Delegate Counts That Don’t

Opinion by Patricia L Johnson

Each and every day, and sometimes each and every hour, we are being updated on which candidate has the most delegates in the Republican campaign. Online news reports have now resorted to inserting a date and/or date and time next to the delegate counts because they are changing so rapidly.

The two counts that match, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, were both taken from the same source, the Associated Press.

The one thing everyone agrees is there are a total of 2,286 potential delegates and 1,144 delegates are needed to win the nomination.

The problem with any and all of these counts is they are just plain incorrect. Now I’m sure you’re going to wonder how anyone could possibly challenge counts indicated by major media and the answer is very simple. I no longer trust anything that anyone says when it comes to politics so I spend a lot of my time doing my own ‘fact’ checking.

Based on totals supplied to the Republican National Convention by the various states [IA, NH, SC, FL, NV, CO, MN, MO, ME, AZ, MI, WA, AK, GA, ID, MA, ND, OH, OK, TN, VT, VA, KS, Guam, No. Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, WY, AL, America Samoa, Hawaii, and MS] as of March 16, 2012 the delegate count follows:

Please note: The numbers are subject to change after certification.

Obviously the difference between what the media is indicating and what the RNC is indicating is, in part due, to the 304 “unbound” delegates. Many of the races have unbound delegates and the media goes hog wild estimating who will eventually end up with these delegates based on their exit polls. The problem with exit polls is they’re not always correct.

Reading the small print in the online media numbers you will note there are certain statements made about what is, or isn’t, included in the delegate total. The problem is voters don’t read the small print; we barely have time to read the totals. When the winners are announced on TV, there are no disclaimers about what is or isn’t included in the delegate count.

Right off the bat we have already had seven caucus or primary races where the delegates don’t count because they’re ‘unbound’ until a later date. Those states are Iowa (28), Colorado (36), Minnesota (40), Missouri (52), Maine (24), North Dakota (28) and Washington State (43). The number of delegates is in parenthesis.

Let’s just look at the details from on one state – Washington State with 43 delegates.


Washington State is holding a non-binding caucus on March 3, in which no delegates will be bound by the result.

  • 10 At Large delegates will be bound at state convention 5/30-6/02/12
  • 30 Congressional District delegates will be bound at county caucuses 3/24-4/21/12
  • 3 RNC delegates will remain unbound.

Unfortunately, we are a society that wants to back a winner and if so and so is ahead in the polls, too many of us are incapable of thinking for ourselves and simply follow the crowd. Who would have been ahead in the most recent primaries if the actual delegate numbers were indicated by the media? Would Rick Santorum have received the number of delegates the media claims he has? Will he receive anything close to the number of delegates media has so graciously bestowed upon him? I believe the answer is a very definite ‘no’, due to the timing. There is enough time remaining for the delegates to actually look into the candidates and do their own ‘fact’ checking.

Voting in a primary or participating in a caucus is a good thing, if the final results actually mean something. The totals shouldn’t change with the direction of the wind, or the media preference and choosing the next President of the United States shouldn’t be a popularity contest.

© 2012 Patricia L Johnson

3/17/2012 1:19:11 PM

This entry was posted in Elections 2012, News and politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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