I am new to Virginia Politics (going on two years), so you will have to excuse me for my intolerance of a great number of seemingly popular opinions with regard to elections in this state.
For those considering conventions as a solution to whatever problems you perceive in the Virginia electoral process, I would like to point out that Ed Gillespie won a decisive victory in Roanoke. The eminent Washington Insider, Ed Gillespie’s money won the day, and anyone who thinks that the collection of local Virginia TEA Party’s stands a chance against the Jeb Bush machine in a convention setting is simply delusional. I get it, I really do; your convention strategy.
You figure that if statewide polling looks like this: (Jeb Bush 33%, Marco Rubio 21%, Ted Cruz 18%, Rand Paul 15%, Donald Trump 5%, Mike Huckabee 4%, and Bobby Jindal 3% (and 1% somewhere else), that the Rubio 21% plus the Cruz 18% plus the Paul 15% equals 54% and the certainty of a Tea Party candidate victory.
O.K. I’ll buy that when you assure me that every single Rubio, Cruz, and Paul supporter will be delegates at that convention. It’s not going to happen. The candidates with the most money will get the most delegates. Jeb Bush could show up with 48% of the delegates. A few Huckabee supporters, a few Trump supporters, and boom, he’ll get 50%+ and that’s the ball game.
Now, there are those who support closed primaries, in order to keep Constitutionalists, Libertarians, and Infrastructure Democrats out of the primaries. Again, this is only a good idea if you want to nominate Jeb Bush.
Then there are those who object to the winner take all format. So if a Ted Cruz, a Marco Rubio, or a Rand Paul did defeat Jeb Bush, say 38% to %32, you will want Jeb Bush walking away with 32% of our delegates?
The only real option I see, is for there to be a winner take all open primary, and for the grassroots to get behind one candidate early on, defeat Jeb Bush, and give all of our delegates to the conservative of choice at the Nomination Convention. If we can’t do that, there is no trick that money can’t buy its’ way out of. Jeb Bush can buy a convention, just like Ed Gillespie did in Roanoke.
Now, if, out of ignorance, I’m missing something, please let me know. Convince me that there is a better option that money won’t inevitably work its way around. We know Wall Street, K Street, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Republican Party of Virginia are going to fall in line for the Jebster. As we’ve seen in the past, the only way to beat back money, to beat back the corporatists, is to get the grassroots, the constitutionalists, the libertarians, and the infrastructure Democrats behind a qualified conservative candidate and win on election day. If you support some other option, please, list examples of that strategy’s effectiveness in the past. I give you Dave Brat and Ed Gillespie.
Yes, 2008 and 2012 were awful for the grassroots, but don’t allow those failures to serve as the impetuous behind walking into the jaws of an establishment trap.
Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker