On Tuesday, I posted an article about how the delegate process worked in Tennessee… which was apparently a question many people had, if the number of Google searches that brought folks to my blog means anything. In that post, I did point out that I was not 100% sure how the process worked with regard to Rick Santorum’s ability to be appointed delegates since he had none on the ballot. I wanted to pass on what I’ve since learned, which I suppose we’ll all just have to file away until we do this again in four years.
Apparently, the delegates on the ballot are not popularly elected, which was what how I had interpreted the TNGOP’s rules from their website. Instead, all 28 at-large delegates are appointed proportionally based on the number of votes in the preference poll, regardless of which delegates are on the ballots. In multiple phone calls and e-mails to the state Republican Party I asked whether this exact scenario was really the case, and no one I spoke with was able to answer the question. So I don’t feel too terribly bad about getting it wrong.
It does make me wonder why we bother voting for delegates at all, though. Or why candidates are asked to file paperwork in order to get delegates on the ballot. If there are no consequences for not correctly filing paperwork in a timely manner, why bother doing it at all?
Regardless, the results for Ron Paul would have been the same. As expected, he came in a distant fourth in Tennessee, and would not have seen any of his delegates elected even if the popular vote actually mattered. It would appear that Tuesday’s post was correct in one major way, however. According to this Chicago Tribune article, young people not realizing that they were supposed to vote on Super Tuesday was not a local phenomenon. I suppose it doesn’t help that Ron Paul has so much support among young voters when only 5% of those young voters actually show up to the polls.
I’d like to leave you with another great piece of investigative reporting from Ben Swann, who does a much better job than I have at explaining all this complicated delegate stuff: