Skip to comments.Team Santorum: We’re aiming for a brokered convention
Posted on 03/12/2012 10:34:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Is this an admission that Rick Santorum can't win the nomination through the primary process, or just a restatement of the belief that we're heading to a brokered convention anyway? BizzFeed's Zeke Miller gets a Santorum campaign strategy memo that outlines their argument that Mitt Romney isn't as far ahead as some believe, and that Santorum will pull together the disaffected conservatives that show up in Tampa:
In a strategy memo pushing back on Mitt Romney's narrative that it will take an "act of God" to deny him the nomination, advisor John Yob argued that they have a strategy to win at a contested convention.
Majority Needed for Romney, Not for Santorum
Mitt Romney must have a majority on the first ballot in order to win the nomination because he will perform worse on subsequent ballots as grassroots conservative delegates decide to back the more conservative candidate. Subsequently, Santorum only needs to be relatively close on the initial ballot in order to win on a later ballot as Romneys support erodes.
The memo, to be distributed today, indicates that the Santorum campaign seems more concerned with arguing that Romney will not win a majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention, rather than making the case for why he will. Indeed, the over-2,000-word memo only addresses the possibility of Santorum reaching a majority in its final paragraph, and only as a throw-away.
Central to Santorum’s strategy are county and state conventions, which select delegates to the convention in caucus states. Santorum’s campaign asserts that they will outperform their caucus-night delegate shares because convention-goers are by-and-large more conservative than the average Republican voter. But they are making the (weak) assumption that Ron Paul’s libertarian army won’t try the same thing.
In fact, that’s been the assumption all along about the delegate allocation from non-binding primaries. Ron Paul’s campaign has worked hard to get its own people into the county and state conventions in order to swing the actual delegate allocations to Paul, and they have significant organizations in these states to push that strategy. Paul needs that not to win the nomination at a brokered convention — no one thinks Paul can get the nod after having won no states — but to push for his platform and to get a significant speaking slot, either for himself or his son, or both. Santorum’s memo, embedded below, never mentions how his campaign will out-organize both Romney and Paul to gain a higher allocation of delegates than the vote counts indicated in those caucus states — just that he will.
That’s not the only fuzzy thinking, either. Part of the argument is that Santorum can force a proportional allocation onto Florida and Arizona at the Republican convention, which would be a neat trick, considering that the RNC has no legal authority to dictate allocation to any state. It can only restrict the number of delegates seated at the convention and some of their benefits. The memo also includes this curious paragraph:
June 5th California, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico The candidate who wins the most delegates on June 5th will lead the public delegate count going into the national convention. Rick Santorum will also lead the Real Count by this point.
Both California and New Jersey are winner-take-all, and neither is likely to vote for Santorum — not California, surely, and Chris Christie has backed Romney for months in New Jersey. Between the two, that accounts for 222 delegates, so even if Santorum gets all of the delegates from New Mexico and South Dakota (which are proportional primaries) and Montana (a non-binding primary) on June 5th, the delegate count on that date is very likely to be no better than 222-77 for Romney. To the extent that this paragraph is accurate, it’s more of an argument against Santorum’s chances.
What this memo says is that Santorum wants to stay in the race just in case Romney’s candidacy implodes for some reason. That’s not a bad idea, and it won’t hurt to have an alternative with a functioning campaign if that happens. The same argument can be made for Newt Gingrich, too.
Update: I should have said that a Romney implosion was unlikely, which it is; he’s been campaigning for five years now, and he hasn’t had an implosion yet. Also, people on Twitter challenged me on the assumption that Romney will win California, as it does have a fairly active conservative base. However, that base tends more toward fiscal rather than social conservatism, which might benefit Gingrich more if he’s still around. RCP notes three CA polls in February when Santorum rose to the top tier, and all three show Romney leading Santorum — the last two by six points. Unless Santorum really turns around the momentum nationally, Romney is likely to build strength in California, or at least not likely to lose strength.READ:
Romney. They aren't going to give it to someone who hasn't spent time in the primaries. Little chance that they'd give it to Newt, and zero chance that they'd give it to Santorum or Paul.
They'll give it to Romney, and force him to pick someone as Veep who they think will mollify "the base" in exchange for the base going along with the mess.
Prepare to be told that Romney and _______ (insert marginally acceptable Veep candidate here) is the best they could do and that we should be thrilled with the situation.
Further, be prepared to be beat about the head and neck with calls for "party unity" in exchange for (maybe) a nod or two to conservatives when the platform is written.
there is no one that Romney could pick that would make me more likely to vote for him.
A divided convention is the state we would enter if no one wins on the first ballot. The term brokered convention means it has moved to the smoke filled back rooms where the conservatives (the people) have little say. Once it becomes brokered, the people lose.
RE: there is no one that Romney could pick that would make me more likely to vote for him.
So what do you plan to do in November if Romney were the candidate?
Santorum simply can't win, here or after the nomination. So the best thing is to get rid of the two with a brokered convention. (Santorum wrongly thinks he will win in a Brokered Conv.)
True. His campaign team hasn’t been well organized and hasn’t worked ahead of the primaries to set up dedicated delegates before the primaries.
In Ohio this was very important, as delegates had to be lined up and dedicated to a candidate ahead of the primary itself. If that wasn’t done, then those delegates would have to vote for the Ohio primary winner on the first vote at the convention. Gingrich’s team had been in Ohio arranging for dedicated delegates, but Santorum swept in and, because he IS NO strategist, essentially ran to deny Gingrich delegates, as he, Santorum, had not set up dedicated delegates for himself. What a spoiler!
And some on FR are calling for Santorum and Gingrich to join forces! I don’t see that happening - Santorum is far too immature and emotional.
Well, I think things will be more clear here in the next couple of weeks. Santorum would be thrilled, I agree with you. However, I don’t think there is much chance of that happening.
I'm all for an open convention. How could it nominate anyone worse than Mitt Romney? We have nothing to lose and a lot to possibly gain.
That's very true. That problem he has, was painfully obvious during the last debate. When Paul and Romney teamed up on him and reminded the voters of Santo’s hypocritical and terrible record, as well as his tendency to embellish his experience and background.
Santorum turned a shade of purple I have not seen a human being achieve before, without the aid of Makeup. And the blubbering, stuttering and stammering that followed, as he attempted to respond, was hilarious!
[We have nothing to lose and a lot to possibly gain.]
That is absolutely true. We not only send a message to the GOPE, we also have a chance to take control of the direction of this party, without their dictatorial bias.
Correct about California. Nobody but the creme de la creme of the experts seems to be able to keep the various delegate allocation rules straight in these articles. According to RCP, NJ might also be WTA by district, but so was SC which was a blowout for Newt.
The article is absolutely right though that Ron Paul is the only one organizing delegates, enough to take over some county conventions where he certainly did not get a majority of the vote (e.g. Georgia). Anecdotally the Ron Paul people seem to be saying Romney backers are also going for delegates, but the Santorum and Newt people are asleep at the wheel. Getting delegates mean organization. The same reason Newt and Rick couldn’t get on all the ballots is what’s going to make it hard for them to win any delegate war at the convention.
As I’ve said before, with over half the upcoming states being subject to various winner-take-all rules, either Newt or Rick dropping out should net the remaining guy 100-200 delegates, all taken from Romney. That’s the only way they might have enough leverage to defeat Romney in a floor fight.
Me, either. But they will be trying nonetheless.
attempted take over ... for real?
Give details, please ...
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