Ron Paul Might Actually Win Republican Nomination (Yes Seriously)

By | May 7, 2012
Ron Paul winning delegates in Michigan

These results might not mean what you think.

After the Republican Party County Conventions held here last week, something has started to become increasingly clear – Mitt Romney does not have the Republican nomination for President secured. This may come as a surprise to many, but the primary voting on February 28th was essentially a beauty contest. Mitt Romney won 41.1% of the vote and Ron Paul won 11.6% of the vote, but the delegates are the ones that actually pick the candidate and the delegates will not be determined until the state convention on May 18th-19th.

Here’s how it works – first there is a primary where the voting is open to the public. This is what happened on February 28th and this was what received all of the media attention. It didn’t take long for various media outlets to project Mitt Romney as the winner, and by the next day we got the projections that Romney had been awarded 16 delegates, Santorum received 14, and Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich received none. This is where the confusion comes in.

The media projects delegates based on vote totals from the primary, but that is incorrect and inaccurate. Delegates are actually selected at county conventions which were held statewide on May 3rd. Then, a number of those delegates are selected to go on to the state convention which is May 18th-19th, and then from that pool of delegates, 30 are selected to go to the national convention where they will cast their vote for the nominee.

Almost one million people cast a vote in February for the Republican candidate of their choice, but only 30 people actually get to vote at the Republican national convention in August, and those 30 votes are the only votes that count. Those 30 people are the ones that Ron Paul has been targeting this whole time – not the one million people in the primary whose votes don’t actually count. This was the strategy used by Warren Harding and it got him elected President despite being relatively unpopular in the general voting. Now you see why Mitt Romney is getting nervous and the Republican Party is trying everything they can to ignore Ron Paul.

It’s unlikely that Ron Paul will get a majority of the 30 delegates from Michigan, and because of state party rules certain numbers of delegates are bound to vote for Mitt Romney in the first round of voting at the national convention. So the strategy that Ron Paul has been following is to get as many of his supporters on the slate of delegates even if they are bound by state party rules to vote for Romney. It remains to be seen how many Michigan delegates support Ron Paul, all we know for sure is that the official numbers are completely inaccurate.

Since a candidate needs 1,144 delegates to win the nomination at the national convention, any Ron Paul supporters that are bound to Mitt Romney can simply abstain from voting, thereby denying Romney enough delegates in the first round of voting. Then a second round of voting is required and all bound delegates are thereby released and allowed to vote for anybody they want. At that time, Ron Paul supporters will be free to vote for Ron Paul thereby guaranteeing that the Romney delegate total will decrease significantly in additional rounds of voting.

Delegates can even vote for other candidates that have suspended their campaigns (in case you were wondering why candidates “suspend” their campaign rather than “end” it – that’s why). This would be a disaster for Romney and at that point nobody knows what will happen. Nobody can deny that Romney appears to have very little support in the Republican Party and a brokered convention would probably destroy his chances of winning the nomination. After all, if he were going to be the candidate, it wouldn’t make it to a brokered convention in the first place.

Making matters worse, with Ron Paul still in the race the Republican National Committee is required not to show favoritism to any candidate. According to rule #11 found here, the party is not allowed to contribute money or any aid at all to one candidate over another. This rule seems to have been violated by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on April 25th when he released the following statement indicating that the national party was lining up behind Romney, despite Ron Paul still being in the race:

“Governor Romney’s strong performance and delegate count at this stage of the primary process has made him our party’s presumptive nominee,” Mr. Priebus said. “In order to maximize our efforts I have directed my staff at the R.N.C. to open lines of communication with the Romney campaign.”

“It’s my intention to have a seamless and complete merger between the presumptive nominee and the Republican National Committee,” Mr. Priebus said. “That means political, communications, fund-raising, research and the chairman’s office, along with the governor’s main operational team, are completely merged.”

According to Republican Party rules, Ron Paul is entitled to those same fundraising efforts, and if we know anything about Ron Paul supporters they are going to hold the party to those rules. And Mr. Priebus better be careful or he may end up being replaced by a Ron Paul supporter too.

Obamney 2012

Obamney 2012 - The choice is yours.

Update 5/10/2012 – Someone just sent me this banner that sums up the 2012 presidential race perfectly and explains why Ron Paul supporters are as vocal as they are, and why it is unlikely that they will ever really get behind Romney. If too many people feel there is no real difference between the two candidates, the choice then becomes do you want to accept it for 4 more years, or for 8 more years.

Update 5/14/2012 – We’ve got a new article with recent information and clarifications of Rule 38 and the unit rule, as well as how this affects Michigan. Read it here:

43 thoughts on “Ron Paul Might Actually Win Republican Nomination (Yes Seriously)

  1. John B.

    I admit I’m not an expert on election rules, but I don’t think this is very accurate. Don’t we live ina democracy? Those rules if they are true don’t sound like it.

    1. J Vincent Burr Post author

      Actually John, we do not have a Democracy. Our system was set up to be a Representative Republic, not a Democracy. Here are a few quotes from our founding fathers regarding democracy:

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” Franklin, Benjamin

      “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” – Thomas Jefferson

      “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams

      As you can see, we were never intended to be a democracy and with good reason. If you learned that in school, your teachers either lied to you or you weren’t paying attention (which was my problem). Hope that helps.

      1. El Buggo

        That wolves and a lamb quote is probably false – BF never said that. You may want to investigate this.

        1. J Vincent Burr Post author

          I’ve done some rudimentary research in that quote which is often ascribed to Franklin, but I have yet to be able to confirm or deny it having originated from him. I’ll keep looking and if I can’t validate it as being from him I’ll correct it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

          But it is a great analogy nonetheless.

          1. Jim

            The first time I ever saw the quote, it was from James Bovard, and there was no attribution to anyone else. I think it is his quote (but he didn’t have the second sentence).

          2. Biostalker

            Larry Flynt did paraphrase it to 5 wolves and the sheep in question if eliminates the wasted focus on senseless nitpicking.

        2. Brent

          all those quotes are true… and we do live in a republic. but right now its whats called a banana republic. thats a republic that is upside-down…meaning its under a lot of corruption to shift into another form of government. The American people are probably the most brainwashed society. I’ve been researching movies from all eras…. 1920 till now… we started using the term democracy in the late 80s a lots more frequently. I mean it shot through the roof. and now thats all you ever hear. Well.. most people remember what they hear over and over again a lot easier than what they learned in school in the 7th grade. The point is we are conditioned to believe we live in a democracy…but The U.S.of A is still technically a republic.

          1. Jason

            Check out what the old army manual had to say on Democracy right up until the 30’s. Things changed, federal public school system, etc.

      2. Paul

        Excellent point. This is a Republic. Convention style elections are our best way of making sure that votes are not rigged and that candidates don’t get to office based on who gets the most media attention or who has the deepest pockets.

        1. Biostalker

          I tend to agree with you, however, perhaps you should search your favorite engine for ‘charlie the fake slate guy,Maine’ for lack of a better term, and Benjamin Ginnsburg, should prove either enlightening or infuriating in terms of what is truely happening around the country this election cycle.

    2. Mike

      no we do not live in a democracy we have a republic. The Republican party has nothing to do with law or the USA. They are like a club and they make up there own rules and they break there rules all the time. Yes you are right that the rules do not seem fair but they are the rules and Ron Paul is using the rules that was put in place to fight the corrupt republican party. He is fighting fire with fire.

    3. William

      No, we don’t live in a democracy. We live in a representative constitutional Republic. The founding fathers did not give us a democracy where the masses could vote themselves payments from the treasury.

      1. Ben

        Funny how the masses are getting more money now from the government than ever. It’s called welfare, food stamps, SNAP, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, loan subsidies, etc. It just takes a little longer in a republic.

        1. Lenn

          Lets not forget Corporate Welfare. They are faring much better than the citizens are.

    4. Miguel Grande

      I am an expert on election rules, you do not live in a democracy. John McCain was not the majority Republican candidate in 2008, he simply cut a better deal than Romney. Romney was told to step aside, in exchange, they promised him the 2012 nomination.

      Hillary cut a similar deal at the Bilderberg meeting, watch for her to replace Biden.

    5. Brad

      We live in a Republic, a form of Democracy, not a pure Democracy.

      The rules were put in place by the National Party to aide Romney getting some delegates from the Southern Bible Belt, whom wouldn’t normally vote for a Mormon. They were hoping he would get some delegates, rather than no delegates from those States. They knew this would be a tough election for Romney to win if all the delegates were winner take all decided by the popular vote.

      And, keep in mind, the Electoral College has the right to pick someone else entirely…..someone that isn’t even running right now.

      Each President we’ve elected, except Garfield perhaps, has been the person running whom had the most royal blood lineage. Obama has more Royal Bloodline than any of the Republican candidates.

      This is going to get interesting before its over and like a spy novel, may have a surprise ending.

    6. Daniel Rold


  2. Ron Donasti

    Thanks for schooling your readers on the actual voting process. I’ve learned a lot about the way our voting works and it wasn’t what i remember being taught in school. Seems a little bit like the electoral college doesn’t it?

  3. J Vincent Burr Post author

    Just an update to the article – Jeffrey Bales, a Member-at-Large of the Pima County GOP Executive Committee in Tucson, Arizona has called for Reince Priebus to resign his position based on the violations of Rule 11 of the RNC. Stay tuned, it’s getting interesting.

  4. Kerry Fogarty

    J Vincent Burr, a great read! Especially in a climate where true words and depictions of the actual proceedings and process are twisted and molded into mis-information for the populous. Most absorb and sadly step into line behind the next reader and form an opinion based on what they take in through media outlets, and yes I will say it ‘with an agenda’. Again it was a pleasure good luck to you.

  5. Robert Cortez

    Political parties make their own rules. They aren’t authorized by or prohibited by our Constitution. They steal power that should be reserved for the people. President George Washington warned us about political parties in his farewell address. Anyone who truly cares about the US or the Constitution would have nothing to do with any political party.

  6. Josiah

    The thing is this steals no one’s power…people act like Ron Paul supporters are stealing or flooding the conventions…the fact is no one cares enough about Romney’s platform to become a delegate for him…Ron Pauls people have more passion and in general have a better understanding of the rules…they earned those spots. If you ask me more passion and dedication makes their vote count more than the average person’s who is not willing to fight for his candidate simply because they dont really believe in them

    1. J Vincent Burr Post author

      That’s an interesting point and could be taken in several different directions as well. In particular, we have a responsibility to be an informed electorate, but for the most part, we are not. Should a voter who is woefully ignorant of the issues at hand, have the same input as a voter that is well informed?

      It’s easy to say every voter should have an equal vote, but in practice you end up with the less informed having a disproportionate effect on the process, simply due to sheer numbers. Literally, ignorance takes over.

      1. DHCampbell

        J Vincent Burr,
        You are so right about ignorance taking over!
        As far as I’m concerned, Romney buying votes and the fraud in counting them, has led to Ron Paul gaining many more followers. As things develop, many have changed their minds.
        I used to wonder if it were not better to have the voting all over the country in one week or something… But I now think this is infintely better.
        Just voting – popular vote or primary process…. can be Tampered so Easily.
        The Caucus process is Amazing!
        It Educates and gets the people Involved….
        Additionally, as it takes some months, things happen, you see who’s Really more popular, and Why.

        So I really think that is the best way – I love to watch people stand and speak out about all the candidates, because that’s govt of the people By the people!

  7. David Robertson

    Thanks for a very clear explanation of the selection process for the Republican Party. I am a Scot living in Scotland. I have followed Ron Paul since 2007. This year is the first election in which I have learned how the game is actually played.

    It is clear that the usual procedure has been for the powers that should not be to appoint or anoint their own candidate for the nomination. John McCain was that appointee in 2008. Romney was apparently told that he would be next in line if he would drop out.

    He did and spent the next four years schmoozing the GOP leadership in the States who became for all intents and purposes his “grassroots” in every State. He has no other State organisation.

    Ron Paul on the other hand has never been an elitist. After he ended his 2008 campaign he set up the Campaign for Liberty and began to build a real grassroots organisation to educate the American People about the principles of Liberty, the Constitution and how their present system actually works for the banking and corporate cartels who run the country.

    So come the 2011/12 Presidential election cycle we had two protagonists facing each other with two entirely different concepts and philosophies of what America stands for. One, Romney, is a top down elitist Hobbesian after the fashion of Alexander Hamilton who set up the first central Bank of the United States. The other is Ron Paul who of all the modern politicians is the most committed to the founding fathers’ vision of America.

    Ron Paul understands that the People are the ones who are Constitutionally the government and it is they who appoint who should govern for a time and it is they who are given the authority under God to set up and bring down their temporal leaders. Any powers granted to the Federal and State governments by their respective Constitutions are designed to limit the reach of such governments and to leave most of the powers of directing their lives in the hands of the People.

    This was the vision of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the authors respectively of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They were also the founders of the original Republican Party and it is to their vision that Ron Paul is seeking to return the Party and the country.

    Meanwhile in the interim between 2008 and 2011/12 the Republican Party dramatically changed their rules for their primary elections. These were the brainchild of Michael Steele who was later deposed as the RNC Chairman. He said that what he wanted was a brokered Convention and designed the rules for that purpose.

    This put the cat among the pigeons for the elites since they were accustomed to first appointing their chosen candidate and then manipulating the primary process through their control of the media, and the polling corporations to generate the result they wanted, this is why we were treated to the spectacle of the punditocracy on corporate TV and in the corporate press framing the debate and the “top tier” from the beginning and in doing so ignoring Ron Paul who they declared was “unelectable”.

    However as the elections progressed it became evident that their control of the media and the polling was not enough. So they began to suppress and switch votes in order to maintain the illusion that Mitt Romney was the candidate w]most desired by the Republican rank and file. Even this was of no avail since the real election was the one for delegates and in that arena there was only one contender, Ron Paul.

    Romney had completely neglected to build a grassroots organisation depending as he did on his control of the airwaves and the Party structure. Even the latter began to slip from his grasp as the Ron Paul Revolution took over more committees and chairmanships from the bottom up. The only strategy left to him is to deride the victories of the People in the controlled media and to use illegal dirty tricks at the conventions to upset the Ron Paul rules based advances. He is failing even there.

    This campaign is far from over. I am convinced that Ron Paul will win this nomination and go on to win the Presidency. He has come to restore the Republic to the American people and they should turn a deaf ear to the controlled media and support the only true American running in this race for them. He is truly the People’s champion.

    1. DHCampbell

      Mr Robertson,
      An amazingly succint and well-thought out reply….
      May I quote you?
      Seriously, this is beautiful! I couldn’t agree more

  8. Kim

    Don’t forget about Rule 38 and the Unit Rule. It appears that even the binding of delegates to vote for a particular candidate is not enforcible at the national level.

      1. jeremy

        no it hasnt. reagan toyed with the idea of abstaining in 76 but never went through with it

    1. Jeremy Hills

      Actually, look into the Republican National Conventions of 1912 and 1920. I believe 1912 was the year that over 300 votes abstained, or voted “present” since they follow House rules, and not Robert’s Rules of Order at National Convention. There are actually several instances of it, especially on the Democratic side (Teddy Kennedy tried it as recent as 1980), and there were abstentions just this past Convention in ’08 (20). BTW, the caucus system wasn’t made up for Romney, it has existed as long as the Republic has. The “winner-take-all” was actually a recent addition, and there are even rules in the RNC that prohibit this as well, and Florida is one of the states that possibly violated this. Being that law suits cost money, this probably won’t be addressed ’til after November, if at all. Pennsylvania utilizes one of the oldest form of Caucus to elect their delegates. Should look into that, it’s pretty interesting if you are a history fan like myself.

  9. Rafael Espericueta

    I’ve never considered voting Republican, and would have thought it a sign of dementia were I ever to consider such a possibility. But Obama turned out to be just another corporate lackey, a more eloquent Bush, following the exact same policies as the Bush administration (endless wars, institutionalized torture, corporate welfare, the destruction of the middle class, etc.). So I would enthusiastically vote for Ron Paul, given a chance. And I expect there are many tens of millions of Democrats and Independents who agree with me. Should Ron Paul be allowed to run, he would win by a landslide. For this reason, sadly, I fear he will never be allowed to run (by those for whom the media and the government are but puppets on strings).

    1. J Vincent Burr Post author

      That sentiment appears to be shared by many, and I suspect that’s why the establishment media have tried so hard to sculpt coverage away from Ron Paul. The establishment definitely has a vested interest in the status quo, and since Romney and Obama both represent the status quo, they really can’t lose.

      Unless a candidate comes along that rejects that status quo…

  10. Fishy

    The unit rule applies to forcing a delegationto nationals to vote for the majority winner in total in stead of proportional to the vote count of the state. I still can’t find anything that dis/allows for abstention. I also can not confirm that the national rules apply to state conventions. However I can confirm that RP has stirred up a hornets nest of informed(at minimum questioning) , motivated people that are tired of politics as usual regardless of whether they completely agree with his platform, they respect someone that walks their talk in politics.

    Note to Romney: never get out your checkers at a chess table.

  11. Dave Mowers

    Since the inception of the federal reserve we have lived in a monetary aristocracy where only the rich a politicians get the full benefit of American power and exceptionalism on the backs of the working poor. Whoever get access to new currency issued first gets money that has not yet been subjected to annual deflation reaping an inflationary increase in their purchasing power ahead of everyone else. By only distributing money to those at the top first via credit from the FED the richest individuals, banks and corporations get to determine where and how money is applied in the economy and they always choose what they want to make money from not what society wants so no one poor ever dictates new trends and that is why the majority of small businesses fail. Wall Street and the rich get unlimited capital from the publicly-controlled federal reserve while the public has to beg for handouts or serve the money masters and their companies. this is the worst form of representative government ever devised because it does not represent the people or their will. America is a fraud upon the 99%.

    Just imagine, how many people have dreams and how many would pursue their dreams if the public got zero-interest loans from the FED? How many new jobs would be created instantly if money and credit was issued ONLY to individuals for starting new businesses and not corporations that already exist whose sole purpose is to stop competition for dollars from existing in the marketplace?

  12. Anon

    All those unbound delegates (Ron Paul Supporters) at the National Covention should just abstain from voting (for Romney), and wait for the second vote. Thus, assuring a Ron Paul win.

  13. lakawak

    Yeah… he won’t. Romney will have over 1600 delegates come August. And that is more than enough for even any attempt to disenfranchise voters to fail. Which may be why Ron Paul has REPEATEDLY told his supporters NOT to attempt it.

    1. tribeseeker

      1600 delegates?! Where’s he going to get them from? Walmart?

      1. Jeff_r0x

        Romney barely has 750 as we speak. The AP credited him with many unbound delegates that are just now being elected. A LOT of them are Ron Paul supporter. There are still several hundred unbound delegates alone that are up for grabs in states that have already voted. If Romney has this sewn up as the media wants to lead you to believe, then how come the RNC and Romney campaigns are really freaking out about a half dozen Paul dominated conventions? Hmmm? How come an RNC lawyer named Phillippe sent a threatening letter to the Nevada GOP insinuating that they would not seat the delegation if too many Paul delegates were elected to the convention? (20 of them are even bound to Romney for the first round.) The truth behind the propaganda is that Romney knows that this is a spoiler for him, as all but two held state conventions saw a plurality, if not majority or even clean sweep (as in Maine) for Ron Paul.

        This last weekend, Maine ELECTED 21 of 21 Ron Paul delegates to the national convention. A clean sweep. The other three are appointed party delegates.

        In Nevada, Paul supporters were elected to 22 out of 25 spots in the delegation, or 88% of the positions available. Minnesota has already elected 24 of a total of 27 elected delegates to the national convention. 20 are Ron Paul supporters. It remains to be seen just how many to into his corner at the state convention. Then there’s the Massachusetts scenario, Washington state, Missouri and Louisiana.

        In Alaska, Paul was shut out and only received 25% of the delegates. However, Paul supporters succeeded in overthrowing the state party chairman and replacing him with a Paul friendly chairman. Actually, about 75% of those party positions in Alaska were overthrown. Most in Maine are now Ron Paul advocates as well.

        But hey, you are welcome to ignore reality if you so choose.

        1. Jeff_r0x

          Sorry. I made a typo. Minnesota has 37 total elected delegates, not 27. 24 were elected at Congressional district conventions to the national convention 13 more will be elected at the state convention.

  14. Jeff_r0x

    I would say this about Warren Harding: It wasn’t that he was not well liked by the public. As with Dr. Paul he seemed to not be a favorite with the political establishment of his day, and that obscured him with the public. Even his austere manner in dealing with the depression of 1920 had much criticism. However, his non-intervention economic methods brought a market correction quickly, which is why no one really talks about this depression much. At the time though, it was very serious.

    Much of Priebus and the RNC’s problems lay in their seemingly new definition of a “presumptive nominee.” That titled historically is given to someone who has already collected the needed delegates to win, or continues in the race unopposed. Romney qualifies for neither scenario. It would be PRESUMPTIVE for Priebus to call Romney their nominee. The issue is the corruption of the GOP that has kissed the rear-ends of so many special interests, that it is dependent on the Goldman-Sachs backed candidate for survival.


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