Brokered Convention Problems For Santorum (Plus New MI Poll)
I am going to get a little more local-based for this post as I published much of this at my regular spot at my local Patch.com, but I am sure what I have below is being repeated in state after state and could be a potential problem for Rick Santorum should this come down to a brokered convention when delegates are free to vote for whomever they want instead of how their state is pledged during a primary.
At this weekend’s fundraiser for the Howard County Republican Party, I think I heard the name “Rick Santorum” in the span of two hours more than I have heard his name in the past six months combined at similar Republican events. Clearly his wins last Tuesday and his rise in polls across the country are fueling much of this. As far as I could tell, only Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul have had a campaign structure of any type in Maryland while Santorum has never really set up a campaign in Maryland. I am not saying there is not a “Maryland for Santorum” campaign out there somewhere, but I have not found it and if it does exist, they have not made much of an effort to be found.
You can see how little organization there was from the Santorum when it comes to the primary ballot in Maryland for the candidates for Delegate to the Republican National Convention. This could actually matter should there be a brokered convention (if no candidate receives a majority of pledged delegates in the primary process) and the delegates are then free to cast their ballots at the convention. In Maryland, candidates for delegate can be affiliated with a campaign and these affiliations are usually given by the respective campaigns at the filing deadline (January 6th). I am only speaking by memory now, but I believe the delegates affiliated with the Presidential candidate that wins in Maryland are usually the ones who end up winning their respective delegate races as well.
In each congressional district, a Presidential campaign can affiliate their candidate with up to three of the candidates running. In the three districts in Howard County, Romney, Gingrich and Paul all had three names on the ballot for delegate in each district while Santorum’s campaign has only two names for Districts 2 and 3 while having no one affiliated with their campaign in District 7. In other words, at least five of the nine delegates elected for the Republican National Convention from these three districts will be ones who may not support Santorum at the convention should no candidate actually reach a majority of delegates nationwide. At the Alternate Delegate level, once again Romney, and Paul filled all of their slots with Gingrich filling eight of the nine, but Santorum’s campaign has only three of the nine slots filled (one in District 2 and two in District 7).
It might seem minor in the grand scheme of things, but it does illustrate how upstart the Santorum campaign really is and how little organization they had even as little as a month ago. You probably also have some candidates for delegate affiliated with some campaigns that have already ended (Rick Perry) that are wishing they could have associated themselves with Rick Santorum instead at this point.
Like I said, I am sure this is happening in state after state. With that out of the way and the next primary a little more than two week’s away, we have another poll out from Public Policy Polling which shows Rick Santorum even further ahead of Mitt Romney than the poll this morning from ARG.
PRESIDENT – MICHIGAN – GOP PRIMARY (PPP)
Rick Santorum 39%
Mitt Romney 24%
Ron Paul 12%
Newt Gingrich 11%
Romney and Paul seemed relatively static between the two polls, but PPP seems to suggest a lot more of the anti-Romney vote in Santorum’s camp than the ARG poll shows. The PPP poll was done February 10-12 among 404 likely primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.