Politico: Former GOP Critics Praise Hagel

— by Jacob Miller

Some of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s toughest Republican critics have praised his tenure as Secretary of Defense. From Politico:

“I’m very pleased,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who during his confirmation hearing grilled Hagel on controversial remarks he made about Israel. Graham voted against Hagel but now says he’s happy with the way Hagel has tackled a flurry of national security challenges in his first three months on the job.

More after the jump.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), also formerly a staunch Hagel opponent, approved to Politico of the job he has done thus far:

I think he’s trying to bring people together, even people who didn’t support him. So I appreciate his efforts, and I think he’s off to a good start.

In his short tenure as Secretary of Defense, Hagel has astutely navigated the immense challenges of sequestration — a $40 billion cut on his first day — an unpredictable and dangerous North Korea, and the volatile Middle East. It is great to see that Republicans are giving credit where credit is due. Hagel has done an great job thus far — especially concerning the US-Israel relationship.

White House Condemns Morsi’s Anti-Semitic Statements

— by David Streeter

President Barack Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney forcefully condemned previous anti-Semitic comments made by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Politico reported:

“President Morsi should make clear he respects people of all faiths”, Carney said during a press briefing Tuesday. He said the administration has raised its concerns with the Egyptian government: “[…] We have raised our concerns over these remarks with the government of Egypt”.

“We strongly condemn these comments”, he said. “[…] This type of rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic Egypt”.

Carney added that the remarks are an example of the type of discourse that has long fanned hatred in the region:

“We believe that language like that is too tolerated in the region”, he said. “[…] It is counter to peace”.

Republicans have a major Jewish problem

Originally published in Politico

In the last two weeks, the Republican Party has demonstrated that it is simply out of touch with the majority of American Jews. First, its standard bearer selected a running mate who has been criticized by the Jewish community for his plans to end Medicare as we know it and gut the social safety net. Then, its 2012 official party platform took policy stands that are the opposite of those held by most Jews. When you add on RNC Platform Chair Gov. Bob McDonnell mixing up former President Ronald Reagan with Rabbi Hillel — well, the GOP has proven that there isn’t much room in their tent for most Jews.

But if that weren’t enough proof of the wide chasm separating the Republican Party from most American Jews, two of their representatives emerged in recent days as poster children for why Jewish voters do not trust or support the GOP. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) made his outrageously offensive statements on rape — the policies of which are now enshrined in the GOP’s official platform. Akin then bucked party leadership — including Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — to remain a candidate for the Missouri Senate seat. And, according to a news report broken by POLITICO, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) and several of his colleagues took a less-than-kosher nighttime dip in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) during their Israel trip last summer — behavior that reportedly enraged House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress.

As Americans begin to tune back in to politics in the coming weeks, they’re going to see a Republican Party that is more extreme than the one they last saw two and four years ago. To put it plainly, the GOP of 2012 will help reinforce why most American Jews will be backing President Obama.

Emergency Committee for Israel: The Emperor Has No Clothes

— by David A. Harris

Republicans are spending a great deal of cash this election cycle attacking President Barack Obama in the Jewish community by fibbing about his powerful support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, and smearing his unprecedented efforts to stop Iran’s drive towards a nuclear weapon.

Why? Because they know that venturing into domestic issues is a non-starter for the vast majority of Jews, even if what they’re saying regarding the Middle East isn’t true. Republican Jewish groups and the so-called “Emergency Committee for Israel” (ECI) have been at the vanguard of this effort, with ECI even forming a Super PAC related to their non-profit organization.

All along, observers might have assumed that the leaders of these efforts at least believed what they were selling, facts be damned. But now we know better. Now we know that they’re just trying to get their guy elected, and they don’t even believe their own arguments; we know this based on their own public statements.

A co-leader of ECI, the well-known conservative William Kristol, recently spoke in New   York at a debate in front of a Jewish crowd. Given ECI’s history up to the present day of unfairly lambasting the president’s strong Israel policy, Kristol surely came out swinging at the president, right? Hardly. The Israeli paper Haaretz reported that Kristol said Obama’s “policies today resemble those of his predecessors Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.” What? “I am happy to agree with Obama to a considerable degree,” Kristol added. And his take on the Israel policy differences between Obama and Romney? “Not that great.”

Did Kristol try to walk-back his hour-long moment of truth? Of course. But I don’t know how you unring that bell. My question is, given his confession, will ECI stop viciously and falsely attacking the president as being somehow virulently anti-Israel — attacks which have been condemned by the nonpartisan mainstream of the American Jewish community?

At long last, we can see that this emperor — Bill Kristol, and ECI — have no clothes.

Originally published in Politico.

Romney’s “Moral Failure” to Challenge Trump on Birther Conspiracies

Birth certificate of Barack Obama

— by David A. Harris

Leave it to Mitt Romney to bring me together in agreement with George Will, who yesterday called Donald Trump a “bloviating ignoramus.”

It is disturbing in the extreme that too many Americans already harbor any thought that our president is not an American — particularly after the release of the long-form birth certificate, which one might think would have shut down the birther cottage industry. That this lunacy would actually be advanced by Mitt Romney’s surrogate and fundraising headliner du jour — the nutty Trump, who offensively doubled-down on his crazy birther questions even this morning — is just astonishing given that we’re talking about the GOP standard-bearer.

The most important thing here is what this says about Mitt Romney: when confronted by press with the inevitable questions, does he separate from Trump? Does he even appropriately challenge these outlandish claims, as John McCain did in 2008? No — he takes some variation of the “I don’t agree with every supporter” line. It’s an utter moral failure, plain and simple. What will hurt Romney most in the eyes of some independent voters is his refusal to stand up and say the right thing — to do anything, really — out of an apparent fear of offending the most extreme radical fringe of his party.

Originally published in Politico. David A. Harris is the President and CEO of the NJDC

John Raise (R-WV) Smoking Restrictions Like Holocaust

Last week West Virginia Republican Senate Candidate John Raese made an insensitive comparison between the Holocaust and smoking restrictions:

I don’t want government telling me what I can do and what I can’t do because I’m an American. But in Monongalia County you can’t smoke a cigarette, you can’t smoke a cigar, you can’t do anything. And I oppose that because I believe in everybody’s individual freedoms and everybody’s individual rights to do what they want to do and I’m a conservative and that’s the way that goes.

But in Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County.  Ok?

Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody’s lapel, remember that? Same thing.

Yesterday — which was Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 19, 2012 — Raise doubled down defending his obscene remarks:

No, this is not a standard line, nor a misstatement. It is a loss of freedom. As Ronald Reagan once said, there is no such thing as partial freedom, there is only freedom.

NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris commented:

Comparing smoking restrictions to the Holocaust is never acceptable on any day of the year. But for West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese to apparently defend those comments on Holocaust Remembrance Day takes the insensitivity and callousness of his remarks to the next level. Raese-who is just the latest Republican to use this type of inappropriate rhetoric-must apologize immediately and quit defending his offensive remarks.

 
With this remark, Raese joins the ranks of other Republicans such as

who have shamefully abused the Holocaust to make political points.

Cantor Calls Anti-Semitism The “Darker Side” Of His Caucus

In an astonishing but brutally honest admission to POLITICO today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor-the only Jewish Republican in Congress-openly discussed the challenges of anti-Semitism and racism confronted within the House Republican caucus, adopting his questioner’s labeling of it as the “darker side” of the caucus.

— by David A. Harris

It’s both admirable and disturbing in the extreme to hear Majority Leader Cantor’s candid remarks regarding the dual challenges of racism and anti-Semitism that he has detected in the House GOP caucus. From the widespread use of abusive Holocaust rhetoric among House GOP members and candidates to behind-the-scenes skirmishes like Cantor’s own well-documented decision to oppose the reelection of Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) over his statement to Cantor that Cantor would not be ‘saved,’ there are clearly deep-seated problems within the GOP. The time has come for more GOP leaders to have Cantor’s courage to step forward, and for the GOP to start addressing the problem directly — with actions, not just words.

Reaction from ThinkProgress after the jump.
According to Think Progress:

Today, Cantor, the only Jewish House Republican, nearly affirmed that this was the reason he fought against Manzullo’s re-election, insinuating that anti-Semitism-and racism-are lingering problems among the House GOP generally. He speaking at a breakfast event organized by Politico.

Calling it the ‘darker side,’ Cantor responded to Politico’s Mike Allen’s question of whether there is anti-semitism in Congress by trying to avoid commenting. But eventually he let up: ‘I think that all of us know that in this country, we’ve not always gotten it right in terms of racial matters, religious matters, whatever. We continue to strive to provide equal treatment to everybody.’

‘We’re talking about the House Republican Caucus, not America,’ Allen pushed.

Cantor then sat in silence, grimacing for several seconds before Allen changed the topic.

Jewish Organizations Push To Protect Women

— by Max Samis

As Congress debates the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act — which has been passed and reauthorized with bipartisan support several times since it’s inception in 1994 — prominent Democrats marked April 17 as “Equal Pay Day,” recognizing the importance of continuing to fight for gender equality in the workplace. Several leading Democrats issued statements and penned op-eds in order to raise awareness of the issue, as well as the larger fight for women’s rights.

Democratic National Committee Chair Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said:

President Obama and Democrats understand that equal pay is so important for women and their families that one of the first pieces of legislation Democrats passed in 2009 and the first bill the President signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act ensures that women can fight for equal pay for equal work, and on National Equal Pay Day we celebrate our continued fight for economic equality, regardless of gender.

The President’s commitment to women is in stark contrast to Mitt Romney and the GOP’s attitude toward equal pay for women. While Democrats and the President were making equal pay for equal work a priority, nearly every Republican in the House and Senate voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who Mitt Romney has called a ‘hero,’ recently repealed that state’s fair pay law; and Mitt Romney refuses to say if he would have signed Lilly Ledbetter had he been president at the time. His campaign on a conference call last week couldn’t even articulate a response when asked his position on the law….

On Equal Pay Day women can rest assured that Democrats and President Obama will continue the fight for equal pay for equal work and will fight for their right to make health care choices for themselves and their families. It’s a shame that Mitt Romney and Republicans can’t say the same thing.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — the first female speaker in American history — also said:

I’m proud of the accomplishments of the Democratic-led Congress on behalf of equal pay and fairness. The Lilly Ledbetter Act-the first bill President Obama signed into law-restored the right of women and other workers to challenge unfair pay in court. Further, under the Affordable Care Act, soon women will no longer be charged higher premiums than men for the same coverage and no longer will being a woman be treated as a pre-existing condition.  

On Equal Pay Day, we honor all of our nation’s women, who through their labor – at home and in the workplace – have made our country strong. And we recommit to opening the doors of opportunity for the next generation of women.

Graph of pay gap by profession, a map of pay gap by state, and op/eds by Senators Gillibrand and Boxer follow the jump.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wrote an op-ed in The Huffington Post, discussing the importance of pay equity not just to women, but to the national economy as a whole. Gillibrand wrote:

…[T]he issue of pay equity is not merely one of fairness. Equal pay for equal work is vital for our economic growth and middle class financial security. With more and more women contributing to household incomes, the lack of equal pay for women hurts all middle class working families-men and children included. In New York alone, women head more than 1,000,000 households. It’s estimated that because of the wage gap, New York families are deprived of $8600 a year. Nationwide, it’s been estimated that if women were paid a dollar on the dollar for equal work, the U.S. GDP could grow up to 9 percent.

Gillibrand also discussed pay equity in regards to women’s health. She wrote:

In addition to being an economic security issue, the failure to pay women a salary that’s equal to men for equal work is also a women’s health issue. The fact is that the salary women are paid directly impacts the type of health care services they are able to access for both themselves and their families. For example, if we closed the wage gap, a working woman in New York would be able to afford more than 2 years worth of additional family health insurance premiums. At a time when women’s health services are increasingly vulnerable to budget cuts, it’s more important than ever that women have financial security to maintain access to basic care for them and their families.

In Politico, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wrote an op-ed asserting that contrary to what Republicans may have you believe, the “war on women” is very real:

Suppose it’s the championship basketball game and one player is committing foul after foul. Each time, he denies he’s committed any offense.

Eventually, he fouls out. But even as he heads to the bench, he’s protesting that he did nothing wrong.

That’s what we’re seeing today from Republicans who claim there is no ‘war on women.’ The Republican National Committee chairman likened it to a ‘war on caterpillars.’ The Senate Republican leader claims it’s all manufactured – even as female members of his caucus warn about the growing backlash against the GOP from women.

House Republicans have introduced more than 30 bills that would restrict a woman’s reproductive health care. Those same Republicans, who decry an all-too-powerful government, have no problem deciding what health care is right for our daughters, or sisters or mothers….

Here in Congress, 116 Republicans in the House and 19 Republicans in the Senate are co-sponsors of ‘personhood’ legislation, which would criminalize abortion with no exceptions for the mother’s life or health. … It could even bar doctors from providing life-saving care to women with dangerous ectopic pregnancies.

It doesn’t end there. Republicans in Congress blocked an international treaty – the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – even though the only other nations refusing to ratify it are Iran, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Palau and Tonga.

They also oppose increasing the minimum wage – when women make up about two-thirds of all workers now earning minimum wage or less. Not one Republican is a cosponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act, which helps protect women from domestic violence, when the bill was in the Senate Judiciary Committee. They voted to repeal the health care law – including the part that says no more gender discrimination in the pricing of health insurance policies and the part that offers free preventive services like mammograms, STD screening, well-woman visits and birth control.

The facts are the facts. The Republicans have launched a war on women. Despite all the denials, women get it – and so do the men who care about them.

In addition to the fight for pay equality, Democrats have pushed for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Led by Vice President Joe Biden – who originally wrote and sponsored the bill as a Senator from Delaware in 1994 – a group of lawmakers and private citizens spoke today about the importance of passing the bill with bipartisan support. Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown wrote:

‘The idea we’re still fighting about this in Congress, that this is even a debatable issue, is truly sad,’ Biden said during remarks at the Eisenhower Office Building. ‘It’s not a reflection on the law. It is a reflection on our inability in this town to deal with something that by now should just be over in terms of debate about it.’

‘No one should question whether this is needed,’ Biden said at the end of his remarks. ‘It would have been bad if the law had never been passed. But imagine now, the message it sends if it is not reauthorized. Just ask what message it would send to every one of our daughters, every woman imprisoned in their home.’

Several prominent Jewish organizations have also spoken out in favor of VAWA’s reauthorization. The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, National Council of Jewish Women, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Hadassah have all urged their supporters to contact their local Congressional delegations and urge that they vote to pass the reauthorization of VAWA immediately. This is too important to wait.

  • Click here to read Senator Gillibrand’s entire op-ed.
  • Click here to read Senator Boxer’s entire op-ed.
  • Click here to read about how President Barack Obama’s actions have reflected Jewish values, including his accomplishments on women’s rights.

US Gender Pay Gap By State

House Passes Ryan-Romney Budget

— by David A. Harris

This latest Republican budget is chiefly the work of Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declaring himself ‘very supportive’ — even calling it ‘bold and exciting.’ And this Ryan-Romney budget is simply a disaster for Americans. A budget is a reflection of our values, and this budget stands in stark contrast to the values of the vast majority of American Jews — and most other Americans as well. The Ryan-Romney budget strands seniors, the poor, and America’s middle class while protecting tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans — casting fairness and any shred of shared responsibility to the wind. In addition the budget contains cuts to the foreign aid budget — cuts that the pro-Israel community has long opposed. As experts and observers have noted, the Ryan-Romney budget is a bad deal for nearly all Americans, and American Jews will remember this when they go to the polls in November.

Santorum’s Plan To Fight For Delegate All The Way To The Convention

Politico has posted a plans from the Santorum Campaign detailing their path forward.

It is very interesting reading especially in light of the difficulty we and the rest of the media have had in projecting the delegate count on the basis of the actual vote. (See DemConWatch for the best delegate analysis I have found.)

To: Mike Biundo
From: John Patrick Yob
Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Subject: Santorum Path to Delegate Victory

Rick Santorum is very well positioned to earn the delegates necessary to win the national convention despite what the Romney campaign and their official/unofficial surrogates’ fuzzy math may claim.

As a result of their inability to inspire the GOP based on message, the Romney campaign made the curious decision to lead their post-Super Tuesday campaign with the argument that the race is over, rather than touting his positive qualities as a candidate.

The effort to talk about the math was a defensive smokescreen intended to distract from the major problems the Romney campaign faces in county, district, and state conventions across the country when national convention delegates are actually elected.

The reality is simple: the Romney math doesn’t add up and he will have a very difficult time ever getting to a majority of the delegates.

The situation is only going to get worse for them and better for Rick Santorum as time passes. Simply put, time is on our side.

Strength of Candidacy
Romney has been forced to outspend the field dramatically in order to barely win in states he should have won handily (Michigan and Ohio), and losing other states by wide margins (Tennessee and Oklahoma).

Rick Santorum continues to win contests and gain national convention delegates because he has emerged as the favorite of the conservative grassroots base of the Republican Party. As a result he has wins in most caucuses. He also has won the majority of counties even in Romney states excluding moderate urban areas.

Support from Conservative Base
Romney has proven incapable of inspiring grassroots conservative support in caucuses as he has lost every caucus contest despite outspending the other candidates by many multiples.

Similarly, there are serious cracks in the Romney finance operation as the campaign finance reports show that he is incapable of inspiring grassroots donors across the country to donate to his campaign.  Instead his campaigns are funded by contributors who have already maxed out and are incapable of donating again in the primary. This explains why the SuperPAC is forced to pay for such a large proportion of their paid media.

The lack of grassroots support that plagued his caucus states operation, and plagued his small donor operation, will now plague his national delegate election operation.

Rick Santorum has excelled in caucuses and small dollar contributions and therefore will also excel at state conventions where activists are more conservative than the average primary voter.

Longer Proportional Process Favors More Conservative Candidates
I served in a similar role for John McCain 2008. At this point of the process there was a very real concern about the possibility of a more conservative candidate staying in the race and fighting us at state conventions across the country where more conservative activists determine the election of National Convention Delegates. Although John McCain was winning primaries in a fractured conservative field, he was not the favorite of grassroots conservative activists in the party. Similarly, in this race, a drawn out process favors conservative candidates such as Rick Santorum. This is a major problem for Mitt Romney, the moderate in this race.

Even more importantly, the proportional process that Romney supporters pushed through the Republican National Committee has turned out to be a major problem for the campaign. Suddenly the election of the actual delegates at county, state, and district caucuses is now more important than the primaries-regardless of what the media covers as determinative. It is difficult for any candidate to clinch the nomination in a proportional calendar without over-performing in the state conventions that elect the delegates. As a result, the state conventions will ultimately determine the outcome of this race.

Romney Frontloaded Friendly States
Romney supporters on the Republican National Committee manipulated the calendar to front-load several of the states that were favorable towards him. That was beneficial to his early lead in the delegate count, however it is problematic for him as the race continues and moves towards less friendly states. This is one of the reasons that they emphasized fuzzy math after Super Tuesday.

Race Moves towards Santorum’s Strength
The race for the nomination will soon start to move towards primaries and caucuses that are more favorable terrain for Rick Santorum. More importantly, the race will eventually move from primaries and caucuses that are often beauty contests to real county and state convention contests where actual delegates to the national convention are elected.

Anyone who knows anything about state conventions knows that the most conservative candidate has a big advantage over a moderate candidate. In many cases, this advantage is overwhelming.

Romney’s Delegate Problem
Romney has a delegate problem in that he will have a very hard time getting his moderate supporters elected as delegates in these convention systems. This was
evident in Iowa this weekend where the Romney operation collapsed, and Santorum and Paul gained.

The Real Calendar
The Real Calendar (TRC) officially kicked off this weekend in Iowa where activists gathered to begin the process of electing national convention delegates. It is clear to anyone who understands this process that a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney is going to have a difficult time winning as many delegates to the national convention in an Iowa County and State Convention system as the media calculated based on the Open Caucus system that took place in January. This system will play out in state after state, and although there will be hiccups in certain states, on average Rick Santorum will gain far more delegates than Mitt Romney through this delegate election process.

The Real Count
The count largely depends on how you calculate the delegates in states such as Iowa that have not yet elected their National Convention Delegates. For example, the RNC currently gives Santorum 0 delegates for Iowa, the media gives him 7. We believe he will end up with more than 7 delegates as the process plays out.  We also believe that Romney will receive less.

Most of the publicly available delegate counts are fundamentally flawed because none of them have taken into account that conservative grassroots activists at county and state conventions will elect more Santorum delegates than a primary or even caucus beauty contest in the same respective state would allocate.  Therefore, the Real Counts are far better than the projected counts and will continue to improve as the National Convention approaches and states elect their actual convention delegates. The Santorum campaign will keep a tally called the Real Count moving forward. It will be based on the results of both the Real Calendar and the Traditional Calendar.

Traditional Calendar
There is unlikely to be very much change in the delegate totals based on the results of Tuesday’s contests.  Regardless of the results, we anticipate this finally becoming an election between the moderate establishment candidate and the conservative grassroots candidate as we move towards Missouri and beyond.

  • March 17 — Missouri: Rick Santorum will do very well in Missouri, win a number of delegates, and have momentum heading into Illinois.
  • March 20 — Illinois: Mitt Romney might have an edge in Illinois but we feel very good about our ability to once again win the more conservative areas of the state, earn a considerable number of delegates, and maintain momentum heading into Louisiana.
  • March 24 — Louisiana Primary:
    Louisiana is going to allocate approximately half of its delegates in the Primary on
    March 24 and half of them later in a caucus process. It is likely that Santorum picks up
    considerable delegates in both of these contests.
    We assume that Newt Gingrich will become less of a factor in terms of vote totals in races after the Louisiana Primary, if not before.
  • April 3 — Wisconsin, Maryland, and DC: These primaries are winner take all. They could be the first contests that are a one-on-one between a conservative and a moderate. The emphasis that day is likely to be on Wisconsin. Most recent polling has shown Santorum to be doing quite well in the state and it is expected to be a very close contest. Not being on the ballot was not a problem or us in DC because DC Republicans would almost surely vote for the most moderate candidate anyway.
  • April 24 — New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware: Rick Santorum will win a very large number of delegates on April 24 including his home state of Pennsylvania. Some analysts in the media have argued that Romney will do well in the Northeast because he is the moderate in the race — however that is not necessarily consistent with recent history in contested primaries in these five states. April 24 could be a good day for Rick Santorum.
  • May 8 — North Carolina, Indiana, and West Virginia: We believe that May 8 is the beginning of the end for Mitt Romney and the date that puts Rick Santorum on a path to the nomination. Rick Santorum will have the momentum coming out of these contests. Our research shows us that even the uncommitted delegates in West Virginia favor Santorum.
  • May 15 — Nebraska and Oregon: Rick Santorum will do well on May 15 in Nebraska and hold his own in Oregon.
  • May 22 — Kentucky and Arkansas: Rick Santorum will likely win a majority of the delegates on May 22 and gain significant momentum leading into Texas.
  • May 29 — Texas: Rick Santorum will win the Texas Primary and dramatically close the public delegate gap with Mitt Romney on May 29th.
  • June 5 — California, New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico:
    The candidate who wins the most delegates on June 5 will lead the public delegate count going into the national convention. Rick Santorum will also lead the Real Count by this point.
  • June 26 — Utah: We will go out on a limb and predict that Romney will win Utah.

Conservative Majority of Delegates: Public vs. Actual Delegate Counts
There is a “Conservative Majority” of delegates emerging as county and state conventions elect their actual National Convention delegates.  This “Conservative Majority” will support Rick Santorum over a moderate-establishment Romney.

There are three reasons why the counts that are put out by the RNC and media organizations are not reflective of the real numbers:

  1. Unbound and Uncommitted Delegates elected by grassroots activists are more likely to favor Santorum than those elected by direct primary election. This represents a movement of delegates into Santorum’s tally.
  2. Bound delegates elected by grassroots activists will favor Santorum as rules allow.
    Gingrich delegates are more likely to favor Santorum.
  3. Rule Breaking states such as Florida and Arizona.

Unbound Delegates
As has been described previously, unbound delegates are much more likely to favor Rick Santorum than Mitt Romney because they are largely elected by more conservative caucus and convention systems. Therefore, this race is much, much closer than what the current media and RNC counts portray.

Bound Delegates
Bound delegates are largely elected at state conventions across the country and therefore are more conservative than an average primary voter. If the convention goes multiple ballots, it is likely that a conservative candidate like Rick Santorum will gain votes on the second and third  ballots whereas a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney will lose votes.

Gingrich Delegates
We obviously do not know how Newt Gingrich will move forward with his campaign but we are confident that whether before the convention or on the convention floor that when the time comes Newt Gingrich delegates are far more likely to vote for Rick Santorum than they are for Mitt Romney.

Majority Needed for Romney, Not for Santorum
Mitt Romney must have a majority on the first ballot in order to win the nomination because he will perform worse on subsequent ballots as grassroots conservative delegates decide to back the more conservative candidate.  Subsequently, Santorum only needs to be relatively close on the initial ballot in order to win on a later ballot as Romney’s support erodes.

Romney Difficulty in getting 50% of Remaining Delegates
Even Romney’s own counters admit that he needs to earn almost 50% of the remaining delegates in order to win the nomination. We believe this number is higher than 50% for the reasons described in this memo. Regardless, this is going to be very difficult in a three or four person race, especially as he loses delegates at state conventions such as Iowa.

Florida and Arizona
Florida and Arizona broke RNC rules both when they moved forward and also when they chose to allocate delegates. Their delegations will be challenged if seated as winner-take-all.

Conclusion
Time is on Rick Santorum’s side. He will gain delegates as this process plays out and conservatives are elected as National Convention Delegates. Despite the Romney campaign’s smokescreen, they cannot change the fact that he can’t inspire the base of the party, has a delegate problem, and has a very difficult time getting to a majority.

The delegate race is currently much closer than some would like people to believe. It will get even closer as actual national convention delegates are elected at county, district, and state conventions across the country. They represent the Conservative Majority of the Republican Party, and that is a huge problem for a moderate candidate like Mitt Romney.

Furthermore, Rick Santorum will gain the momentum in late May by winning Kentucky, Arkansas, and Texas and head into California and New Jersey with significant momentum.

At that point there will be a Conservative Majority of the delegates to the National Convention and Rick Santorum will become the presumed Republican nominee for President of the United States.

Please also read: