27 Mar 2012

GUEST POST: “My Adventure as a Ron Paul Delegate”

Guest Essay, Ron Paul 34 Comments

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

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My Adventure as a Ron Paul Delegate: The Media Gets It Wrong
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.

34 Responses to “GUEST POST: “My Adventure as a Ron Paul Delegate””

  1. Gene Callahan says:

    “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’.”

    Why would that be difficult? Paul continues to poll at about 10% against the other GOP candidates. In non-caucus primaries, he is often below that level. Even if he picks up a handful more delegates in caucus states than the media is estimating, he is still losing by hundreds of delegates. Obama has a double-digit lead over him in national polls. That lead is that small only because Paul’s views are not widely know. If he actually won the GOP nomination and Obama got to focus on Paul, Obama’s lead would widen, and Paul would suffer one of the worst defeats in US presidential election history.

    Just sayin’.

    • Just sayin' says:

      “Obama has a double-digit lead over him in national polls.”

      The same goes for Romney (and Santorum and Gingrich).

      As per RealClearPolitics’ collection of various poll results (PPP, Rasmussen, Marist, Pew, Bloomberg etc), Romeny and Paul each polled double digits behind Obama in national polling twice within the last two weeks.

      In that same time frame, Santorum polled down by double digits 4 times and Gingrich polled down by double digits 6 times.

      Santorum and Gingrich both polled down nearly 20% in at least one national poll in the last 2 weeks. Paul and Romney’s worst poll each had them behind Obama by 12%.

      These polls show that Paul is consistently outperforming his rivals in terms of capturing independent voters in these match ups against Obama. If the party can’t pick up more votes than it did in 2008, is the goal to simply cross our fingers and hope Obama supporters forget to show up at the polls?

    • Ken B says:

      Indeed. The post tells of the disproportionate commitment and efforts of Paul supporters: they ‘punch above their weight’. So winning delegates doesn’t prove broad support; it proves committment matters in caucuses.

    • John G. says:

      “…and Paul would suffer one of the worst defeats in US presidential election history…”

      Obama beats Romney, and Paul ties him statistically:
      http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/03/obama-leads-gop-field-by-small-margins.html

      Obama could yet suffer a ‘black swan’:
      http://difster.blogspot.com/2012/03/path-for-ron-paul_23.html

      Opinions are radically shifting to Ron Paul’s stances:
      http://www.dailypaul.com/223192/69-of-americans-think-the-us-should-not-be-at-war-in-afghanistan

      I think your prediction of ‘worst defeats in US presidential election history’ is laughable.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        “I think your prediction of ‘worst defeats in US presidential election history’ is laughable.”

        Of course, Paul is already hundreds of delegates behind Romney and has zero chance at the nomination, so you can pretty much say anything you want about how he would do against Obama, since it ain’t happening.

        But really: think what happens once Obama hits the newsletters hard. Paul might take one or two states.

        • Wendy says:

          Romney does NOT have “hundreds of delegates.” He will LIKELY have hundreds by the end of June, but not yet!

    • missourisandy says:

      I was at the caucus in Jefferson County, Mo. This was my first caucus experience and I was appalled at the cheating that took place in an effort to keep the Ron Paul slate from getting votes. The Santorum people stole the roll call and took it out of the building. This is being contested as the temporary chair is on tape saying that she knew who took the roll. It was unbelievable. There were so many young people present and I was embarrassed that they had to see this kind of shenanigans played out.
      Ron Paul probably cannot win. Not because he isn’t qualified, and not because his ideas aren’t popular among the people. The status quo GOP, the bought and paid for Soros media and the New World Order masterminds would never let a principled man like Dr. Paul be President of the USA. He would reign in this bloated self-serving government and that scares the crap out of them. I don’t care who is nominated because if it isn’t Ron Paul, I will write him in. And I am hearing a lot of that from others. Don’t try to tell me I am throwing my vote away. Obama, Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney are tools of the elites. Ron Paul is the real deal and he won’t be deterred from his mission to return this sorry country back to a liberty loving REPUBLIC.
      St. Charles Missouri is having to hold a second caucus because of the cheating. This is going on everywhere. Ron Paul is winning, but the screwed up, sheeple people society will never allow the word to get out. God bless you Ron Paul! You have my vote no matter what.

  2. jay tea says:

    I don’t know what poll Gene has been looking at but I have seen Gallup and Rueters polls come out in the last few weeks that has Paul neck and neck with Obama…. Also if the other 3 candidates really had true support then where are are all their delegates?

    Support does not mean how many zombies without a clue the media can herd to the polls to vote for the establishments choice….. Support means how many people show up to delegate for you…. Which it seems Ron Paul Rules over all in Support.

  3. Mr. Right says:

    Oh Gene, I love how you point to the beauty contest straw-polls as a legitamite argument even after it was shredded.

    Just sayin’

    • Gene Callahan says:

      I don’t think they have been “discredited” in the least — that’s my point.

      But OK, I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is: Paul will lose to Romney by at least 500 delegates. I will bet anyone who wants to take this on even odds, a thousand dollars.

      I don’t expect a single taker, by the way, because somewhere inside you all know this is fantasy.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        Contact Bob if you want to take my bet.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Why wouldn’t they contact you? Do I get a piece of the action either way?

  4. Scott says:

    There’s a huge difference between electability and delegate manipulation. Even if it all technically follows the rules, anyone who fails to win a single state but still gets nominated would have zero legitimacy in the eyes of the voters.

    Incidentally, Jefferson county went 38.9% Romney, 29.6% Paul, with everyone else less than half of Paul’s showing. Any delegate selection that does not give Romney the most delegates, or at the very least the same number of delegates as Paul, is stretching the bounds of legitimacy. Giving the second-place guy SEVEN TIMES the delegates of the first-place guy is fundamentally undemocratic.

    I don’t doubt that this process followed all the rules, but that doesn’t make someone electable. It just means that the party’s rules have nothing to do with the will of the voters.a

    • Mattheus von Guttenberg says:

      Right, because America is not a democracy. It is a republic where people choose representatives. That’s exactly what’s happening. Having Paul pick up a disproportionate weight in delegates according to a straw poll is a process of republican form of government.

      • Ken B says:

        The problem Scott is pointing out, is that it won’t SCALE. A small group of dedicated followers can have wildly disproportionate influence in small evening long caucuses. That does not work when 100 million people make a quick vote.

        • John Connolly says:

          Actually, I think the table is reset if say for instance it was a fight at the national level between Paul and Obama. Once the table is set with just those two, then a majority of voters will probably take the time to now consider Ron Paul’s Liberty Platform for real.

          Up until then most have not even checked in on it because he was not “electable” but at the point they don’t have that distorted view, eyes will be open and Paul could win by far more than the current polls show where he about ties.

          So normally you are right it does not scale in an election where people generally know the candidates. This is a highly unique situation and all bets are off.

          • Ken B says:

            Here is evidence for John Connolly’s case http://althouse.blogspot.com/2012/03/huge-crowd-at-ron-paul-rally-this.html

            I’m not a Paul fan but one thing he does well is make some lefties see they that you don’t *have* to be left wing to take some of their complaints seriously. Madison is way left, and I think the crowds are mostly anti-military and wouldn’t actually *vote* for RP. But I could be wrong. If a crowd like this showed up for Mitt in Madison it would only be as a hatefest.

          • Gene Callahan says:

            “Once the table is set with just those two, then a majority of voters will probably take the time to now consider Ron Paul’s Liberty Platform for real.”

            I agree. And I agree they haven’t done so thus far.

            This is why he will do far, far worse against Obama than he is currently polling: voters will actually take a serious look at his platform!

  5. John G. says:

    Very informative, John. Thanks, and keep up the great work!

    Waah, Scott. The rules were changed across the states back in ’09 to aid Romney in ’12, as he was thought to have deep pockets and a good organization, and would be able to ‘manipulate’ the delegates to his favor.

    Breaks my heart that it is not working for him as he and the Repugnicans (I was one for 25 years) foresaw.

  6. John Connolly says:

    UPDATE: After a recount, Ron Paul actually took all 8 open County Delegate seats in Jefferson County Washington. This is not manipulation. These were hard won through the process and within the rules. This is how the election works and this is why Ron Paul is electable. If the media ever started to report all of the counties that are ending up this way, there would be a change in the momentum and public opinion which is the last thing they ever really want.

    • Ken B says:

      “This is not manipulation.” Well what was it then?

      “These were hard won through the process and within the rules.”

      No doubt.

    • Marc says:

      How did it work in previous elections? Does the media usually report on the counties? Is it only during this election when Ron Paul is doing so well, that they hold back? I wonder.

    • Christopher says:

      Whether you call it manipulation or not. If Ron Paul shows up with 1000 delegates at the convention, don’t you think it will cause a public outcry? Who is going to vote in the presidential election for a candidate that won the candidacy that way? And how easy will it be for Obama to discredit such a candidate?

      • Scott says:

        This, exactly. Look how much animosity Dubya got even before he was sworn in for losing the popular vote by 0.5%. Now imagine how much more animosity there will be for a candidate who’s nominated from fourth place.

  7. Rocketman says:

    I firmly believe that the straw polls were not accurately counted in at least 4 states and possibly all of them. New Hampshire didn’t have the results in the open but were counted in secret by the establishment. Polls had Paul as much as 50% of the vote but he came in third. Nevada took 3 days to count just 36 thousand votes and Paul was expected to win that race yet he came in second. This indicates to me that the establishment is cheating but even now can’t cheat enough to give Romney the victory. I expect that at the Republican convention that they will try one final cheat. Probably not accepting the credentials of a bunch of Paul supporters and they will just “happen” to have some pro-Romney people to fill in for them.

    • Gene Callahan says:

      “I firmly believe that the straw polls were not accurately counted in at least 4 states and possibly all of them. New Hampshire didn’t have the results in the open but were counted in secret by the establishment.”

      Ooooh, I bet it was the Illuminati counting the ballots!

    • Gene Callahan says:

      “This indicates to me that the establishment is cheating but even now can’t cheat enough to give Romney the victory.”

      ?! Romney is crushing him!

  8. Swazi says:

    How many unbound delegates could Ron Paul possibly win?

    • John Connolly says:

      My finger in the air based on what I am seeing, about 40-50%. That is because the delegates are leaning to Ron Paul more than the popular vote. It’s a nightmare for the establishment and the main stream media. But yea, some of the comments are correct, Ron Paul will be spun as illegitimate and unelectable even though he followed all the rules legitimately and had swaths of delegates elected on his behalf.

      I understand the straw poll argument, that this is the real “count”, but it is not based on republic style elections. Also, Maine and other states have questionable numbers in their straw poll results. Before I wondered how these people could justify it, but now that I know that the straw poll does not really count, it is not a leap to understand why they have no problem manipulating the data. It don’t count anyway. But in fact, it has a mass impact on popularity, and they know that and that is why they do it.

      Kind of third world country election tactics if you ask me.

      Should we have a republic? I wonder too that we should use primaries with no caucus, but for now, that is the process, and if Liberty can win the day legit in that process, so be it. I want to see the government beat at it’s own game. It seems to be working.

      • Scott says:

        Yes, “third world country election tactics” is exactly what I thought. We expect countries like Iran and Russia to manipulate the rules so that the person who wins the most votes doesn’t win the election.

        Part of me hopes this whole delegate strategy actually makes it to the convention, and it serves as a wake-up call to how horribly the Republican primary system is managed.

        • John Connolly says:

          That may be one of Ron Paul’s hidden strategies :)

  9. Donn says:

    I hear some hard feelings. Why? The rules were laid out for all to play, everyone has an equal chance. Some people, obviously the Paul people took the whole process much more seriously than even the established republicans. We have never been a democracy, why would anyone want 50.1% of the people dictating to the other 49.9%. So in a republic a small dedicated minority can take control of the process because they care more? Good! It is about time the people woke up and started to care more. Maybe this is the wake up call, as opposed to the sleep talk of the main street media. This makes me proud to be an American.

    Is there any wonder why there is a problem when we go to these foreign and try to step between the Sunni and Shea?

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