Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reading Tea Leaves & Contemplating Doomsday

If you want intelligent discussion of politics, Rick Moran provides it at Rightwing Nuthouse on a daily basis. Today, Romney's win in Michigan has thrown Rick into overdrive as he consults the oracles, reads the entrails and posits a possiblity that is looking ever more likely - that Republicans might not have a nominee prior to the convention held the first week in September. You will find Rick's worried musings in this article at PJM.

The exceptional site The Green Papers memorializes everything you want to know about the nominating process. They document that, to win the Republican nomination for President, a nominee will need to earn 1,191 out of 2,380 available delegates. If no candidate has that number of delegates locked up by the end of the primaries, then the matter gets decided at the convention.

That possibility would be a nightmare scenario for several reasons, as I see it. The ramifications are:

1) Republicans would have very little time to coalesce around a single candidate before the November election.

2) Coalescing around a single candidate would be all the more difficult becasue of a lot of raw and open wounds in the majority of Republicans whose favored ox just got gored.

3) The Republican candadate would have only two months to raise money and campaign nationally for the Presidency.

4) It would see the nomination of a Presidential candidate not on the democratic basis of a simple majority of those who voted in the primaries, but rather on the back room dealings of those several thousand people sent to take part in the convention. This would likely result in some perception that, whomever the candidate is, he is lacking in full legitimacy. This would be particularly true if the chosen candidate was not the person who had gone into the convention with the most delegates to begin with.

We are not there yet. As Rick points out, there are a lot of state primaries - most importantly the eighteen that will occur on Super Tuesday - to go before the doomsday scenario is upon us. Let's hope that the matter is setteled long before the doomsday clock reaches the midnight hour in September.


Soccer Dad said...

Don't sweat it.

MK said...

I hope they figure out the right chap soon, if they waffle around too much, the voters will leave them to waffle around outside the white house, while the dems get on with the job of socializing America.