The first electoral event in the Republican Presidential Nomination race, which happens on January 3rd with the Iowa caucuses, got me thinking that Mitt Romney is the “Green Eggs and Ham” of the Republican Party – their voters are resistant to even try him as their candidate for President. With apologies to Dr. Seuss…
That Mitt Romney, That Mitt Romney
I do not like that Mitt Romney
He isn’t really G.O.P.
Could you ever vote for Mitt?
Would you ever think of it?
I could not, would not vote for Mitt
I would not ever dream of it
Could you, would you, vote for Cain?
Would you get on the Herman Train?
I would not, could not vote for Cain
His 9-9-9 plan was just insane.
Would you, could you, vote Ron Paul?
He wants no government at all.
I could not, would not vote Ron Paul
He doesn’t believe in war at all.
Could you ever go with Bachmann?
Would you ever pick John Huntsman?
To us they have faults a-plenty
We would rather Tim Pawlenty
Would you ever for Perry?
In New Hampshire he got so merry.
Perry won’t get my vote – you’ll see
He can’t remember lists of three.
What of Rick Santorum or historian Newt?
Would either of these candidates suit?
I could not vote for Newt the speaker
He’s a blowhard and a preacher.
Of Santorum you could say the same
Just never ever Google his name.
They say that Mitt leads a national poll
Over Obama, whom you like least of all.
That Mitt Romney! That Mitt Romney!
I do so like that Mitt Romney!
He’ll now get my vote, you’ll see
He’s the candidate for me!
Winning in Iowa can help a candidate gain momentum going into the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire (this year on January 10th), but success does not actually accrue the winner any delegates at the Republican National Convention (RNC), which is what this contest is all about. Every precinct in the state will have meetings where registered voters will gather and give campaign speeches to try and convince their neighbours to choose their candidate. This is where it gets tricky – a ballot is then taken, electing delegates from each precinct for the district
conventions, where delegates are chosen for the Iowa State Convention, ultimately, the RNC delegates will be determined there. Even though the caucuses are on January 3rd, this State Convention is not until June 16th and none of the three levels of delegates are bound by the results of the ballots in the precints. So, while tomorrow may have the perception of being an important stepping stone en route to the nomination, practically speaking, it will have little impact on the primary process.
As caucuses are designed to promote debate and rely on the powers of persuasion of the citizens who partake in the process, candidates who have passionate supporters are more likely to succeed over a contender who is being selected in the absence of any other choice. Thus, Ron Paul, who has fervent, if minority, support amongst young people in the GOP, has a good chance of winning tomorrow. Rick Santorum, who has been polling in the single digits for most of his campaign, has received a boost by being endorsed by Christian Evangelical leaders, whose members make up around half of the registered Republicans in Iowa – which could result in a top 3 position finish. In contrast, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have little in the way of ardent followers and have been polling well without anyone seeming to actually like them, making success tomorrow unlikely.