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January 15, 2008

Back Room Deal By Political Machers May Determine Delegate Count

Conservative Belle talked to some people in the know, as they say.

You probably know that some states will only have half of their delegates counted for the nomination, as a penalty for moving their primaries up.

Here's a surprise twist: The party may end up deciding to count all those delegates, if it chooses, at the end of the process.

But that's not really Conservative Belle's scoop; I've read that before.

Her scoop is this: Only half of the delegates are to be counted, as the rules currently say, but which half? Don't assume the half chosen to attend the convention will be proportionate to each candidate's performance. The party could choose to, say, seat all of Fred Thompson's delegates and only a small fraction of, say, Rudy Giuliani's. Thus transforming a (hypothetical) Giuliani win at the polls into a Thompson win as regards actual delegates allowed to vote at the convention.

This seems to make no sense whatsoever, and I suspect Conservative Belle may have misunderstood or missed something... but then, she does have actual sources, and she is not, as far as I can tell, a mutant.

Bonus: Also from Conservative Belle, Jay Cost on that brokered convention we've been hearing about for forty years... and which might actually happen.

Update: Conservative Belle dug up the rules, and it does seem, based on her reading (and mine), that, in a state which can only seat half of its usual amount of delegates due to penalty, the state party gets to decide which of its delegates gets to go to the convention.

"Proportionate to actual delegates selected" would seem to be the common sense and fair rule here... but it's not necessarily the required rule.

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posted by Ace at 04:50 PM

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