Sunday, February 12, 2012

If a Candidate Is Inevitable, Why Have a Primary?

If there was ever a doubt about how nerdy I am, then I am about to open my mouth and remove all. Apologies to Mark Twain.

I've heard from a few friends, "The GOP needs to coalesce around one candidate right now."

Of course the mainstream media will also try to sell you on that same notion. I do not remember that kind of reporting on the 2008 Democratic Primary though. I do not recall ever hearing the media or the Democratic Party talk about narrowing it down quickly to the one nominee. Do you remember the day it was estimated that Barack Obama had the delegate votes needed for a majority? June 3, 2008. Do you know what day Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign? June 7, 2008. Four days! It took her four days to accept the reality of her loss. Now, only four years later it seems we can't even wait four minutes for a candidate to state their position on a Constitutionally relevant topic.

I have heard, "The lengthy primary is hurting the Party's chances in the General Election."

In 2008, the Democratic Party never once stated, "We need to wrap this up now to avoid hurting our chances in the General Election." They did not say it in January, February, or March. JUNE, they settled on a nominee in June. You know what may have hurt the GOP in 2008? Wrapping it up too quickly. John McCain's two closest contenders were Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Mitt, who finished second, suspended his campaign on February 7, 2008. Mike, who finished third, suspended his campaign on March 4, 2008. Senator McCain had plenty of time to coalesce the party, but it never happened.

I have heard, "The continued debate will only serve to weaken the eventual candidate."

If the eventual candidate cannot withstand a little GOP introspection, then how will they ever stand up to the heat imposed by a Democratic cross-examination. In 2008, the continued debate did not affect the Democratic Party's eventual candidate. In fact, it probably served to make him a little stronger and gain a little more appeal. Remember, their candidate won the General Election and the last opponent they faced in the primary became their Secretary of State. Somebody coalesced!

I have even heard a few people go so far to say, "We do not have a very good field from which to make our selection."

I do not believe the GOP has a weak field, but if what others posit is true, then the candidate selection process should be long, slow and tedious. The party is attempting to narrow down a selection of the most qualified from many qualified candidates who will best represent them against their opposition. If the GOP field is truly weak, then the GOP should have even more cause to pause, not rush to judgment, or make a choice without fully investigating each candidate. The GOP should be proud they DO investigate candidates and leave no stone unturned.

Here is a picture (click to enlarge) of what has transpired in the GOP Primary thus far with a few relevant or irrelevant "nerdy" statistics below:

  • As of today, only 8 of 50 States have held their primary or caucus. That is only 16% of the 50 States. Of those eight, only one (Florida, 4) ranks in the top ten for population. Two of the states (Maine 41, New Hampshire, 42) are in the bottom ten for population.
  • As of today, only 225 delegates have been awarded with 2061 still available. 90% of the total delegates are still available.
  • Today, if the GOP were to select the front-runner as the inevitable nominee, Florida alone would account for 48% of the front-runners delegates and 59% of the total votes cast. Florida would single-handedly pick the GOP nominee.
  • Today, if the GOP were to select the front-runner as the inevitable nominee, they would be selecting their nominee on the basis of having only won 10% of the required delegates. This would be equivalent to naming the winner of the Super Bowl after only six minutes had expired off the game clock.
  • Each of the 4 remaining candidates still needs over 1,000 delegates to become the eventual nominee at the GOP Convention in August!
The primary season is exactly the time we need to allow the maximum number of Americans to voice their opinion through the primary ballot box. I believe we still have plenty of time. It is simply too early to crown a victor. After all, we haven't even reached Super Tuesday yet!


Thirdpower said...

While the primaries may seem long and contentious, the GOP decided on Romney as the candidate long ago.

And I firmly hold that the candidates are weak. They are either RINO's or the same breed of professional politicians we've seen for the last two decades plus.

Business as usual on the hill.

R.P. Edwards said...

Well done, Wes! I'm convinced! Thanks for being so thorough. Let the race...continue! And may the best

Wesley Sargent said...

Thirdpower - Sorry you feel that way. Just because the GOP may have decided, "We, The People" still have a voice.

The candidates may be weak in your opinion. Perhaps they are when held up to a gold standard. But, they only need be stronger than their opposition. From that perspective, they look pretty strong.

The point of my post was to show that we still have the power as long as we don't act defeated when we are only 6 minutes into a 60 minute game...

Wesley Sargent said...

R.P. - Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to read it and give me feedback. May God Bless the Elephants...

E judd said...

Well done Wes. After our conversation on Sunday I went to watch the video of CPAC and enjoyed it. Your point is well made. Hopefully enduring competition will bring out our best in the GOP!!!! We are still the people and need to remember it is "we the people in order to form a more perfect union......". My quote may not be exact but the government is by the people, for the people. We need to remember we are the ones sending our choices to D.C. If we don't like what they're doing, remove them!!