John McCain has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination on the first ballot. All other candidates have either withdrawn or suspended their campaigns, conceding to McCain.
That appears to be the case, based on primary results and on the rules, which vary from state to state, that allocate delegates based on the primary results. But some hardcore Ron Paul supporters don't see it that way. They still have hope of getting the nomination for "the only man who can save America," and they have a strategy for making it happen.
You see, in Oklahoma and in many other states, there's no connection between the primary vote and the selection of the men and women who will go to the national convention as delegates and alternates. State law requires that our delegates vote at the national convention for the candidate supported by a plurality of primary voters in the state or in each congressional district. Based on that law, six members of the Oklahoma delegation are bound to Mike Huckabee and 32 are bound to John McCain.
But the campaigns don't select the delegates who will cast those votes. The delegates and alternates are elected by the five congressional district conventions (3 delegates and 3 alternates each) and the state convention (on May 3, electing 23 delegates and 23 alternates). For example, if I ran for delegate in this Saturday's 1st Congressional District Convention and was elected, I would be bound to vote for Mike Huckabee at the national convention even though I had been a Fred Thompson supporter. If Huckabee formally withdrew and released his delegates, he would encourage his delegates to rally around McCain, but I would be free to vote for Thompson, myself, or anyone else.
The Ron Paul plan is to exploit this situation by flooding these conventions, being stealthy about their intentions, running for delegate positions but not identifying themselves as Ron Paul supporters. They will try to elect their people to uncommitted seats (principally in caucus states) or to delegate positions that are bound to candidates that have withdrawn or suspended their campaigns. In some states they will seek to alter the party rules so that all delegates are unbound, notwithstanding the primary result, then elect their people to the delegate positions. In other states, the delegates will be unbound if no candidate has a majority on the first ballot at the convention. If they can break off enough delegates from McCain using these strategies to deny him a majority on the first ballot, many more delegates will be released to vote for whomever they wish. This web page, "Ron Paul will STILL win, the GOP can't possibly STOP US ALL!" lines out the strategy:
So, lets lay it out REALLY simple. How can YOU become a delegate? FIRST thing you need to do right NOW is to call your local county GOP, pay up your dues ($25/yr for me), and tell them that you want to become a delegate. Tell them that the reason you want to is because you don't want to see either Hillary or Obama as your president. The last thing you want to do is mention Dr. Paul. If you have to LIE, tell them you support McCain, then if you make it to state just say you changed your mind! Be cordial, and ask also if there is any way you can help or volunteer. My last meetup group was VERY informative. It was explained to me that the GOP is just a SHELL of itself. The APATHY of the voting process in many states has taken it's toll on the Republican Party. What this means is that voter apathy, while once thought of as our biggest obstacle, is now our ACE IN THE HOLE my fellow revolutionaries! We can TAKE OVER the Republican Party, quite easily, and UN-BIND the delegates in our respective states (this is one of the policies that delegates vote on) and nominate Dr. Paul at the Republican National Convention!
A reader has forwarded to me a link to a site called Ron Paul Exposed, with a list of the members of the Oklahoma Ron Paul Meetup group and excerpts from some of the group's chats about convention strategy. So far the Ron Paul people have dominated two congressional district conventions here in Oklahoma, getting several of their people elected as delegates and alternates to the national convention.
Remember that Paul only received 3.34% of the vote in the presidential preference primary. He received about 20% of the vote in a straw poll taken during the Tulsa County precinct caucuses. His supporters will succeed in getting elected as delegates only if the non-Ron Paul supporters don't bother to show up at the convention, assuming that this year's conventions will be like past years'.
Less than 5% of Republican primary voters nationwide supported Paul. It would take years, probably decades, of concerted effort to transform public opinion to line up with his views. Paul's supporters should run for office, volunteer for campaigns and to man party headquarters, and otherwise participate in public life. They should ally with other political groups when a common goal can be found. It took 16 years for conservatives to get from Barry Goldwater's landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan's landslide victory and even then Reagan's ability to change Washington was limited.
Ron Paul's supporters are welcome to participate in the convention process. If they do so in a constructive and open way, they can have an influence on the future direction of the party. If they instead use stealth and deception, they will fail and in the process demolish any possibility of building coalitions and moving incrementally toward the kind of changes they seek.
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A subdued mood prevailed Saturday as 857 delegates convened at FirstMoore Baptist Church for the 2016 Oklahoma Republican Convention. (The 2012 convention drew approximately 1,400 delegates.) The state convention in a presidential year has a national f... Read More