Editor’s note: This is John Connolly’s follow-up post to an earlier one, in which he explained Ron Paul’s delegate strategy. John is a Ron Paul delegate in Washington.–RPM
by John Connolly
As I stated in my first post, there is a vast difference between a straw poll and a caucus. Read that post if you want to learn more how that works.
But now that I voted today [March 24] as a precinct delegate at the Jefferson County convention, I’m going to give you numbers, but also going to tell you how bad the process was and how the caucus at one point almost came to a complete halt. I will also give you my thoughts on how this is looking to play out. I will also tell you what I witnessed as to what the average Ron Paul supporter type and this will hopefully give you a better picture than the media is throwing out there.
First off, the media is reporting false information. I have not seen some of the local rags, but it is reported that the local media is taking their cue from the mainstream and getting it all wrong too.
The reality is that the State of Washington may not go to Romney. The delegates picked through the caucus process are definitely, in my experience, at the precinct and now at the county level, heavily weighting to Ron Paul – so much for the electability problem. It just looks as if the more people try to use that unsubstantiated argument, the more Ron Paul seems to do better.
OK. You want numbers to back it up. Here is the data from Jefferson County – my county.
Of the 115 precinct delegates selected only 31 chose to put their name in the hat to become County Delegates for the State Convention which happens May 30th through June 2nd. Why so few people? Because many can’t make it on those days or do not have the funds to travel. Interesting that it can come to that level of sacrifice, which I have stated is the strength of the average Ron Paul supporter. It takes time and money to be at the state caucus and even more so at the national convention in Florida in August. I’m thinking the Ron Paul supporter is going to pull the underdog with his or her own cash more than any other supporter for any other candidate.
Breaking this 31 down here is what we have.
Ron Paul – 17
Mitt Romney – 8
Rick Santorum – 4
Newt Gingrich – 2
So before we even vote on the 8 open delegate slots, we are more than 50% in the majority for Ron Paul across the precincts in our county. Incidentally from what I understand, 3 other slots were closed and automatically filled by county GOP chair and a couple other board members. Yes. Technically they are the establishment and I am not sure of their favorite candidates. Not even going to guess on that.
Now in filling the 8 slots, the voting process was a completely complicated process and unnecessarily so. The head person at one point was telling the 115 delegate voters that only the 31 state candidates could vote. They actually had to check the RULES! This is like saying that the four GOP candidates can only vote for themselves! I was baffled by the lack of organization. At one point a former Pan Am flight attendant just took control and started getting things organized. The chairman got back on track after awhile, so they ended up following the rules and selecting County Delegates legitimately.
So it took 3 ballot rounds of voting. I will probably never understand why they use the process of elimination as the method – but they did. It’s probably easier to follow if you are used to High School Basketball District Championships, but I digress.
The first round tossed out 5 candidates. We are down to 26.
The second round tossed out another handful and one of the candidates won the first of the 8 County Delegate slots. Now we are down to about 18 left.
The third round filled the other 7 positions.
The final tally for the 8 open positions,
Ron Paul – 7
Mitt Romney – 1
The other guys – 0
I am curious. If the other counties are having similar results, what do you think the State Convention is going to look like? This is only one state, but it appears from the YouTube videos and other reports out there this is happening in other states (Nevada/Colorado and more).
As for the demographic, I cannot give you hard numbers as I did not go and ask each person how old they were, but I will tell you this, this county has a LARGE senior citizen population and most of the people at the convention there today, roughly 90% were over the age of 50. So we got all this Ron Paul success from a bunch of elderly educated, likely non-pot smoking crowd? How will MSNBC or Fox spin that madness?
Lastly, I think it is going to be a bit difficult for the one Romney Delegate, to stand up with the other seven Ron Paul delegates and say Ron Paul is not electable. Just sayin’.
John Connolly is a software developer and avid sushi eater in Washington State.