The “South Carolina Six”

If nothing else, dear reader, events in Iowa and New Hampshire should at least demonstrate that your time spent reading this blog is not wasted.  As we head toward the South Carolina primary race for next week, I can’t help but reflect on what we’ve seen so far in the GOP and continue probing what it may mean for the future.  Things are playing out as I previously predicted in this blog, but with each new day and every new event there are shades to be added to the canvas of Republican politics.

Even before the count was completed on Tuesday evening in the Granite State, the major networks were calling Romney “the presumptive nominee.”  It’s a bit early for that, at least in any official sense (he only received about 8% more of the New Hampshire vote this time than in 2008).  From the most accurate information I’m able to obtain it appears that Mitt Romney only has seven dedicated convention delegates while Ron Paul has three and John Huntsman has two.  That’s a far cry from the necessary 1, 144 delegates needed to win Republican nomination.

There are sources making other reports about the delegate numbers, but I believe that’s due to the fact that two realities are easily overlooked.  First, Iowa, being a caucus state rather than a primary state, only offers “soft” delegates.  In other words, they vote for whomever they wish when they arrive at the GOP convention.  Second, New Hampshire held its primary earlier than usual and its delegate count was cut from 23 to 12 as a punishment from the Republican National Committee.  So to date, there have only been twelve “pledgeable” delegates at stake in terms of actual party requirements, assigned as I’ve indicated.  To see a chart with delegate counts confirming this, and laying out numbers of delegates that can be pledged or not, click here.

Two state contests are done, and pledged delegates separate Romney and Paul by only a total of four.  Based upon actual numbers, Romney can’t nearly be considered a “presumptive nominee,” but that’s exactly the rub and that’s why I’m insisting he’ll take the nomination.  The so-called “mainstream” media has anointed him, even as it anointed John McCain as the GOP nominee previously.  They adore a moderate, and it’s a moderate they’ll insist upon for the Republican party.  Then they’ll turn on him and work to destroy him in order to guarantee the reelection of Barack Obama.

And the GOP will probably allow it to happen, as it always does.  “Real conservatives don’t win,” or so the mantra seems to go. 

What’s different this time is the deep dissatisfaction in the grassroots of Republicanism, and even among some conservative Democrats.  I predict that Romney and Paul will continue to square off, causing a tremendous headache for the GOP establishment right up to the day that the convention opens in Tampa. 

From my point of view, the best candate speeches given in New Hampshire last Tuesday evening came from Ron Paul and Mitt RomneyJon Huntsman, though he came in third, gave a speech that reminded me of a used car salesman trying to gain the confidence of a customer.  Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are destroying the confidence of their conservative base by attacking Romney’s business success at Bain Capital.  With a strong message of social conservatism, Rick Santorum will probably do better in South Carolina than he did in New Hampshire, but I doubt that he has the staying power to remain in the race too much longer.

The Republican party is facing a great opportunity here.  It can repeat the mistakes of 2008 or it can forge an alliance in which genuine constitutional conservatives can find a home.  No matter what you may think of Ron Paul, the GOP ignores him at its own peril.  The results in Iowa and New Hampshire confirm this.

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5 thoughts on “The “South Carolina Six”

  1. Since Herman was destroyed I moved over in support of Santorum. If, like you say, he drops out, I will be in a dilemma. I cannot support Gingrich or Perry, especially after they used language of the left to go after Romney’s time at Bain Capital. Gingrich appears to want to destroy Romney more intensely then he wants to win the nomination. He’s a loose cannon who has the worst chance of beating Obama of all the candidates. I have serious issues with Ron Paul’s foreign policy views, but agree with him on virtually everything else. Heck, I may end up being a Paul supporter before it’s over with. Damn!

  2. Perry and Gingrich need to realize that the best way to ‘defeat’ Romney is to drop out. That is the only way a real conservative (Santorum) will win. Paul is NOT electable because of his lack of support for our only true ally , Isreal. Period.

    • I expect Romney would like someone like Rubio. Here’s the curve ball. What happens if Romney doesn’t get the 1144 on the first vote? I think Romney offers one of them VP for the votes. Now that Perry is out, the other 3 all have legislative experience and would be great for VP. Although Paul is a bit old, I could imagine Rand taking his spot.

    • Any remaining candidate would be wise to ask Santorum to join them, as all must move to the right. I expected Santorum to fare better in S.C..Santorum is the ‘even keel’ I thought consevatives would gravitate to , but there is so much clutter on the screen it is difficult for most to stay focused. I am biased towards Santorum,obviously, and believe Florida will help him continue. Gingrich would be wise to befriend Rick and possibly we would not have this race decided by someone other than the voters. Thanks.

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