Thunderpig’s Mirror

Delegate Count After New Hampshire, and the Strength of the Two-Party System

Posted by Thunder Pig on January 10, 2008

**note** see bottom of post for challenge to these numbers. [TP 12.29pm]

Since we live in a Representative Republic, not a Democracy, the Electoral Process involves delegates who cast the votes for the candidates, and here is the running total according to Race 4 2008:

GOP:

  1. Mitt Romney…….24
  2. Mike Huckabee…14
  3. John McCain…….12
  4. Fred Thompson….8
  5. Ron Paul…………..4
  6. Duncan Hunter….1
  7. Rudy Giuliani…….1

So, once we look at the delegate count for the GOP Nomination, we can understand the type of lead that Romney has on the other GOP contenders. Just like in NASCAR of old (before the stupid “chase for the cup” was implemented and I quit watching and listening to the races), the process is set up to reward consistent finishes in a variety of venues and conditions, and endurance is rewarded. That is why Fred Thompson and Ron Paul have more delegates in proportion to the press coverage they receive, and why “Golden Boy” Giuliani receives more attention than he deserves…just like Earnhardt, Jr. The main difference being that Giuliani has held back on purpose, because he thought he could win by waiting until Florida to seriously campaign for votes, and Earnhardt, Jr hasn’t been sand bagging…he is performing as good as he’ll ever get.

And the Dems:

  1. Barack Obama….25
  2. Hillary Clinton…24
  3. John Edwards….18

The Democrat race is very close, with the top three still in contention for the lead this early in the process.

In both parties, the date of February 5th is very important. Something like 40% of the states will vote on that day, and the campaigns will be tested to their limits as they are forced to choose where their appearances will yield more potential delegates in the shortest amount of time. This is where the ground game becomes very important.

How well have the candidates planned and picked operatives? Is their Get Out The Vote network well-oiled, malfunctioning, or a lot of talk? Stay tuned as we journey along with the candidates for a potential brokered convention on both sides if GigaTuesday on February 5th doesn’t pick winners for the parties.

The Strength of the Parties

This is where the real strength of the two-party system becomes evident. Each of the parties have dedicated foot soldiers willing to donate thankless hours and resources into the party first, and the candidates of their choice second. All of the lesser parties are merely personality cults that function on the edge of civilization, like small tribes worshipping this or that minor personality. They have no real loyalty to the party, and will schism off to join another, or create another at the drop of a hat.

The ones with the best chance to form another party is that of the “followers” of Ron Paul. That is why I have studied them so intently, went to so many of their meetings, and tried to learn if they have a consistent ideology or belief system that could hold them together. I have concluded that they do not. Once their patron saint, Ron Paul, fades from the scene, they will fragment into their component groups of ineffective voices.

**note** These numbers have been challenged here, at ABC’s Political Punch Blog:

Huckabee – 31
Romney – 19
McCain – 7
Thompson – 3
Hunter – 1
Giuliani – 0
Paul – 0

According to my pal, ABC News’ John Berman, the count the Romney folks have is:

Romney – 15
McCain – 12
Thompson – 3
Huckabee – 2
Hunter – 1
Giuliani – 0
Paul – 0


Well, that appears clear as mud. So much for reporting on events before the dust is settled, eh?

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