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:
IMHO if it ever reaches that point, NONE of the current 4 remaining candidates will be the one.
We will be STUCK w/ Jebby Bushie(PUKE)!!
In a divided convention, Santorum or perhaps Gingrich have a chance. In a brokered convention, it will be Romney, or if they panic, Jeb Bush. A brokered convention means that the GOP-E is calling all the shots.
I truly believe Jeb Bush in ‘12 would be the end of the GOP—which may not be such a bad thing.
Rick’s got bigger problems than this. A brokered convention isn’t going to help him.
As I said before, in a brokered convention, I don’t think ANY of the current remaining candidates will be chosen.
If you can’t decisively win in the primaries, you won’t be able to convince the convention that you are THE ONE.
I dont think ANY of the current remaining candidates will be chosen.You might be right... anything can happen... but it's worth pointing out that in a brokered convention the delegates don't just gather up their toys and go home.
A brokered convention is brokered by the delegates.
The winner still has to win the delegate count.
What changes is that there is a series of votes and with each vote wherein no one gets the majority more and more delegates are "unbound".
So yes, a non-candidate could possibly win. But I think that's highly unlikely. If Gingrich, for example, arrived at the convention floor with 1000 highly-motivated, very-loyal delegates they wouldn't just quickly melt away and vote for Jeb Bush.
An effort would be made to build a coalition that would put someone over the magic number... just like in a parliamentary democracy.
Why do people keep suggesting California is WTA? It is WTA by CD, and there are at least 15 CD’s Santorum would easily win.
Also, memo to Texas. If you’re going late in the game anyway, why not move your primary to June 5 or June 19 where you can either offset CA/NJ or UT?
Well, it isn’t as if it hasn’t happened before, but I have to note, that is how America ended up with Chester Arthur as VP... and then POTUS.
Anyway, a brokered convention is just about a politically nitty gritty as you can get, it is real hard core in the trenches politicking. It would actually be fun to watch if it weren’t so damned vital to the nation. Makes it kind of hard to enjoy the battle as it were.
Sanatorium will not be the candidate from a brokered convention. Newt would be more likely, I think, but I wouldn’t bet on him, either.
>> IMHO if it ever reaches that point, NONE of the current 4 remaining candidates will be the one.
I suspect you’re right, for the POTUS slot, although one of the three remaining real candidates (not Paul) may end up on the ticket.
I doubt Jeb Bush has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the nod. Who wants him?
a brokered convention puts Sarah in play and she knows it
In the Unlikely (IMHO) scenario of a brokered convention, who do you think will be chosen?
Who I’d like is Sarah Palin.
I’d settle for Newt.
you’ll get both
I learned this yesterday, when carefully reading Kkkkarl Rove's Feb WSJ Op-Ed, where he says the chance of a "brokered" convention is close to zero, but the chance of a contested convention is not.
A brokered convention would see a new candidate--someone other than Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum--enter the remaining primaries or parachute in during the convention (if no existing candidate has secured a majority of delegates). ...
A contested convention, on the other hand, would see no dark horse enter but none of the existing candidates arrive in Tampa with a 1,144 majority of delegates. Lots of wheeling and dealing would ensue, and after several ballots a nominee would emerge from the four current candidates.
“who do you think will be chosen? “
I get this creepy feeling that Ron Paul might have a chance after watching the attempted stealth takeover at our GOP convention this weekend.
I can see Santorum asking his delegates to go for Romney, with the quid pro quo being Santorum be named VP nominee. I think this possibility is not unatttractive to Santorum, and that he probably has had it in mind for weeks, if not longer.
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