Ron Paul

The Five-State Problem at the Republican National Convention


USA Today writes on a not-well-known rule that might prevent any interesting potential surprises at the Republican National Convention when it comes to any candidate who isn't Romney or Santorum:

There's been lots of talk in the last couple of days about a GOP rule that states a candidate has to have a plurality of delegates from at least five states to get on the ballot at the convention this August.

Gingrich has only won two states—South Carolina and Georgia—so far in the GOP race and lags well behind front-runner Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in delegates.

The rule would also seem to apply to Ron Paul, who has yet to win a state or primary and has the fewest convention delegates based on a tally by the Associated Press.

Here's what Rule No. 40, Section B states in the Republican National Committee rulebook:

Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of the candidate for nomination.

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, told NBC News that the rule is an important one.

"So when these candidates are adding up their delegates or when people out there have a particular issue that they would like to move at the convention, they had better make sure they at least have a plurality of five states to make these things happen," Priebus said.

Randy Evans, a Gingrich adviser, said Gingrich could still get a plurality of delegates, through a combination of wins in upcoming contests such as one in the District of Columbia, and by peeling off delegates who aren't bound by the results of primaries or caucuses.

Infowars says that Paul's campaign chair Jesse Benton said in an email that "we are well positioned to carry WA, MN, AK, ND and ME among several others." Remember, that means actual delegates, not the nonbinding straw poll results that the media announces on caucus day, none of which only one of which, the Virgin Islands, has Paul won.

Some past blogging from me on Paulites attempts to do well in the caucusing process as it moves from precinct to county and beyond in those states that don't have binding primaries. My forthcoming book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

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  1. none of which Paul has won

    US Virgin Islands. Although Romney won the delegate count.

  2. Come on! I broke this story days ago. And yes, by my reckoning, in addition to the states Benton mentioned, you could add Iowa, Colorado, and Missouri.

  3. Robc–Given details of the VI vote, with no one voting for candidates per se at all, I consider that one ambiguous, but yes, fixed.

    1. What does the reason stylebook say about e. e. cummings? If his name is at the start of the sentence, would you type it as “E. e. cummings” or as “e. e. cummings”?

      If the latter, I would prefer the same consideration.

      /Wow, reading back, this came off way more douchey than I meant, it was supposed to be snarky

  4. Joe M–Didn’t see you writing on the five-state thing, no deliberate attempt to disrespect. I’ve had angry Paul people bugging me about it for awhile, actually, but my complicated writings on the maddening details of the RNC will be happening likely in a future Reason print feature this summer.

    1. No worries. From the original CBS story I linked, there is some good information in the comments:

      1. I’m a delegate for Paul, and I can tell you that most of the population misunderstands the caucusing process. In my precinct, Paul got 25% of the vote, but 75% of the delegates. Using this majority, the Paul delegates can unify and vote out the other 25% which, hopefully, allows us to take all the delegates. Sadly, the news media has done a horrible job of educating people on how the process works. In many states, the ‘vote’ doesn’t count for anything. Rather, it’s delegates that win the nomination. The cable news networks further confuse the issue by announcing ‘winners’. The Ron Paul supporters have been very organized, and we know that it’s not the vote that secures the win, but rather the delegates. In my particular state, I am going to pay about $500 in fees to the republican party be a delegate, which is one reason why most people don’t do it.

        1. However, the majority of delegates will be Ron Paul delegates from Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Main, Wyoming, Washington, Guam, Illinois, Missouri, and will probably do the same in Louisiana, Indiana, Nebraska, and Montana. Notice these are all states where they announced that Paul didn’t win. This is a great disservice to the American public. It perpetuates the misconceptions people have about what’s actually going on. My estimation (based on discussion with other delegates) is that we will actually have around 400 delegates. In fact, until recently I think Paul was very close in actual delegates to Romney, but Paul will slow down a bit here as we enter the Primary states instead of the Caucus states.

  5. Hmm. This seems like a pretty smart rule. Potentially cuts down on a lot o’ BS, as it appears will be the case for Team Red this year.


    Of course, they can act like themselves and pretend it’s DC, and their Team Red Constitution is the US Constitution and just IGNORE those silly “rules”, that clearly “don’t fit the reality of today’s world” and may even be 100 years old or something. It’s a Living Convention? after all.

    So there’s an out for them if they want it…

    1. I think the major parties do themselves a disservice by trying to be a coronation/party/advertisement for the eventual nominee. A lot more people would tune in and watch the proceedings if there were actually some proceedings to watch, with oddball characters and longshot candidates and somewhat outside the mainstream issues being raised. And a lot more people would be interested in getting involved.

  6. Here’s something Doherty’s research on St. Paul didn’t turn up:….._blog.html

    ? Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a GOP presidential hopeful, paid more than $300,000 in salaries or fees to his daughter, brother, grandson, daughter’s mother-in-law, granddaughter and grandson-in-law, the report said. (Paul spokesman Jesse Benton told the Times: “Any implication that there is anything inappropriate is wildly off base.”)

    1. The paragraph immediately preceding the one you quoted:

      “As Lipton notes, there are hundreds of examples to choose from ? and most of these practices do not appear to violate any laws or House ethics rules. Here are some examples:”


      1. Yeah, but isn’t St. Paul supposed to be different, asshole? Go fuck yourself.

        1. What the article fails to mention, but the original study DOES (as well as a sharp-eyed commenter below the article itself) is that the “payments” are mostly reimbursements for campaign costs. Nothing wrong at all with reimbursing money personally spent in the course of a presidential campaign.

          1. Reimbursed by the Paul CAMPAIGN, as well as a few Super PACs, NOT by Paul himself, and not reimbursed for anything to do with Rep. Paul’s position in Congress.

          2. Reimbursed by the Paul CAMPAIGN, as well as a few Super PACs, NOT by Paul himself, and not reimbursed for anything to do with Rep. Paul’s position in Congress.

            Nice fail, Max.
            I also address this issue here.

            1. Sorry, may have to scroll down a bit, I don’t know how to link to a specific comment.

              1. And I should mention that I already addressed that concern of yours in the comments section I linked to above. Thanks for remaining willfully ignorant of evidence that contradicts your views. It showcases your intellectual dishonesty nicely.

    2. So, an average of $50K each, probably less than they would have earned in the private sector if they hadn’t devoted the year to Ron Paul’s presidential bid?

  7. This seems like a pretty smart rule.

    Disagree. It prevents a James Polk situation…where the delegates hate all the candidates so much that they pick someone entirely new.

  8. Question: Is anyone else seeing a field on this page after the first sentence of Doherty’s post stating “Answer a question to continue reading this page” and then asking about their preference in chocolates?

    1. Do you smell oranges?

    2. Asks me “Have you heard of Google Offers?”

    3. Im guessing adblock takes care of it.

  9. All Power to the Imagination!

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