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Friday, April 29, 2016

WV gets more delegates than Iowa?

I voted today in the West Virginia Primary for Donald Trump. I was going to leave that blank but I decided to flip the bird at Washington with both hands -- as another gentleman put it. However, I was struck by the unfairness because West Virginia, with five Electoral College gets 34 delegates, and Iowa with six Electoral College votes gets 30 delegates. It should be the other way around.

This is not just a Republican thing. We get 29 Democratic delegates while Iowa gets 23 -- and Democrats have nearly twice as many delegates to hand out.

That's because no one likes the Iowa Caucuses, which has candidates and the national media traipsing around frozen farm fields in January.

Delegates are awarded on a scientific basis that makes no damned sense at all. While Trump supporters complain, with some merit, about the awarding of Colorado's 37 delegates, the people of Colorado should complain about getting only three more delegates than West Virginia even though Colorado has four more Electoral College votes.

West Virginia gets 6.8 delegates for every Electoral College vote it has. California gets 3.1.

If California and West Virginia received delegates in the same proportional to Electoral College votes, California would get 374 delegates.

California gets 172.

Small, reliably Republican states out West do even better. Among them, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming have 12 Electoral College votes and get 114 delegates.

New Jersey has 14 Electoral College votes. It gets 51 delegates.

Now I know why this is. The party wants its nomination decided by as many Republicans as possible. The argument from Never Trump that "liberal states" are deciding the nomination is just plain wrong. If it were true, Trump would have the nomination sewn up. The states he won have a combined 288 Electoral College votes. And no, I am not advocating the nomination be done that way because many of his states have not been won since Reagan was president (which includes the 1988 election). Party loyalty needs to be rewarded. But if a party is interested in growing its base, it needs to consider being more inclusive.

In a perfect world, each state and DC would get five delegates for each Electoral College with 82 delegates left over to divvy among the territories.

But that would be unfair to loyal Republicans. Voting Republican in four presidential elections in a row (like West Virginia) should get you better treatment than a state that voted Democrat four times in a row (New Jersey).

Still, this awarding of delegates is unfair.

Florida and New York each have 29 Electoral College votes. Florida went Republican twice in the last four campaigns, while New York has gone oh for the last six.

Three times as many Republican voted in the Florida Primary than did in the New York Primary.

But Florida gets 99 delegates and New York gets 95?

Trump won both, but he had twice as many votes in Florida and gained only nine more delegates. That does not make sense.

There will be major changes in the Republican nomination process. Believe me. The moneybags who want to run the show are going to close this barn door once this horse runs away with the nomination, regardless of November's outcome.

If party leaders are smart, they will reward states that held primaries and attracted a lot of voters. They will also reward the states that vote Republican in November. But they will also do so in a way that will give hope to those loyal Republicans alone in those Democratic strongholds.


  1. The arcane delegate system was devised by the GOP Establishment to protect its own. One man/one vote is anathema to the poobahs. - Elric

  2. The whole IA caucuses needs to go the way of the buffalo. We only have it because David Rockefeller ordered the nets to hype Carter's "better than expected" performance 40 years ago.

    But I have no doubt it's to hype the "drama" of IA.