Media Myth vs Delegate Reality
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
The media elites (to say noting of the party elites) would love to have you believe their line that Romney's wins in Michigan and Arizona last night have him back in command of the primary contest heading into Super Tuesday, where ten states await him. Their meme is that, though the win in Michigan was ugly and close, Romney is now the presumptive nominee; it's just a matter of how long it's going to take to clear the rest of the field.
The reality, however, is so much messier.
That map above the fold is the one that the drive-by media wants you to believe. By their calculus, Newt Gingrich has won one state, Rick Santorum three (plus a non-binding contest in Missouri), and Mitt Romney has won six states (plus a non-binding contest in Wyoming). It seems that the media would love to have us, the dumbed-down electorate, believe that he who wins the most states wins the nomination. Since they don't see anyone other than Romney winning a majority of the states, we should all just bow down before our king now and advance to the presumptive general campaign.
According to the media and the party elites, because Mittens beat Rick by 3.21 percentage points (which would be right on the margin of error if this were a poll), he won the state, and now can slog heroically on to claim the crown that is rightfully his. Ignore the reality that the Arizona result, like the Florida result, is subject to appeal because the state party violated RNC rules and held a binding statewide winner-take-all contest before the April 1 cutoff. Ignore the truth that Romney didn't actually win the delegate allocation in Michigan, because the actual election results have him and Santorum tied at exactly 15 delegates each. And never you mind that some of us have an entirely different type of "crowning" in mind for Romney, just follow the red herring, dammit.
Nope, sorry, not playing the blindfolded lemming this time around.
The brutal truth is that, according to the Michigan Republican Party, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each won seven congressional districts, as follows:
It's worth noting that the district-by-district results as posted on the Michigan Secretary of State website are inaccurate. For some reason Ruth Johnson never got the message that we're doing this according to the 2011 apportionment, so her posted results somehow assume that Michigan still has 15 congressional districts. More on that later.
The proportional awarding of the two at-large delegates is a tad more complex, and actually requires a bit of advanced math to figure out. MIGOP rule 19-C(2) provides the basic concept:
National Convention at-large delegates and at-large alternate delegates shall be elected on a basis that insures that the proportion of the at-large National Convention delegation that is committed to each Republican presidential candidate equals, as nearly as is practicable, the proportion of the statewide vote that was cast for each respective presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) at the statewide Presidential Preference Vote. The determination of these proportions shall only include the votes cast for that particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted), if the total vote cast for that particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted), equals at least fifteen percent (15%) of the total statewide vote cast for all Republican presidential candidates (or, if applicable, uncommitted) at the Presidential Preference Vote (hereinafter the "Threshold Vote").
Breaking this down, only those candidates who actually received at least 15% of the statewide popular vote count for this formula. Those who didn't meet the vote threshold are disregarded. So, since only Mitt Romney (41.07 %) and Rick Santorum (37.86 %) clear the bar, only they participate in the formula. The total statewide votes that we will count for the purpose of proportionality will include the aggregate of only Romney's and Santorum's statewide totals.
Per the Michigan Republican Party website, those totals are:
The resulting percentage for each candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) shall be multiplied by [two (2)] and rounded to the nearest whole number (.5 and above rounds up, below .5 rounds down), which shall be the number of delegates and alternate delegates that that candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) shall receive from the at-large National Convention delegation.
I inserted two because, due to the RNC penalty, our "officially recognized" at-large delegation was reduced from 14 to 2. Running the math produces these results:
Somehow that detail hasn't made it to the beltway press yet, because AP, CNN, and FOX (among others) are still acting like CD-10 is undecided (the Detroit News map finally put it into the Romney column) and both of the at-large delegates are going to Romney. In fact, everyone seems to have shifted focus to the ten-state contest of Super Tuesday, even though the Washington State Caucuses are this Saturday.
However, Tony Roza over at The Green Papers has the delegate count right. And I noticed that the Detroit News is also addressing the controversy, and provides some insight into why this is going to get real interesting between now and the May 19th MIGOP State Convention:
Santorum's campaign believes he tied Romney in winning seven congressional seats, for a total of 14 delegates. Adding one apiece from the statewide total, Yob predicts a 15-15 delegate split in Michigan.
So, because the Secretary of State didn't have the new district templates ready to go (thanks a lot, Ruth), we're relying on the Michigan GOP to keep this straight. Gee, what could go wrong there? And yeah, there's a disagreement between the camps as to how the at-large delegates are to be awarded; I suspect that's because the Romney endorsers list, that reads like a who's who of the MIGOP elite, would hate to have the coronation narrative need a rewrite because the heir-apparent couldn't win in his native state.
Which is why people like Saul Anuzis (mister National Popular Vote himself) and other MIGOP party elites (on Mitt's endorsement list) are actively lobbying the MIGOP and RNC to change the awarding rules for the at-large delegates . . . after the vote is already in the books!
As a complete sidebar, I also find it more than a little amusing that the very same MIGOP party elites who insisted on shoving an open primary down the rest of the party's throat are now kvetching because one of the candidates actually took advantage of the opening that we told them was going to be created. From that same Detroit News article:
Romney's campaign continues to focus on one aspect of Santorum's campaign in Michigan, a robocall asking state Democrats to vote for him in the primary.
Why should he "need to apologize"? At least Santorum took above-board advantage of a legitimate opening that the state party created. If y'all don't like it, then you should have taken my advice back in August and gone with something that wasn't open to crossover tinkering. Maybe you'll remember that next time around.
Quite frankly, I think the carping is disingenuous, if not downright hypocritical, coming from the crew that not only pushed for the taxpayer-funded open primary in the first place, but now wants to change the score after the game is over. Nothing that Santorum did warrants that backroom ex post facto dirty pool (unless the party elites actually want to step down to Mark Brewer's level). Don't be surprised if actually attempting it produces an ugly floor fight at the MIGOP State Convention in May.
And, for what my opinion's worth, if Romney has to break the rules to win, then that's just one more way in which he is indistinguishable from the incumbent he seems to believe that he's capable of defeating.
Media Myth vs Delegate Reality | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
Media Myth vs Delegate Reality | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
Related Links+ believe their line
+ though the win in Michigan was ugly and close
+ blindfolde d lemming
+ according to the Michigan Republican Party
+ as posted on the Michigan Secretary of State website
+ the Detroit News map finally put it into the Romney column
+ The Green Papers
+ Detroit News is also addressing the controversy
+ that reads like a who's who of the MIGOP elite
+ the opening that we told them was going to be created
+ MIGOP State Convention in May
+ Also by Kevin Rex Heine