Mitt Romney Lost North Dakota Caucuses, Will Get Most Of North Dakota’s Delegates Anyway

A reminder that those non-binding caucuses that the media pays so much attention to are, well, non-binding:

Sweeping all but nine delegates in yesterday’s primaries was an impressive victory for Mitt Romney. The results from the low-attention North Dakota Republican convention were even more impressive. According to Minnesota’s Daily Globe, “most of North Dakota’s 25 presidential convention delegates will trot off to Tampa this summer as supporters of current frontrunner former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.”

How? North Dakota was Mitt Romney’s big, blown Super Tuesday opportunity. Small turnout, a good result for Romney in 2008, and yet he blew it in the non-binding caucuses, coming in third place behind Santorum and Paul. The unscientific early estimate gave him 7 of 28 delegates. He’s going to Tampa with twice that many — he may have just netted as many delegates as Santorum won across all the April 3 primaries.

This is how nearly all the caucus states operate, including Iowa as I pointed out in a post in early January, so we are likely to see this repeated again and again as the caucus states hold their state party conventions and actually pick the delegates that they’ll send to the convention. Romney won’t win all the delegates in these states, of course, but he’ll do substantially better in this process than his performances in the various caucuses (caucai??) would have led to you to believe.

There’s nothing nefarious going on here, of course. This is how these states pick their delegates and the Romney campaign is simply better organized at this point, and with all the evidence making it clear that he is the inevitable nominee there’s likely to be a desire by some of these state convention delegates to just get on the bandwagon and get the process over with.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    The media – all media, conservative or liberal – should boycott caucuses.

    Iowa is the most egregious example. If a state cannot or will not have a primary vote (and they are as small and trivial as Iowa or North Dakota) they are not worth covering. This year Iowa was a total disgrace, and should be embargoed from all political coverage in the next primary season.

  2. legion says:

    I really kinda wish the GOP primaries had gone differently… A couple of really strong candidates, offering an actual difference of platform would have exposed to the rank-and-file voters just how little the party actually cares about their opinions. As it is, the back-room dirty dealing hasn’t really been necessary to elevate anyone above the Rominator…

  3. @al-Ameda:

    As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m in favor of primaries, but only if they’re open primaries. Public funds should not be spent to pay for private party functions that aren’t open to the general public.

  4. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Caucuses are to politics what avant garde fashion shows in Paris are to the overall apparel industry: noisy; disproportionate media coverage; dog & pony shows; unrepresentative; ultimately irrelevant.

    Iowa indeed is the most egregious example and has been for quite some time. Iowa is a farce. Hell, don’t even get me started about Iowa. On principle Iowa going forward should be the last state to vote and its contest should take place after the nominating conventions have concluded.

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m in favor of primaries, but only if they’re open primaries. Public funds should not be spent to pay for private party functions that aren’t open to the general public.

    I’m not sure if there’s a solution for that unless it is to have the parties reimburse the states for election costs.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    “On principle Iowa going forward should be the last state to vote and its contest should take place after the nominating conventions have concluded.”

    Nick …. If they have one more farce such as the one they perpetrated this year, I would be in favor of disenfranchising Iowa for at least two presidential elections.

  7. TonyW says:

    @al-Ameda: Check out Washington State’s top-two primary