Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Texas

This is the fortieth in a multipart series of posts that will examine the Republican delegate allocation by state.1 The main goal of this exercise is to assess the rules for 2012 -- especially relative to 2008 -- in order to gauge the impact the changes to the rules along the winner-take-all/proportionality spectrum may have on the race for the Republican nomination. As FHQ has argued in the past, this has often been cast as a black and white change. That the RNC has winner-take-all rules and the Democrats have proportional rules. Beyond that, the changes have been wrongly interpreted in a great many cases as having made a 180º change from straight winner-take-all to straight proportional rules in all pre-April 1 primary and caucus states. That is not the case. 

The new requirement has been adopted in a number of different ways across the states. Some have moved to a conditional system where winner-take-all allocation is dependent upon one candidate receiving 50% or more of the vote and others have responded by making just the usually small sliver of a state's delegate apportionment from the national party -- at-large delegates -- proportional as mandated by the party. Those are just two examples. There are other variations in between that also allow state parties to comply with the rules. FHQ has long argued that the effect of this change would be to lengthen the process. However, the extent of the changes from four years ago is not as great as has been interpreted and points to the spacing of the 2012 primary calendar -- and how that interacts with the ongoing campaign -- being a much larger factor in the accumulation of delegates (Again, especially relative to the 2008 calendar).

For links to the other states' plans see the Republican Delegate Selection Plans by State section in the left sidebar under the calendar.


These weeks where FHQ says something to the effect of "It's a shame the Republican presidential nomination race wasn't competitive for [insert state here] so we can all see how the allocation rules work," seem like a waste. [And that doesn't even mention the fact that we continue to pump these rules primers out. Talk about a waste!] The Republican Party of Texas is utilizing a proportional method of allocation in 2012 -- a change from the past -- but they take the long way of getting there. The kicker is that the change was never really necessary in the first place -- whether Texas had held its primary on March 6, April 3 or May 29. In years past, the Texas GOP allocated delegates on a winner-take-all basis statewide and by congressional district. However, if no candidate received a majority of the vote either statewide or on the congressional district level, the allocation was proportional.

That was kosher under the newly amended RNC delegate selection rules. That method of allocation met the proportionality requirements for states with contests prior to April 1. Yet, RPT altered its rules -- creating a proportional allocation under any circumstance -- in the fall of 2011 in preparation for what was at that point a March 6 primary.

So how is the Texas proportional allocation different?

Texas delegate breakdown:

  • 155 total delegates
  • 44 at-large delegates
  • 108 congressional delegates
  • 3 automatic delegates

At-large allocation:
Congressional district allocation:
As Rule 38, Section 8 of the Republican Party of Texas rules describes, delegates are allocated to candidates in proportion to that candidate's share of the statewide vote.2 There is no threshold for receiving delegates. However, there is a threshold to receiving the assignment of particular delegates. If a candidate does not receive 20% of the vote statewide, then that candidate is not eligible for congressional district delegates unless he or she receives at least 20% of the vote in any given congressional district. All that really means is that a candidate under 20% statewide and 20% in all congressional districts will gain statewide, at-large delegates to "fill out" their allotment of delegates. Meanwhile, candidates, say Mitt Romney, well over 20% both statewide and on the congressional district will gather the assignment of the most delegates from the congressional district level as a means of completing the full allocation based on the overall statewide vote while the candidates further back will be assigned at-large delegates.

Election of these delegates will take place at the state convention on June 7-9.

Automatic delegate allocation:
The three Texas automatic delegates are free to pledge themselves to a candidate of their choosing. The national committee positions are elected to four years terms at one of the state conventions held every two even-numbered years. Those positions are term-limited after two consecutive terms. That means that committeeman and RNC legal counsel Bill Crocker -- serving since 2004 -- will be replaced in his role as committeeman at the state convention. Committeewoman Borah Van Dormolen was elected in a runoff in 2009 and is still in her first term. The party chairperson is elected every two years and can serve no more than four consecutive terms. Current chair, Steve Munisteri, was first elected to the post in 2010. He will be up for reelection at the state convention but will not be term limited.

1 FHQ would say 50 part, but that doesn't count the territories and Washington, DC.

2 Republican Party of Texas Rules (2011):2011 Republican Party Rules

Recent Posts:
Excuses, excuses

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Kentucky

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Oregon

Are you following FHQ on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook? Click on the links to join in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So if Paul gets 20% in his own CD - which is possible (19.42% with 228 of 296 precints reporting) - what does he gain in practice?