RNC Rule Likely To Keep Gingrich And Paul Off Convention Ballot

One of the rules that will govern how the Republican National Convention is conducted is likely to keep Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul off the ballot, and unable to accomplish much of anything from the floor:

an RNC rule stipulating that candidates seeking the nomination must have won a plurality of votes in at least five states could complicate Gingrich’s already far-fetched strategy. RNC rule No. 40 states:

Nominations(b) Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus issued a stern warning to the candidates to that end this morning on the Daily Rundown.

“It’s an important rule,” he said. “So when these candidates are adding up their delegates or when people out there have a particular issue that they would like to move at the convention, they had better make sure they at least have a plurality of five states to make these things happen.”

Gingrich, of course, has only won two primaries – first, South Carolina, and second, Georgia, the state he had represented in Congress. (Paul finds himself in a similar situation, having won delegates, but no caucuses or primaries.)

There are some was that Gingrich and Paul could get around this rule but it would involve the unlikely prospect of picking up unbound delegates, or if nobody gets the 1,144 needed for a majority of the delegates. All of which raises the question, why are these people still in the race?

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Herb says:

    why are these people still in the race?

    Gingrich has a big ego and Paul is delusional.

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, Gingrich in essense has turned into a political alzheimer’s patient. Paul would need therapy even to be at that low level of political functionality.

    There’s also the money angle.

    Most of Paul’s supporters still have yet to graduate and a majority of the remainder are suffering from some degree of mental illness; they’ll actually continue to send in money even after Romney locks up a majority of the pledged delegates. These are not the brightest bulbs in the display case about which we’re speaking. Granted, Paul is retiring soon, but still money is money, even on Planet Ronulus.

    Gingrich is looking for higher speaking fees and perhaps is fancying himself a gig on Fox News. I suspect he thinks that by staying in the contest it’ll reap him a higher price.

    I’m also prepared to speculate that Callista is trying to keep Newt in the contest for some reason or whatever and in that respect has given him some sort of ultimatum or directive. Have you checked her out to any degree? The Stepford Wives thing is just off the charts. There has to be a connection between her and Newt’s dissociation from reality.

  3. Graham says:

    I would hope for Paul’s sake that he’s only using the election as a means to make his positions known to a wider audience and doesn’t actually believe he has any chance of winning the nomination.

    If that’s the case, he really has no reason to drop out, and his presence doesn’t really harm the frontrunners in any meaningful way. While his supporters might reluctantly head out to the polls for the GOP nominee in November, it’s not they are suddenly going to go out and campaign for Romney or Santorum with the same enthusiasm.

  4. JTM says:

    Gingrich is aiming to negotiate with Romney for.. something. He wants Santorum to do really well so that Gingrich’s delegates will be worth something to Romney at a convention.

  5. Herb says:


    “I would hope for Paul’s sake that he’s only using the election as a means to make his positions known to a wider audience and doesn’t actually believe he has any chance of winning the nomination.”

    Hmmm….I don’t think that’s the case for two main reasons:

    A) The more Ron Paul’s positions become known to a wider audience, the less popular he is. Anti-war? Great. Anti-drug war? Awesome. Gold standard? Say what?

    B) Ron Paul’s political career is older than me, and at 35, I’m no spring chicken. This is his third unsuccessful presidential campaign. Maybe it’s not so much “they (the general public) don’t know” as “they don’t like.”

    Besides…if you want to deliver a message, don’t get into politics. Get into media. Become an artist. A columnist. An activist. Politics is about power, and that goes double for the presidency.

  6. ernieyeball says:

    @Herb: Big Ego…Delusional

    Kinda like these guys…

    When the President does it, that means it is not illegal. Tricky Dick

    We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
    –Lyndon Johnson, Oct. 1964
    In 1965 there were 1863 American boys killed in Vietnam. In 1966 there were 6143 American boys killed in Vietnam. In 1967 there were 11,153 American boys killed in Vietnam. In 1968, the last year of Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency, there were 16,592 American boys killed in Vietnam.

  7. henry says:


    He wants to make competing currencies legal. That means people would be able to charge and pay for goods and services with whatever they determine is acceptable, whether that is bitcoins, silver, gold or corn.

    He also wants to end the Fed because he believes that governments who can print money devalue the currency. That means if when you earn $100 dollars in 1990 for working your backside off and saved it for 20 years for your retirement, when the time comes to spend it, it is actually worth significantly less. They have taxed you using stealth mode. If you are not annoyed by that…..say what?

  8. Herb says:

    @ernieyeball: “Kinda like these guys…”

    I guess….I think anyone seeking higher office has a big ego, but….Johnson refused to run for re-election and Nixon resigned when it was clear that he had lost. Newt could take a lesson from either of them.


    “They have taxed you using stealth mode. “

    That’s not all “they” did……

  9. al-Ameda says:

    I guess we’ll have to hope for a riot in the streets.

  10. Simon Jester says:

    Paul is still in the race because the other candidates are so abysmal – Really, how much difference is there between Romney & Obama? And Santorum is running for Ayatollah, not president – he’s a an out spoken anti-Liberty, pro-BigGov hack.