Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Santorum's Delegate "Strategy"

There was some talk last week and over the weekend that Rick Santorum had a delegate strategy -- that he was going to be fighting to get better results in the eventual delegate count than it looked from primary and caucus day reports.

Apparently, his delegate strategy consisted of: hire someone who the national press knew well (that would be  campaign operative John Yob); have him write a silly memo making implausible but technically complex and murky claims about the "real" delegate fight that was going on under the radar; and hope that the press was gullible enough to buy it.

But actually get organized enough to fight for real delegates? Not so much, apparently, as two stories out of Missouri hint at. You might have noticed that the Missouri caucuses received little attention over the weekend, even less than Puerto Rico. That's because they didn't do the straw poll thing that other caucus states have done this cycle (having instead held a beauty contest primary a while ago, which Santorum won easily). Nor have the released any official results. Santorum was expected to do very well -- the demographics are right for him. But (via Political Wire) if the AP and Daily Beast stories are correct, Santorum's people are being outmaneuvered by Mitt Romney's and Ron Paul's organizations.

Of course, the bottom line here is that winning the spin war on the subsurface fight for delegates is extremely unlikely to do Santorum's campaign any good if he's losing the actual delegates. It's hard to tell whether his campaign realizes that or not.

By the way, I credit the AP's Phillip Elliott for seeing through the Santorum delegate-strategy hype in his story last week. I didn't save all of the others, but lets just say that Elliott stood out for a job well done.

3 comments:

  1. Of course, the bottom line here is that winning the spin war on the subsurface fight for delegates is extremely unlikely to do Santorum's campaign any good if he's losing the actual delegates. It's hard to tell whether his campaign realizes that or not.

    That's the real question, isn't it? Is Santorum deluded enough to think he still has a shot at the nomination, or is he in this for other reasons? One would presume that an expert delegate counter like John Yob would know the score, but it also probably behooves him not to tell his boss that it's hopeless.

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  2. I wince whenever I see the name "Santorum" and the word "strategy" in the same sentence.

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  3. "Is Santorum deluded enough to think he still has a shot at the nomination, or is he in this for other reasons?"

    The other day he was comparing his campaign to that of Ronald Reagan in 1976. Maybe he thinks he's setting himself up to be the nominee next time.

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