Monday, January 9, 2012

The Psychology of the 2012 Republican Nomination Coverage

Last night Nate Silver tweeted:
Starting to think that "25% is a ceiling for Romney" is the most overrated/incorrect meme of the cycle.
To which FHQ responded:
The 25% ceiling combined with the "proportional" rules changes has built a powerful myth in this race.
I'm sure that the 140 characters or less captured my thoughts parsimoniously enough, but let FHQ expand upon that statement because it has an overarching bearing on the psychology of the coverage of this race. Look, FHQ has railed against the myth of Republican proportionality since February of last year. That many have ignored the rules changes and more importantly their potential impact relative to the rules in past cycles has propped up this illusion that the Republican presidential nomination process just has to extend longer than in the past. It might but that notion is no more inevitable than a Mitt Romney nomination at this point. Well, in actuality, it is less likely as the two are mutually exclusive.

But there it is in the backs of the minds of a great many folks. That perception that the race is likely to continue -- and it stretches into the campaigns themselves. In combination with the all-too falsely concocted idea that Romney has a ceiling in this race, the proportionality/protracted campaign myth creates the perception that not only will the race go on, but that there is a significant faction of Republican primary voters opposed to Romney. Now, that perceived divisiveness on top of a lengthy nomination fight is the stuff that sells papers and magazines and gets people to click on any given link, but it doesn't really capture the true nature of the race currently. It just doesn't.

I don't know that it is the ceiling so much as the talking point surrounding the converse -- that 75% of the electorate is in opposition to Romney -- is the crux of the problem. Truth be told, up to 75% of the Republican primary may be in opposition, but the number is likely much lower. Many voters are still shopping around and as the field continues to winnow and when and if Romney continues to win contests, most are going to move over to the former Massachusetts governor. They just are. Most Republicans will line up behind the presumptive, near-inevitable, last one standing -- whatever you want to call it -- nominee.

To be sure, there are simultaneously stories out there discussing Romney's inevitability alongside those mentioning a protracted fight and that sets up the two sides of a media coverage spectrum. The needle is moving more and more toward inevitability now despite the myths that have propped up Romney's limited reach among Republicans and a rules-induced lengthy battle for the nomination.

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Housekeeping: Flip Flop

[Fun experiment: Who thought this was going to about Mitt Romney? It isn't.]

This change was inevitable, but since primary season has kicked off and since more and more people are/have become interested in what the dates of the other primaries are, FHQ is going to switch the links to the "clean" and marked up versions of our 2012 presidential primary calendar. The rationale is that we don't want to completely overwhelm/confuse people with information when their intent is to simply find out when the Virginia primary is or when Maine Republicans will caucus.

Rest assured, a link to the marked up version will continue to be embedded in the main link into which most will enter the site.

You can find those links here:


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Friday, January 6, 2012

[2012 Presidential Primary Calendar in Review] Part 3: Where We Go From Here -- The 2016 Presidential Primary Calendar

This is the third part of a three part series on the development of the 2012 presidential primary calendar and its implications. Part one provided the legislation that was introduced within state legislatures during the 2011 sessions to shift the dates on which the various states hold their presidential primaries. Part two examined the motivating factors behind the movement. Part three will look forward to the next cycle.

What look back at what the presidential primary movement for 2012 hath wrought would be complete without a look at what the law changes made in 2009-11 portend for 2016? Here is what the 2016 presidential primary calendar would look like given the state of election law in the various states as of today. The links should take you to the relevant passages in each state's election law covering the primary date. [NOTE: There are a few that default to Lexis Nexis results that may or may not work for everyone. Please just let me know where that is the case and I'll provide the text in a footnote later.]

The 2016 calendar will have a permanent home here.

2016 Presidential Primary Calendar

Tuesday, February 2:
Colorado caucuses1
Minnesota caucuses2

Tuesday, February 23:

Tuesday, March 1:
Colorado caucuses1 

Tuesday, March 8:
Hawaii Republican caucuses

Tuesday, March 15:

Saturday, March 19:

Tuesday, April 5:
Washington, DC

Tuesday, April 26:
Rhode Island7

Tuesday, May 3:
North Carolina

Tuesday, May 10:
West Virginia

Tuesday, May 17:

Tuesday, May 24:

Tuesday, June 7:
New Jersey9
New Mexico
South Dakota

Primary states with no specified date:
New Hampshire
New York
South Carolina

Without dwelling on something that is WELL before its time, FHQ should note that those February states are only problematic in 2016 if the two parties' delegates selection rules mirror the rules from the 2012 cycle. They may or may not. The real problem children, if you will, are the primary states without specified dates for 2016. As of January 2012 they are the free agents for the 2016 primary calendar and the ones that may bear the most intense watching between now and mid-2015. That said, first things first: The first step is a set of rules from the DNC and RNC. We have a ways to go before the parties settle on/finalized something on that front (2014).

1 The state parties have the option of choosing either the first Tuesday in March date called for in the statute or moving up to the first Tuesday in February.
2 The state parties must agree on a date on which to hold caucuses by March 1 in the year prior to a presidential election. If no agreement is reached, the caucuses are set for the first Tuesday in February.
3 The Western States Presidential Primary in Utah is scheduled for the first Tuesday in February, but the contest will only be held on that date if the state legislature decides to allocate funds for the primary.
4 The online version of the newly changed statute regarding the presidential primary election date in Alabama has not been updated at the time of writing. The legislation changing the primary date (HB 425) was to have taken effect upon signing according to the enrolled version of the bill.
5 See definition of "Spring primary" for clause dealing with the timing of the presidential primary.
6 The online version of the newly changed statute regarding the presidential primary election date in Connecticut has not been updated at the time of writing. The legislation changing the primary date (HB 6532) was to have taken effect as of July 1, 2011 according to the enrolled version of the bill.
7 The online version of the newly changed statute regarding the presidential primary election date in Rhode Island has not been updated at the time of writing. The legislation changing the primary date (H 5653, S 399) was to have taken effect upon signing according to the enrolled version of the bill.
8 The online version of the newly changed statute regarding the presidential primary election date in California has not been updated at the time of writing. The legislation changing the primary date (AB 80) will take effect on January 1, 2012 according to the a list of bills enacted in 2011.
9 Legislation passed (A 3777) during the 2011 session removed references to the separate presidential primary from the law. The primary referenced in the statute references all primaries in New Jersey.
12 Kansas has not held a presidential primary since 1992. Funds have not been appropriated by the legislature for the primary since that time. That said, there are laws in place providing for a presidential preference primary. Assuming funding, the Kansas secretary of state has the option of choosing a date -- on or before November 1 in the year preceding the presidential election -- that either coincides with at least 5 other states' delegate selection events or is on the first Tuesday in April or before.
13 Depending on the outcome of the ballot initiative in November, Ohio will have either a first Tuesday after the first Monday in March or first Tuesday after the first Monday in May primary date. If the law created by HB 194 is upheld, the primary will move to May. If not, the primary law should revert to the previous March date called for. None of this precludes the Ohio legislature from revisiting all of this prior to the 2016 election.

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Minnesota Democrats Set for February 7 Caucuses

The revised and presumably final delegate selection plan for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor has been posted on the party website.1 The party will use the February 7 precinct caucuses called for by state law in the Land of 10,000 Lakes; a change from the March 6 caucus date previous plans had proposed. The presidential preference vote taken on February 7, according to the plan, will be affirmed at the Organizing Unit Conventions on March 6.

As FHQ discussed when the original Minnesota delegate selection plan was released back in the spring of 2011, this is a work-around to allow the vote to take place on the caucus date specified by law, but for  the results to be revealed once the vote is affirmed/finalized on March 6.

Now, some may say that this is a potential slippery slope for the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (for the RBC to have approved this plan). Perhaps, but FHQ is willing to wager that any state that might try this in the future -- particularly in a future competitive race where the method of allocation may matter -- is likely to be met with resistance from the RBC. First of all, the argument can be made by the committee that with Obama being the only (viable?) candidate on the ballot, that he will receive all of the votes anyway. But I doubt the RBC would have to resort to that argument anyway. FHQ doesn't have access to the waiver request submitted by the Minnesota DFL, but I suspect the argument there had little if anything to do with the competitiveness of the Democratic presidential nomination race than it dealt with the fact that a Republican-controlled legislature blocked last-minute efforts to change the provision in the presidential caucus law triggering the first Tuesday in February date. That point is key. That is the out that the DNC delegate selection rules provide: If efforts were made by Democrats in the state to schedule a compliant contest, but the decision was out of their hands, then a waiver can be granted (Rule 20.C.7).

A tip of the cap to Tony Roza over at The Green Papers for passing this news along.

1 Below is the revised Minnesota DFL delegate selection plan:
2012 National Delegate Selection Plan Revised for DNC 2012-01-04

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

[2012 Presidential Primary Calendar in Review] Part 2: How We Got Here -- The Motivation

This is the second part of a three part series on the development of the 2012 presidential primary calendar. Part one provided the legislation that was introduced within state legislatures during the 2011 sessions to shift the dates on which the various states hold their presidential primaries.

Let's explore the factors that motivated state-level actors to change -- or want to change in some cases -- the dates of the presidential primaries and caucuses, shall we?

The rules
The single biggest factor affecting the 2012 primary calendar was the rules. As FHQ has discussed more times than I can even begin to try and link back to, the two national parties informally coordinated the basic skeleton of a calendar in the midst of shaping their respective rules governing the 2012 delegate selection process. The formula was simple: Bring the process back from the brink of seeping into the year before the presidential election by mandating a February starting point for the four so-called carve-out states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina -- and setting the first Tuesday in March as the earliest point any other state could hold a delegate selection event.

As the entirety of this blog in 2011 will attest, it didn't really work out that way. Arizona, Michigan and then Florida forced Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina into January and Nevada up against the wall of compliance in early February. But to focus on that handful of states -- however consequential to the process -- is to turn a blind eye to the majority of the primary and caucus movement that took place in 2011. After Arkansas and Illinois fled February with legislation in 2009 and 2010 respectively, there were 20 states that had to either change election laws or state party bylaws in order to comply with the new guidelines on the timing of primaries and caucuses. Of those 20 states, 15 saw shifts backward as compared with the position they occupied on the 2008 primary calendar. Of the other five, Florida created a commission that placed the Sunshine state primary on the same date the old election law would have scheduled the primary, Minnesota's two major parties failed to collectively choose a date before March 1, 2011 and triggered the first Tuesday in February date, Colorado Republicans opted for the earlier of the two dates allowed for the two major parties to hold caucuses, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer flirted with a January date before settling on the default date for the presidential primary called for in state law and Michigan Republicans, citing other primaries on the same date, kept its primary on the fourth Tuesday in February date called for in state law. Every other primary state -- and one caucus state (Hawaii) with a date specified in state party bylaws -- took a step back.

[NOTE: With rare exception, this just includes primary states where the presidential primary dates is outlined in state election law. There are also a handful of caucus states where the dates are dictated by state election law or specifically spelled out in party bylaws. The above does not include caucus states where the dates may have changed 2008-to-2012, but not because of an alteration to state party bylaws. FHQ will pick up on those states below.]

Additionally, several other states that did not have to make changes to comply with the new national party rules on delegate selection opted to move back.

In most cases, the rules are a necessary and sufficient explanation for why states shifted back, but those guidelines do not completely explicate just how far each state decided to move back. For that, let's look a bit deeper at some additional factors.

Partisan concerns
FHQ has made this point before, but the distance traveled from the 2008 primary calendar to 2012 for most states can best be explained by partisan reasons. In short, Democratic-controlled states that moved, moved back further than Republican-controlled states. In some ways this is related to the rules.  Democratic-controlled states (see most of the states now occupying the April space on the calendar), spurred on by the rules granting them bonus delegates for settling in on April or later dates and the fact that there is nothing on the line in the race for the Democratic nomination. As an aside, it also worth noting that there was at least one report that the DNC was urging states -- particularly northeastern, Democratic-controlled states that might otherwise be strongholds for a Romney campaign in the Republican nomination race -- to move to later dates. By extension, that would have theoretically made it more difficult (or at least take longer) for Romney to wrap up the nomination by making it more likely for a more conservative candidate (someone easier for Obama to defeat in the fall) to emerge. Looking at those April states, it is hard not at least lend some credence to that Globe story.

The flip side of this is that Republican-controlled states motivated to give Republican voters in their states a voice in the nomination were motivated by the newly altered delegate selection rules to move back but only back as far as was necessary to comply with those rules. The result is that we see mostly Republican-controlled states occupying March with mostly Democratic-controlled states in April and in some cases later.

This is easier to visualize on a map.

[NOTE: Like the presidential primary calendar map, the map above bisects states where there are different dates for the contests held by the two parties. Those states left in white are states that either did not move relative to 2008 or defied the national party rules by holding January or February contests. States shaded in red are states that moved into to March dates on the calendar (predominantly Republican-controlled states), while blue states are states that shifted to April or later dates on the calendar (mostly Democratic-controlled states or state parties in the case of caucuses).]

The economy/budgetary concerns
One other driving force in the primary movement witnessed between 2008 and 2012 was that state-level financial distress stretched to the implementation of state election law. Stated slightly differently, states, because they were attempting to stay out of the red, more readily considered consolidating the presidential primary elections with the primary election for other offices or canceling the presidential primary outright as a means of cutting spending. This is or is not a big factor depending upon how you want to view the movement. In terms of the number of states where budgetary constraints played a role, their impact was limited. Kansas and Washington cancelled their presidential primaries and Alabama, California and New Jersey consolidated their presidential primaries with those primaries for state and local offices.1

That is not an expansive list on its face. However, the sizes of the delegations combined with the extent to which those three primary states moved back had a significant impact on the underlying delegate calculus of the Republican race. Alabama uprooted both its presidential primary (February in 2008) and primaries for state and local offices (traditionally in June) and consolidated the two elections in March. California and New Jersey, on the other hand, moved only the presidential primary; shifting them from February all the way to the end of the calendar in June. The California move alone fundamentally changes the delegate acquisition calculus. It fairly significantly shifted the point at which any one candidate can surpass the 50% plus one delegate barrier, much less the point when 50% of the delegates will have been allocated. In 2008, that latter distinction was met on Super Tuesday (February 5). The point at which 50% of the delegates -- regardless of which candidate they are bound to -- will not be hit in the Republican race until late March in the 2012 race.

Depending on how one measures impact on this front, budgetary concerns had small to medium role in the 2012 primary movement. It pales in comparison to the overarching rules or the underlying partisan motivations, yet for the first time in FHQ's memory the finances behind implementing presidential primary elections was talked about in a number of states and actually greatly factored into the calculus of a limited number of states and their decision-making calculus.

[NOTE: This is a phenomenon that is limited to primary states where state governments tasked with setting the dates could be motivated by the savings associated with combining the presidential primary with another separate primary election. Caucus states, where the decision to set the date rests with the state party, will cost the party the same amount no matter what date is chosen. There is rarely or never an option to combine it with another caucus or party function.]

The final factor to account for in the total overall primary and caucus movement on the 2012 presidential primary calendar was legal challenges to redrawn congressional district lines. Legal challenges to both a perceived vote suppression law and then the law containing new US House district boundaries -- both laws that contained provisions shifting the date of the presidential primary -- had the Ohio presidential primary all over the place for much of 2011. At various points, the presidential primary in the Buckeye state was in March, May and June before finally settling in right where the primary would have been before the effort to alter the date was begun back in the spring. Ohio, then, was a noisy non-move. Texas, though, looked to hold down the same first Tuesday in March date that it occupied and shared with Ohio in 2008. Court challenges to the Republican-drawn congressional districts forced the traditionally consolidated primary in the Lone Star state back by four weeks to the first Tuesday in April in late December 2011.

All told, 32 states/state parties moved back their primaries and caucuses in 2012 relative to their calendar positions in 2008. And while there are exceptions (see primary states Texas and Wisconsin and caucus states like Colorado (D), Utah (D) and Maine (D)), the amount of movement appears to be driven most by intra-state partisan control while budgetary and legal issues played a secondary role in the formation of the primary calendar. Obviously the overall movement back is unusual given the frontloading trend witnessed in the post-reform era; a process that culminated with the 2008 calendar where had most of the action (number of contests) pushed into the first five weeks of the year. That is not the case in 2012. The contours of the primary calendar are much more like 1976 than they are 2008. Given a competitive race in 2012, that could create a longer period before a nominee is identified. However, as much of the post-reform era has demonstrated -- assisted by an increasingly frontloaded series of calendars -- early knockouts are still very much possible. (see Norrander 2000)

1 The cancelation of presidential primaries in Kansas and Washington requires a more nuanced discussion. In neither case was that decision all that consequential. In Kansas, the April primary called for in state law has not been allocated funding from the Kansas state legislature since 1992. The cancelation of the primary is a quadrennial rite going on for two decades now. The decision to cancel the primary in Washington was predicated on the past practice by both parties to either not use of barely used the presidential primary as a means of allocating delegates. Washington Democrats historically have not used the primary and in 2008 the Republican Party in Washington used both a primary and a caucus to allocate approximately 50% of their apportioned delegates. One quarter of the actual delegate allocation across both parties is not -- at least not in the eyes of Washington legislature -- a wise way to spend $10 million. Thus they scrapped the primary for 2012.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Call for the Republican National Convention

Call of the 2012 Republican National Convention

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Race to 1144: Iowa Caucuses

FHQ will let the graphics speak for themselves here. However, I did want to make a statement about the delegate totals below and Iowa last night. There are a few things to know about the delegate selection process the Republican Party of Iowa utilizes. First of all, there were NO delegates at stake last night. Second, the 28 delegates Iowa was apportioned by the Republican National Committee will be selected at the state convention in June. Third, every delegate selected in June will go to the Republican National Convention in Tampa unpledged. Finally and relatedly, there is no formal method -- winner-take-all or proportional -- for allocating those delegates. They will remain unbound.

All of that makes the CNN delegate total FHQ has seen cited several times today all the more frustrating to see. It is a myth rooted in fantasy. That the cable network has tentatively allocated/projected the Iowa Republican delegates proportionally is misleading and it is irresponsible. There is no mention of proportionality anywhere in the Constitution and Bylaws of the Republican Party of Iowa. Period. As such, what you see below is a delegate total that is comprised of the 15 automatic delegates who have endorsed a candidate to this point and are not bound by the results of a presidential primary or caucus.


Source: Democratic Convention Watch

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Follow Up on March Arizona Democratic Caucuses

Before the holidays, FHQ had the opportunity to speak with Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Luis Heredia about the state party decision to abandon the February primary for late March caucuses. The motivation(s) for the move was obvious. The primary, scheduled for February 28 would have been non-compliant given the DNC rules on the timing of delegate selection events. That would have potentially cost the state half its delegation to the Democratic convention in Charlotte. But as FHQ pointed out in the earlier post on the move, since the state government is controlled by the Republican Party -- both a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled legislature -- the decision on when the primary would be held has been out of the hands of Arizona Democrats all year. That could have been grounds for the submission of a waiver similar to the ones applied for by both Missouri and Minnesota.

I was curious if a waiver had been considered. Mr. Heredia told FHQ that the idea was out there but was never really considered by ADP. Furthermore, the party had in place a plan to shift to a caucus as early as May when its draft delegate selection plan was submitted to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. The party, however, waited on both the drawn out process of setting the date of the Arizona presidential primary and the redistricting situation to resolve itself -- considering a ballot proposition if the Republican challenge to the commission-drawn districts had been successful -- before pulling the trigger on the primary to caucus change.Like Democrats in Michigan, ADP also considered tweaking Arizona Republicans over the $5 million price tag on the primary but ultimately did switch to a caucus.

Regardless, the Arizona Republican Party will utilize the February 28 primary while Democrats in the state will begin the delegate selection process on March 31 in caucuses.

1 The Arizona Democratic Party State Committee made the decision on November 21, 2011.

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In Search of Ron Paul Delegates, 2012 Edition

Look, FHQ agrees with Jon Bernstein: Ron Paul will not be the Republican presidential nominee. However, I think that he is underestimating the impact of the not-so-secret Paul delegate strategy that is being talked about in some quarters today. The only problem is that no one has any way of knowing by how much.  Let me explain.

Way back in the halcyon days of 2008 when the Clinton-Obama nomination battle was all anyone was talking/writing about, FHQ got bored and briefly shifted our focus to the settled Republican race. It was on the Republican side where a steady stream of anecdotal evidence continued to come out of any number of states about how Ron Paul advocates were -- there's no way to say this without offending someone -- infiltrating the back end of the Republican nomination process. Ron Paul was, after John McCain had surpassed the number of delegates necessary to become the presumptive nominee on March 4, 2008, competing not for wins and delegate pledges so much as the Texas representative and his supporters were delegates. See, there are two parallel processes that are happening in any presidential nomination race. One is the primaries and caucuses that we all love to analyze to death; the part that binds the delegates in most states. The other, however, is the process of -- from the participants' perspective -- becoming a delegate or from the party's perspective, identifying delegates.

Ron Paul hung around in 2008 losing the first process -- rarely breaking the 20-25% barrier in the votes in late primaires and caucuses -- and while he still lost the second process also, it was by a smaller margin. The most extreme example of this was when Paul and Paul delegates to the state convention in Nevada were able to parlay a very distant second place finish in the January caucus in the Silver state into a cancelation of the state convention. The process in Nevada had been derailed to such an extent that the Nevada Republican State Central Committee eventually selected the delegates to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.1 There were similar stories of lesser chaos elsewhere.

But I don't think the Paul campaign is after that same goal this time around. Well, not that same type of chaos anyway. Two points:

First of all, the Paul folks are VERY organized. FHQ has something of an inside view of this. For months now, FHQ's 2012 presidential primary calendar has been used by at least two or three Ron Paul sites in either efforts to get the word out about when the various states are actually holding votes or in lengthy tutorials on how to become a delegate. These folks -- whether directly coordinating with the Paul campaign or not -- know the rules and are focused on what I call the back end of the process; the selection of actual delegates (not the binding of them).

Secondly, the business casual orders that came down the line within the Paul campaign to its young volunteers in Iowa hints at something bigger. The campaign, in other words, wants to appear to and actually be a part of an orderly delegate selection process, but a part that gets more Paul supporters a step further in the process in 2012 versus 2008. To the convention in Tampa.

And this gets back to Jon's point. Do a hundred or two hundred Paul delegates in Tampa disrupt the nomination of, say, Mitt Romney? No. Do they influence the platform to any great degree? Perhaps, but probably not. Yet, if I'm a betting man -- and I'm not -- I'd take the over on that estimate of Paul delegates in Tampa. The Ron Paul campaign is built to last both financially and organizationally. It won't be a conventional campaign. The field should winnow down to most likely Romney and Paul with similar dynamics to 2008 heading down the stretch of the primary calendar, but with Paul folks focused more heavily on the back end of the delegate selection process rather than the front end of winning contests.

We could conceivably, then, end up with an unknown but fairly sizable number of Paul delegates pledged to Romney or some other candidate in Tampa based on the rules in the various states. Romney in that scenario wins the nomination but the Paul folks become increasingly likely to hold some sway over some planks in the platform. [And just because, I'll add this: They may also influence the nomination rules for 2016.]

Now, none of this is happening in a vacuum. The Romney campaign and presumably the RNC if Romney becomes the presumptive nominee can organize against this. They could and can get people out to the caucuses/conventions that decide who becomes delegates just as easily as the Paul campaign if the latter shows signs of dominating or influencing the back end of the process.2 This may or may not be a story in a month, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

It is an unknown just how many delegates the Paul campaign can get through to the convention in Tampa. If the over/under is 200, take the over.

...on January 4. The dynamics can and likely will change.

1 It should be noted that this is a completely acceptable -- sanctioned -- method of allocating/selecting delegates according to the RNC rules on delegate selection. Man, I should have brought up this midstream shift in the rules when Republicans in Texas were adamant that the RNC would not allow the state party to change the rules after the October 1 deadline to have finalized them.

2 Now, lest you say to FHQ that Paul would only really have an advantage in caucus states, recall that even the primary states have parallel caucus/convention systems in place to select the actual delegates to the national convention. The primary part only binds the delegates in states that choose to bind their delegates to candidates.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Florida Democrats Consolidate County Caucuses on May 5

In a revised delegate selection plan -- dated October 25, 2011 -- the Florida Democratic Party has opted to hold all county caucuses on May 5. The earlier version of the plan that was open to public comment put forth a conditional plan whereby the county caucuses scheduled for the period of April 15-May 5 would serve as the first determining step in the Florida Democratic Party delegate selection. In the time since, the date of the county caucuses has changed in addition to some other details that the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee required for approval of the plan.

With one consolidated county caucus date in May, the Florida delegation to the Democratic convention will increase because of a 15% bonus for holding a later contest.

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