Monday, January 28, 2008

Ruminations on the Florida GOP Primary

It occurs to me that a good part of winning a party’s nomination for president depends on process as much as the actual candidates themselves (and yes, I realize that the observation is not unique to me).

Of course, all eyes are focused on Florida for tomorrow’s presidential primaries.A candidate needs 1191 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Given the fact that the state jumped the gun in terms of scheduling its contests, it will lose one-half of the number of delegates originally allotted to it to the Republican National Convention, meaning that it will have 57 rather than 114. Even so, that is a sizable number of delegates. Florida is one of those “winner-take-all" states, so only one of the GOP candidates will come away with any delegates at all. Add to that the fact that the primaries in Florida are “closed,” meaning that, unlike the other high-profile contests held thus far, only Republicans will be voting in the Republican primary, not cross-over Democrats or independents. So, the results should be interesting.

Of course, these facts go a long way toward explaining differing campaign strategies. On one hand, Rudy Giuliani all but skipped the primaries and caucuses held thus far, pinning his hopes on finishing first in the Sunshine State and using that victory as a launching pad into delegate-rich Super (Duper) Tuesday. If he wins, thereby tallying all 57 delegates available, the former New York mayor is right back in the thick of the Republican race. If not, his campaign is it serious jeopardy. Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, has redeployed his limited staff and advertising dollars to other states where he has a better chance to win delegates, regardless of whether he finishes first in those states.

Locally, I cast my advance ballot for Huckabee on the way to work this morning. The Clarke County Board of Elections had 558 people submit absentee ballots, either
in person or via the mail.

By the way, if my information is correct, Republican caucuses are currently going on in Hawaii, beginning on 25 January and running through 07 February. Five time zones to the east, GOP Caucuses in Maine extend from 01 through 03 February.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: