Diary

Florida and Ohio Conservatives Track Their Candidates

The geeky delegate-math goes like this: 7% of delegates will be chosen before Super Tuesday; 25% of the delegates will be chosen ON Super Tuesday, March 1; and another 15% will be chosen over the succeeding two weeks in places like Kansas, Virginia, and Guam. These delegates, which is almost half of the total number coming to Cleveland, will all be divided proportionally within each state.

If we remember the 2012 GOP Convention, a rule was set up to stop the likes of Ron Paul from just sticking around to gather delegates. This new rule says that every state voting on and after March 15 must award all of their delegates to the winner of the state, no matter how low or how thin their plurality. Let the horserace begin!

Over the last year, Ohio and Florida and other states have moved or are moving their voting dates to March 15 creating a different type of Super Tuesday. Florida seems to have the most delegates at stake with 99, followed maybe by North Carolina, and then Illinois and Ohio with just under 70 delegates.  These are very important swing states in the general election (with the exception of Illinois) and now seem to have an incredibly important role in the primaries.

The 2016 primaries are unique, at this time, because of the volume of candidates – and especially the volume of good candidates. But if 3-4 candidates each win different states after the 15th, then Hugh Hewitt’s divided convention is a near-certainty. If there was ever a point-of-no-return for unity, March 15 is that date.

Since mid-May, Ohio conservative groups have been surveying their members regarding their presidential preferences. Ohio Conservatives United has created a survey form, supplies it to tea party, 9/12, and other liberty groups across Ohio, and then tallies the results. In June, over 2000 members from almost 50 Ohio groups cast their votes. These groups will continue to survey their members every month so grassroots conservatives can have a discussion as to who is on top and which candidates are near the bottom.

Florida has now joined Ohio in creating this opportunity for Florida conservatives using their tea party, 9/12, and other liberty groups. Florida Conservatives United has just gotten on its way, and if you are in Florida or you know somebody in Florida who would like to participate, please complete the signup form on their website.

The GOP establishment apparatchik seem to be able to get together and unify behind a candidate all the time. Conservatives who have day jobs haven’t had a forum to hear perspectives of others in their states… until now. I know Redstate has its presidential poll, as do Breitbart, Glenn Beck, and other sites. These state-wide surveys, however, have obvious benefits that can’t be replicated in any other poll. I hope other activists in other states, maybe Iowa and New Hampshire, will set up similar opportunities.