Ron Paul delegate revolution discussion thread

Ron Paul finished third in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, but his campaign's superior organization elected more delegates to county and district conventions than that of any other presidential candidate. Two weeks ago, Paul supporters won six of 16 elected positions on the Iowa GOP's State Central Committee. On May 5, Paul supporters secured most of Iowa's at-large delegate slots for the Republican National Convention. Details are after the jump.

Craig Robinson posted the list of at-large delegates and alternates chosen by the Iowa GOP's delegate selection committee.

At-Large Delegates

Governor Terry Branstad

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Margaret Stoldorf - Chair of Montgomery County GOP and Santorum Supporter

Michelle Bullock - Polk County - Contributor to Ron Paul

James Mills - State Central Committee Member for Floyd County Paul Supporter

Steven Anders - Pottawattamie County Director for Ron Paul

Roger Leahy - Jefferson County Ron Paul Coordinator

Mark Hansen - Pottawattamie County Ron Paul Coordinator

Will Johnson - Dubuque County Ron Paul Organizer

Lexy Nuzum - Madison County Ron Paul supporter

Andrea Bie - Allamakee County Ron Paul Supporter

David Fischer - State Central Committee Member and Ron Paul's Iowa Co-Chair

Drew Ivers - State Central Committee Member and Ron Paul's Iowa Chair

Alternate At-Large Delegates

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

State Senator Brad Zaun - Polk County, Bachmann State Chair

Dr. Cody Hoefert - Santorum supporter and Lyon County GOP Chair

Ruth Long - Longtime GOP activist from Union County

Dr. Sam Clovis - Santorum supporter from Plymouth County also a radio show host.

Jeff Jorgensen - Pottawattamie GOP Chair

Lisa Smith - Former State Central Committee Member, close friend to Steve Scheffler and Gopal Krishna.

David Wiederstein - Cass County GOP Chair

Mike Gresham - Fremont County Chair

Jenifer Bowen - Executive Director of Iowa Right to Life

John Bowery - Page County GOP Chair and Ron Paul Supporter

Tracee Knapp - Ringold County

Therese Davis - Former Chair of Guthrie County GOP

To my knowledge, no one on this list endorsed Mitt Romney before the Iowa caucuses. Branstad and Grassley went public with their support for Romney only after he was well on track to win the Republican nomination.

Technically, this isn't the final at-large delegate list for Iowa. The Republican Party of Iowa's state convention will vote on this list in June. Typically, state convention delegates ratify the list prepared by the delegate selection committee.

Robinson adds,

The current makeup of this slate guarantees Ron Paul 10 of Iowa's 28 delegates.  Paul will also be supported by State Chairman A.J. Spiker and National Committeeman Steve Scheffler, which brings his total 12 delegates.  Paul only needs to have three delegates elected from the District Nominating Caucuses the night before the state convention to secure a majority of Iowa's delegates.  He will easily get the three delegates he needs.

I dislike the Iowa caucus system for various reasons, and one of my biggest gripes is that the county delegates selected at the precinct level don't necessarily reflect the preferences of caucus-goers. The Iowa GOP doesn't have this problem on caucus night, because unlike the Iowa Democratic Party, Republicans report the raw vote totals for each presidential candidate from each precinct.

But now Iowa Republicans are on track to give the majority of the state's RNC delegates to the candidate who finished third among more than 120,000 caucus-goers. That is bound to make the Iowa caucuses look bad and hurt our state's case for remaining first in the presidential selection process.

Iowa's not an isolated case. Paul supporters won 21 out of 24 national delegate positions from Maine over the weekend. Paul finished second to Mitt Romney when the Maine caucuses were held in February.

Paul supporters also won most of the national delegate positions from Nevada over the weekend, although most of Nevada's delegates will be bound to support Romney in the first round of voting at the RNC in Tampa.

What do you think, Bleeding Heartland readers? Should Paul's supporters be congratulated for using party rules and procedures to benefit their candidate? Or are they exposing flaws in the caucus system that will undermine the credibility of Iowa and other states that hold caucuses?

  • much ado about nothing

    the caucus is a media event and not much more. The 2008 Dem event was successful because it had all the ingredients of a good reality show. That's why it is unthinkable to have expected Strawn to say "come back in two weeks" 3-Jan.

    This rending of garments is amusing. The preponderance of Paul-supporting delegates reflects that the "big show" ends in January. Aggrieved low-level party functionaries have their knickers in a twist over the Paul faction filling a vacuum. Oh, well. I think Strawn used the "fiasco" as an excuse to bolt to bigger and better things.

    The real threat to "First-in-Nation" is this ring-kissing of preacher men or the Straw Poll fleecing. The eventual nominees in 2008-2012 took a pass on both. IA-GOP has to go through the motions of "cleaning up" the caucus reporting process, but the real reason it's still around is that the informality of the mechanism and relatively low participation offer the best opportunities to shape results (both parties).  

    I'm skeptical that Paul's goal is to show the nation that Romney is an unsuitable standard-bearer.

    As far as the "party takeover" is concerned, the more interesting aspect from my POV is where they lend their support on the state level (like Blum over Lange) and whether they have sufficient numbers to turn their endorsement into a valuable commodity. Also the swing dynamic between so-called establishment Republicans and the socon wing should be interesting. A smart strategy would be to align on an ad hoc basis.

    Most of the howling is coming from one site. The cynic in me thinks that it's good for blog hits, esp now that the Santorum train is going nowhere.

    • Mmmm, and that one site

      apparently has accepted the handwriting on the wall and drunk the bitter soup, moving on to a matter where the blog meister can regain some semblance of control. Craig is now firing up the faithful over a pickup load of state road maps heading out to some senator's home district.

      Good salve for the pain of marginalization.

    • have to admit

      I am looking forward to the next installment of howling: will have more on Scheffler later this week.

      Agree, the straw poll hoopla is going to backfire on the Iowa GOP.

      A new PAC run by Paul supporters has endorsed Republicans in a bunch of contested primaries, including Mullen over Ward in Senate district 22. A post is in progress on that--I'll be curious to see how many of their candidates get through.

  • The problem is not the caucuses, it's the GOP process

    A weakness in the GOP system is that they focus on reporting raw vote totals on caucus night instead of following through with the process of electing a slate of delegates committed to specific candidates.

    A strength of Iowa's caucus system is that the delegates are (at least in the Democratic side) selected based on their loyalty to their candidate, but they are not legally bound. This makes it easier to coalesce around a candidate by the time of the national conventions. It would be silly to send a bunch of Republicans to Tampa legally required to vote for Rick Santorum, just as it would have been silly to send Iowa Democrats to Denver in '08 required to vote for John Edwards. A lot changes between the caucuses in early January and the time of the national conventions.

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