By Adam Dick
The Republican National Committee (RNC) was not happy that Ron Paul, who had won second place in Minnesota’s February of 2012 caucuses, ended up with over three-quarters of the state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention. The RNC was not happy with Paul’s delegates’ large wins in other states either.
The rules had allowed an outsider to win. Therefore, the insiders decided the rules needed to be changed. Well, what do you know! Because of the new rules for allotting delegates to the winner on caucus night, the insiders are now fretting that the winning of the state’s delegates by another party outsider — Donald Trump — may be unstoppable in 2016.
The new rules the RNC imposed for the 2016 Republican Party presidential nomination seek to prevent a repeat of the Paul supporters’ success. For Minnesota, Michael Brodkorb of the Minneapolis Star Tribune summarizes a very significant change in the process as follows:
All delegates from Minnesota to the Republican National Convention in 2016 will be elected proportionately and bound to the winners of the presidential preference ballot at Republican precinct caucuses on March 1, 2016 for the first round of balloting.
This rules change is intended to stop a candidate’s supporters from taking action at successive levels of conventions in the state to obtain for their candidate a greater portion of delegates. While this rules change could have stymied Paul’s supporters in 2012, it may benefit Trump’s supporters this year.
The Minnesota caucuses are scheduled for March 1, Super Tuesday. And now the insiders are worried that the new rules for delegate allocation could help Trump win the Minnesota vote for the nomination. Mark Zdechlik gives voice to this concern in his Thursday Minnesota Public Radio report, noting that Trump is relatively popular in the state, generates excitement among potential voters, and could gain greater momentum towards a first place Minnesota finish by doing well in the February primaries and caucuses.
Even if the rules change works out in Trump’s favor, he should beware: The RNC showed Paul’s supporters at the 2012 Republican National Convention that the RNC can and will act — including by bending, breaking, or changing the rules — to keep down an outsider candidate and his supporters.
This article was published by the RonPaul Institute.