New Hampshire happened yesterday and I suppose the big news is that Buddy Roemer almost beat Rick Perry if he could have garnered 800 or so more votes. Poor Buddy. Or actually probably more apt to say: Poor Rick.
All joking aside, the results came out exactly the way people said it was going to turn out: Romney, Paul, Hunstman in that order. Big whoop. Like I said in my previous post, this will be the most inconsequential result other than the fact that Romney won. Paul will continue to get the support of people who like him (about 22% of the party). Romney will ride into South Carolina as the front runner, as he was for almost the entire race now.
An interesting tidbit I did point out two days ago is the Gingrich-Santorum result and how that would affect who the ‘anti-Romney’ candidate is. Now, both candidates did poorly yesterday, their support combined could barely beat Huntsman’s support. However, the point is that they had a virtual tie, Gingrich winning by a margin of 49 votes. Now going into conservative South Carolina, things are going to be tricky for people meeting at that ‘evangelical leaders’ summit/retreat thingy to decide on a candidate. If Santorum beat Gingrich yesterday, it would be easy, they would probably pick Santorum. However, now that Gingrich and Santorum are ‘tied’, the evangelical leaders will fail to choose between Santorum or Gingrich.
The most IMPORTANT reason I wrote this blog post is to highlight something that I was excited to figure out but I’m sure in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t really matter. (I shall assume that this discovery is wholly original, I did not consult any sources outright discussing this):
I was watching the returns last night on CNN and reading some articles being written about the candidates. I don’t exactly remember where but someone wrote something about ‘this is a delegates race’, the percentage vote doesn’t matter. And so I was curious about the delegates and how they would be affected by New Hampshire results and also by Iowa results. In terms of Iowa, the delegate totals are widely different for most news organizations because the caucus results have almost no say in how many delegates each candidate gets. I decided to go with the totals from the green papers, whose rustic yet seemingly up-to-date website attracted me. Romney, Santorum, and Paul 6 each; Gingrich 4; Perry 3.
Now for the delegate totals for New Hampshire. This primary directly relates to who will get delegates. Now when I was checking for delegate totals for New Hampshire, news organizations did not have them yet, only 12% of the votes had been counted at the time. So I checked the above website again, to see if they had any information on HOW the state allocates delegates…:
‘National Convention delegates are to be bound proportionally…A 10% threshold is required in order for a presidential contender to be allocated National Convention delegates…Any delegate positions that remain open are awarded to the candidate with the highest statewide vote total’
So here’s my point. I didn’t just title this post Rick Perry just to make fun of him for getting so close to Roemer’s vote total. No, Rick Perry factors in HUGELY in my observation. In fact, I will say here right now: with 0.71% of the vote total, Rick Perry was the MOST influential candidate in affecting the New Hampshire delegate totals.
But, *insert blog author here*, how could that be? Perry couldn’t have gotten any delegates anyway, New Hampshire has only 12 delegates! Of course, *insert name of hypothetical questioner here*, Rick Perry wouldn’t have gained any delegates. That doesn’t mean his 1,767 votes is inconsequential.
Consider this. Gingrich got 9.42% of the vote. Santorum got 9.40% of the vote. So doing a little bit of math, proportionally, they would each get 1 delegate. NOPE. Under NH GOP rules, a candidate must get at least 10% of the vote to qualify for delegate allocation. Therefore, calculating it proportionally, Romney gets 5 delegates, Paul gets 3 delegates, Huntsman gets 2 delegates. The 2 remaining delegates that doesn’t get allocated, goes to Romney for getting the plurality of the votes in NH. Total: 7 for Romney, 3 for Paul, 2 for Huntsman.
Now consider this. Rick Perry drops out in 1/3/2012 like everyone thought he would. He doesn’t show up to the debates, thus giving Santorum and Gingrich more debate time. He doesn’t get 0.71% of the vote in New Hampshire. Let’s just make things simple and say Rick Perry’s 0.71% gets added to Gingrich and Santorum equally. Gingrich now has 9.78% and Santorum now has 9.76%. Say that the extra debate time convinced more voters to vote for Gingrich and Santorum, particularly the ones like Bachmann (who got 352 votes) and Cain (who got 162 votes). This would put both Gingrich and Santorum just over 10% of the vote. And what’s the threshold for delegate allocation? 10%! With just a slight push in Gingrich and Santorum’s vote, Romney’s delegate allocation goes from 7 to 5.
Now 2 delegates is largely inconsequential, amounting to about .17% of the total delegates needed to win. However, if this is TRULY a delegate race, Rick Perry’s 1,767 supporters just delivered 2 of them to Mitt Romney. Bravo, bravo.