Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Ron Paul Outplayed Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in Iowa

I have already posted Tim Carney's commentary on how Ron Paul supporters became delegates out of Iowa because they simply volunteered to be delegates.

It turns out this was a thought out strategy. Business Insider reports:
Paul's massive organizational push in Iowa focused on both winning votes, and also on making sure that Paul supporters stuck around after the vote to make sure they were selected as county delegates — the first step towards being elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

That's because Iowa's Republican caucuses are non-binding — they are technically just a straw poll, so once selected, delegates are free to vote for whichever presidential candidate they choose.

"Part of what we've been training the Ron Paul people to do is not to leave after the vote," Dan Godzich, a senior campaign advisor, told BI. "Stay and get elected to the conventions and get us those delegates."
The plan appears to have worked to some degree, despite finishing third in the vote count, it appears that Paul will get as many delegates as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. CNN reports:
Of the 25 pledged delegates at stake in Iowa, CNN estimates Romney, Santorum and Paul each won seven, with Gingrich and Perry winning two.


  1. Of course the MSM will only discuss the vote count when it is the amount of delegates won that matters.

    Another grass roots effort is needed to show people that Ron Paul TIED FOR FIRST!

    Dont let people get discouraged because they believe he finished third.

  2. So does this mean that Romnney and Santorum's delegates are really just Ron paul voters,waiting for the chance to vote for Ron?

  3. This is not exactly true. See, the tie that CNN put out there is just an average based on electoral votes. I am pretty sure that Ron Paul received most of the delegates in Iowa since that was the plan and most of Ron Paul's caucus goers already knew ahead of time what they were going to do. They were instructed to stay late, after the straw vote to become delegates, which I am sure most of them did.

    The truth is, Ron Paul probably won Iowa by a landslide based on delegates. We all know that is what really counts, not the straw vote.

  4. Jason: Indeed. A buddy of mine realized this when I pointed it out to him but was still saddened that he didn't win the polling. I responded, just imagine the scene if he did actually win the poll? "Iowa invalidated" is an understatement.

    You truly get the best of both worlds here.

  5. Sorry don't buy it. The number of delegates involved is small, all the time and money was for the straw vote headlines.

  6. On another line of thought, today on the radio, I constantly heard about the "three-way tie" between Santorum and Romney!

  7. Confusing, weird and a reason to support "direct democracy" movement! That said, what happens to the delegates for Candidates who drop out? Do they go away? Or can they go to someone else?

  8. ok, the truth is that everyone is currently tied with ZERO delegates. Iowans voted for precinct delegates yesterday. I don't know how many there are, but there are over 1700 precincts. It's a multi-step process, where the precinct delegates meet at a county convention to choose county delegates, the county delegates then meet at a district convention to choose district delegates, and then, finally, the district delegates meet at the state convention to choose the National Convention delegates. This last piece happens in June. Ironic - the first-in-the-nation state is one of the last to actually allocated its delegates.

    Presumably, RP is over-represented in the precinct delegates. Hopefully, that over-representation will carry through and he will get, say, 10-15 of Iowa's 28 delegates, which is above his current projection of 7. But we really have no way of knowing. It is worth noting that the straw poll (last night's vote) plays absolutely no role in the process of selecting delegates. It really is just a beauty contest. Even after Iowa's delegates are allocated, they are not bound to vote for any particular candidate at the national convention. This is different from how a lot of other states work. In NH, for instance, delegates are bound to a candidate (at least for the first vote) at the national convention.

    If RP can amass a significant number of delegates during the primary/caucus process, he could make things very interesting at convention...

  9. @TahoeBilly The delegates in Iowa are non-binded which means that they can vote for whoever they want.

    I'd also like to re-emphasize that this was only an estimate by CNN. The Iowa caucus is different from most other states in that the delegates aren't officially chosen until June.

  10. I could see the Santorum campaign allowing this to happen, because they don't have experience in a national campaign, but I can't believe the Romney camp doesn't know enough to stop this. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the local district GOP leaders weren't responsible for turning some people from Paul to Romney during the voting. Romney is the consummate insider - he knows the "system".