How Jan Staples and Peter Cianchette Could Cost Romney The Election
From an email received by liberty Republicans and Ron Paul suporters in Maine, Sunday, July 29:
"As you may have heard today, Jan Staples---the Maine Republican National Committeewoman who was defeated for re-election at the 2012 Maine Republican Convention---is striking back."
"After her loss at the Maine Republican Convention last May, Jan Staples (along with Peter Cianchette, Chairman of the Maine Mitt Romney Campaign), is now spearheading an effort to unseat the National Delegates who were rightfully elected at that convention. These National Delegates were voted on and properly elected by a majority of the State Republican Delegation. Now, Jan Staples is attempting to undo the democratic process..."
The relevant documents mention, among other things, the failure of the credentialing process, which, of course, was controlled by the same insiders who are unhappy about the Ron Paul delegates' wins. Doubtless their own efforts would have been deemed adequate had they been slightly in the majority.
That being said, consider that forming your opinion about this based on what "should" happen, or whether it is the privilege of the RNC to credential whomever they want (I believe it is), may be counterproductive. Due to their own self-interest, Romney supporters should not support this measure. This is because of the likely consequences of unseating the Maine delegates.
There is a compelling argument that unseating the delegates elected at the Maine Convention may cost Romney the election.
The argument is simple. First, in order to win the election, Romney needs the votes of a majority of Ron Paul supporters. As a low-ball estimate, let us say that just 10% of Republicans are backing Ron Paul. If you have been to a Maine GOP meeting recently, you will recognize this number as quite low, however Maine is a Ron Paul stronghold. 10% still seems like a reasonable lower bound nationally, given that
- Ron Paul won about 10% of State Conventions, despite the process in most States heavily favoring the majority
- About 29% of Republicans view Ron Paul as an acceptable candidate (http://politi.co/xMBurK - and since this argument revolves around voter turnout, let's also bear in mind that 41% of Republicans do NOT view Romney as an acceptable candidate)
Now, let's review the margins of victory in the last 3 Presidential elections (difference between winner's and loser's percentage popular vote, via Wikipedia)
2008 - 7.26%
2004 - 2.74%
2000 - 0.51%
Average - 3.5%
Modern Presidential elections are becoming increasingly close, by no accident. 2008 was an anomaly, and notably, a loss for the GOP. Bear in mind that, by and large, only half of the indicated percentage would have to change their vote in order to change the outcome of the election. If we throw out Obama's 2008 victory as an outlier (something that makes even more sense if you follow the trend back further or are more interested in Republican victories, as we are in this case), it is apparent that a typical Presidential election can easily hang on the outcome of 1-2% of voters.
I have already argued that Ron Paul supporters represent at least 10% of Republicans -- which is at least 5% of likely voters in the upcoming election.
Signs point to another close election, unlike 2008. The margin of victory will likely be much smaller than the number of Ron Paul supporters. Thus, Romney depends on the votes of Ron Paul supporters, QED.
I now argue that if the RNC fails to credential Maine delegates, a significant number of Ron Paul supporters across the nation may become so disillusioned that they fail to vote for Romney. Again, I am not arguing whether they "should" do this, I am arguing that it will happen.
To understand why, let's get inside the head of a Ron Paul supporter for a moment.
First, the typical Ron Paul supporter is currently planning on voting for Romney. I can't cite any specific evidence for this, but based on my readings and personal interactions, I would estimate that about 3/4ths of the Ron Paul supporters are currently planning on holding their nose and doing it, because
- They want to beat Obama
- They view Romney as the lesser of two evils
- They are invested in the Republican Party
Second, the typical Ron Paul supporter sees the overall results of State Conventions across the country as revealing some very disturbing things about the condition of democracy and fairness in the GOP. If you are a Romulan, rather than a Ronulan, you may not be aware of these incidents, and you may have your own take on them -- but the fact remains that Ron Paul supporters are very aware of them and are largely staggered at what they view as outright corruption in the GOP. Here are some of the incidents in question:
- In Nevada, to avoid the democratic outcome they didn't like, establishment Republicans actually left the State Republican Party and joined a new organization "Team Nevada". The RNC has withdrawn monetary support from the Nevada State Committee (http://huff.to/L7iBEQ)
- In Oklahoma, GOP officials shut down the Convention when it became apparent that Ron Paul supporters were in the majority.
- In North Dakota, where Romney came in 3rd in the popular vote with 26% of the vote, he won this early caucus by a landslide when GOP officials refused to print the names of the majority of delegates on ballots (http://bit.ly/K6d3VE)
- In Iowa, the GOP chair was forced to resign in the wake of caucus manipulation -- http://nyti.ms/zcrKo0
- There is strong and compelling evidence of computer-based vote fraud in a number of elections, to which I can find no cogent rebuttal -- http://bit.ly/yUEPbE
Despite being aware of these incidents and a number of others, most Ron Paul supporters are still planning on voting for Romney.
However, that could change in an instant if delegates from Maine, Massachusetts, or other states where Ron Paul managed to work around these problems to win delegates are unseated. Why? Many are shocked by what they view as a disgracefully corrupt situation in the GOP, but Ron Paul's limited success has been a ray of light for most supporters.
All it will take is clear evidence that the GOP is fundamentally incapable of reform for many Ron Paul supporters to completely disengage. I believe that refusing delegates from yet another State would constitute the straw that breaks the camel's back. The fact that Ron Paul is being allowed to speak at the convention and count his delegate's victories is crucial for the future of the Republican Party, as anyone who appreciates the demographics arguments Pat Buchanan has been making lately (Has the Bell Begun To Toll for the GOP? - http://bit.ly/KrBePx and In the Long Run, Is the GOP Dead? - http://bit.ly/O8K21x) will see.
You may disagree with any number of arguments or claims here. But my argument does not turn on whether you agree with all of these claims. It is only necessary to admit that Ron Paul supporters will view this as yet another slap in the face and a subversion of the democratic process. Maine is on a short list of victories that currently has Ron Paul supporters convinced that working within the GOP may still be worthwhile. Taking it away may assuage Jan Staples' ego, but from the perspective of Romney supporters it would be disastrous. It may cost Romney the election.
If you agree, you can Sign the Petition to Support the Maine Delegation