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State GOP convenes Tuesday(W. Virginia employs runoff election(s) if no candidate reaches 50%)
Charleston Gazette ^ | Feb 4, 2008 | Tom Searls

Posted on 02/04/2008 12:13:53 AM PST by Red Steel

West Virginia Republicans understand at least one thing going into their first state presidential convention Tuesday: One candidate will walk away with 18 national convention delegates.

"If somebody gets more than 50 percent on the first ballot, it's over," said Doug McKinney, state party chairman.

After Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson dropped out of the race, party stalwarts are left with four candidates. If no one gets a majority in the first round of voting, the low person is dropped and another balloting is held.

Delegates committed to Giuliani and Thompson have been able to commit to the other four left in the race, but most remain uncommitted, along with more than 60 percent of the 1,200 delegates expected at the Charleston Civic Center.

That means Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will emerge as the winner. And state party leaders believe that will give them great national publicity because they will have been the first state to complete voting on "Super Tuesday."

"We have a voice and it's going to be heard across the country," said Bob Fish, chief executive officer for the convention.

That's been the idea behind holding the event, something that has confused most Republicans across the state and left many believing the state GOP primary has changed from May to February.

Secretary of State Betty Ireland had to field phone calls last week explaining just that.

"The Republicans and the Democrats each chose to select some or all of their delegates to their national conventions through a state convention, which is similar to a caucus," Ireland said. "The Republican's state convention will be held on Feb. 5.

West Virginia has been allotted 30 delegates to the national GOP convention. Eighteen will be selected Tuesday, while nine will be elected in the May primary. Three other seats automatically go to the state chairman and state committeeman and committeewoman.

Having never held such an event before, McKinney said his gut feeling is that it will take more than one ballot to produce a winner.

"I don't think anybody will win on the first ballot," he said. "They may do it on the second."

So far, no candidates have announced plans to attend the convention, but each candidate will at least have a person there to speak for them.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: elections
Majority over plurality voting in the mountaineer state.

No splitting the vote here McCain.

1 posted on 02/04/2008 12:13:56 AM PST by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel

Shame on me. I did not know this until I read it here.

2 posted on 02/04/2008 1:03:21 AM PST by WVNight (We havn't played Cowboys and Muslims yet....)
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To: WVNight

As a fellow Mountaineer, I knew about it but never understood it as clearly as put here.

3 posted on 02/04/2008 3:13:31 AM PST by GOP_Proud (Somebody, please, stop the McTRAIN wreck!!)
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To: Red Steel

Well, here’s another chance for Romney to prove that he’d beat McCain in a 1 on 1 race.

If Romney wins here and Huckabee has a mediocre night overall, the call for Huckabee to get out of the race will really ratchet up.

4 posted on 02/05/2008 12:01:33 AM PST by Truthsearcher
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