The Wyoming strategy

While the major media is focused on this Saturday’s Republican South Carolina open proportional primary the Republicans will also have a caucus in Nevada on the same day. Because of party rules about states voting before February 5th South Carolina had their delegate count to the Republican convention cut in half, now only 24. The delegate count for Nevada is 34 and according to the information I could find has not been reduced by the party. So Nevada may actually be the bigger prize. Guess where Mitt Romney is campaigning? That’s right, in Nevada where more delegates are at stake.

One of our readers mentioned that Romney needs to prove that he can win a southern state. A valid point, especially for a party that depends so heavily on the South to win in November. If you look at the primary schedule you will see that 3 days after South Carolina votes Louisiana holds it’s caucus, a closed caucus. That means no independents or Democrats get to pick the Republican nominee in Louisiana. The media seems to have ignored Louisiana in favor of other southern states but there are still delegates at stake. If Romney focuses on or does well in Louisiana then he will continue to lead in the delegate count. South Carolina is proportional so coming a strong 3rd will still result in gaining a good share of delegates.

Florida is the last big prize before the tsunami on February 5th. Florida matters because even after the delegate count has been halved there are still 57 at stake. It is also a winner-take-all primary. So a close second place gets you nothing. It is a closed primary so it is a clear measure of Republican voter sentiment.

It will be interesting to see how Romney addresses Florida after he lets his opponents beat each other up in South Carolina, and burn their last bit of campaign funds. John Ellis has a great overview of the race posted on Real Clear Politics. He claims all the campaigns are broke except Romney. His approach to South Carolina is like waiting out a gunfight until everyone else is out of ammunition. Romney can walk into Florida with a belt full of ammo while all the others will be weak and out of bullets from South Carolina, most likely without a decisive win for any of them.


  1. For those that keep doubting Fred and saying he needs to get more excited, I would like to give you this statement overheard by Kim Owens, “Senator Thompson is not the sizzle but the steak!” Great statement. For a country that is hungry for change, I think the rest might not fill you up with all their “sizzle” but Fred will be the savory substance we need!

  2. Sonoran Alliance says

    Fred will do as well as any of them but he needs to start winning some delegates.

  3. That I agree with

  4. Unfortunately, Rhonda, we can extend the steak analogy further. It apparently takes several months to get your steak with Fred. And by that time, everyone’s already finished their dinner.

    If Fred finishes anything better than third by a point or 2 ahead of Mittens, I’ll be surprised.

  5. ” Florida matters because even after the delegate count has been halved there are still 57 at stake. It is also a winner-take-all primary. So a close second place gets you nothing. It is a closed primary so it is a clear measure of Republican voter sentiment.”

    Still doubting Rudy’s electoral strategy?

  6. Klute,

    Fred came in third in Iowa and at one time led SC. Fred is only 2 points below Robo-Romney 3000 in SC. Fred needs to win primaries, but he is not out.

  7. Adrian in Phoenix says

    The media is making a big deal about the necessity of winning the first in the south – SC.
    This year the primaries have all changed and nobody is sure if the old bromides are still true.
    Rudy has guessed that none of the early ones matter, and Mitt has guessed that lots of delegates = lots of delegates.
    It will be interesting to see where things sit in a few weeks.

  8. James, why isn’t he out? I mean, if he can’t win in South Carolina, where he’s basically dumping all his money, where can he win? He has no game. How can he credibly say “I can be president” when he can’t even break 30% in his own party?

    His highest showing has been Wyoming and even there was light-years behind Romney in an uncontested race where he actually campaigned. He was third in Iowa, he’s been beaten by Ron Freakin’ Paul in both New Hampshire and Michigan.

    All this “steak not sizzle” and “no fire in the belly” commentary is just a spin on “he doesn’t know how to campaign”. This isn’t some race in an electoral backwater with a Good Ol’ Boy machine doing the work for him.

    It’s like that Saturday Night Live sketch:

    “I’m not saying I don’t want to be your president, because I kinda do.”

    If his strategy is to hold out for a brokered convention his obviously sampled a little too much free Jim Beam.

  9. Klute,

    If the early primaries are any indication, we are going to have a brokered convention. No one is getting out of the race now. Why would you? My democrat friend brought this up to me today. If you have delegates, and you know that to be the nominee, you have to have over 50, then all of the sudden: you are important – you are the coalition partner.

    Unless something happens on Super Tuesday (that tsunami word gets thrown around too much), then we are going to have a brokered convention. And guess who loses a brokered convention? Romney. Because come convention time, it not only becomes a great popularity contest but a popularity contest within the party.

    Also think where we are at. We are in January. Think about January last year and all the changes that have happened within a year. Think about the person you were in January trying to make decisions about what happens a week before veteran’s day.

    No one has any money. But no one is out.

  10. Klute,
    Continuing with the steak analogy, when you order your steak at the right time and are patient you get a great steak, when you order too early, it either gets cold waiting for the perfect time to eat or it comes out burnt, neither one ends up being a great steak!

    I’ll buy you a steak if it will help! 🙂

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