of Iowa now has its third official winner. As humorously noted last night by Maddow, Newt Gingrich is the only candidate not to have won Iowa.
First, Mitt Romney was forced into the winner’s circle in a crazed, midnight, backroom announcement, even though the votes didn’t warrant it. Whiteout Press was one of the only media outlets in the nation to write about the faulty vote totals and was vindicated two weeks later when the Iowa GOP reversed its decision and awarded the victory in Iowa to Rick Santorum. Read the Whiteout Press article 'Sandorum Won Iowa and didn't say Black' predicting the reversal two weeks before the Iowa GOP reversed its ruling. As a result of the fiasco, the Iowa Republican state chairman resigned. Read the article, ‘Midnight Chaos at Iowa Caucus’ for election night details.
Nothing sums up this weekend’s surprise results like Rachel Maddow’s on-air announcement on MSNBC, “I think Ron Paul just won Iowa.”
The left-leaning political anchor was referring to this weekend’s official awarding of Iowa GOP delegates to the party’s national nominating convention. While the state party has yet to post the results or make any announcement, the results are trickling out on their own, including the Paul campaign and on-air comments on CNBC and MSNBC. Those results show Ron Paul winning the most Iowa GOP delegates, including the new Iowa state party Chairmanship.
Iowa has 28 total delegates to the GOP nominating convention. The national media still shows Ron Paul with only 1 Iowa delegate however. Watch closely over the coming days as the state party quietly changes its totals to show Ron Paul going from 1 delegate to 14 - a full 50 percent of the state’s entire delegation to the nominating convention. And again, many of the remaining delegates are party leaders, elected officials and other super delegates who have yet to assign their votes.
Romney in trouble
The only good news for Mitt Romney is that Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado weren’t the former Governor’s strongest states to begin with. And while the Romney campaign may not be in “panic” mode just yet as some independent reports are suggesting, the candidate and his establishment backers must be concerned. With Mitt Romney failing to capture even half of the delegates from these initial states, he is on course to fight it out for the party nomination at a brokered convention this summer.
The Warren Harding lesson
Many political observers, not just within the Ron Paul campaign, are calling the Texas Congressman’s nomination plan the ‘Harding Strategy’. Referring to the 1920 Republican nominating convention held in Chicago, Warren Harding was at the bottom of a list of 12 potential GOP nominees. Unable to unite behind one candidate during the primary process, the delegates were forced into a brokered convention.
Through the first 6 rounds of delegate voting, Harding didn’t even finish in the top three during any of the votes. But by the 10th vote, Warren Harding walked away with the Republican nomination. He went on to win the general election and become President.
While many political analysts are calling Ron Paul’s current journey a mirror image of Harding’s 1920 trek, others aren’t quite convinced. As the Paul campaign itself continues to point out, only half of the states have voted so far. Nothing’s been decided yet. If nothing else, just when the Republican leadership and the national media have proclaimed Mitt Romney the GOP nominee, Ron Paul’s string of delegate victories this week may force them to do what they were forced to do in Iowa – admit they’re wrong.
Whether or not the Texas Congressman can duplicate Warren Harding’s stunning upset on the way to the White House is another question. But if delegate selections continue on the course they’re on, Mitt Romney will not have enough delegates to win the nomination outright. If that turns out to be the case and the GOP heads into a brokered convention, Ron Paul may have the party right where he wants it. A brokered convention has been his strategy all along.