PCO Election Tonight

Posted: August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today is the primary election deadline in Washington. There is a lot of speculation about how the votes will break today for the PCOs (and those other, less important races).  Four years ago, the Ron Paul campaign apparently ran about 90 candidates for PCO, and they failed to get more than a dozen or so elected. This time, more than just Ron Paul supporters have come to the realization that the moderate minority is controlling the direction of the party, and the grass roots movement currently underway more closely resembles the ‘Fusionism’ of the Reagan era, with Tea Party/Liberty forces laying aside their foreign policy differences and realizing that locally they share many of the same goals for the Republican Party and for their government. Together, these two factions make up the majority of the activists and voters in the party, but they still have a tremendous disadvantage to overcome in terms of communication with likely voters. The Establishment has the funds, both within the party and with large private donors (there are reports that such a donor was tapped to send out mailers in several precincts). They also have the advantage of name recognition, and they have access to the G.O.P. Voter Vault that they have kept away from most of the PCO Liberty Alliance candidates. The Establishment knows how to win…that is why they are ‘the Establishment’. There are also reports that voter turnout for this primary is very low, which may favor the old guard.

On the PCOLA side of the ledger is strong conviction about their cause, momentum from the county convention, and it’s probably safe to say that they have worked harder in their precincts. Whether this will be enough to win is anyone’s guess. My own prediction is that the final PCO distribution will far more closely resemble the caucus straw poll, which had 37% Romney, 28.5% Paul and 22.5% Santorum. Obviously, the presidential candidates are not as relevant now, but the factions of moderate, conservative, and libertarian still exist in some form, as they have in the Republican party for many decades.

If the conservative/libertarian coalition holds together, I think we will see a new CCRP Executive board, but a board that will  eventually be welcomed by most in the party as being far more representative of the party at large than has been the case in the past. Under Brandon Vick, the board was made up almost entirely of Romney supporters, and all three automatic delegates from Clark County went to Romney, despite the fact that almost two-thirds of the caucus voters voted for a candidate other than Romney. I view the possible change as the inevitable correction to that inequitable situation, and I think it will be very interesting to see what the Moderate wing does when they are forced to work with others, rather than just dictating their will to the rest of the party.

As a harbinger of things to come, Brent Boger, former party chair and recent rules chair at the most poorly-run convention anyone can remember, has decided to quit the Republican Party entirely and to use the media to take a few parting shots at conservatives on the way out. There are many among the Romney camp (including a certain reader of this blog) who have expressed a willingness to work and participate among the new faces that will inevitably be ascending to leadership roles, but apparently Boger wasn’t one of them.

Results are supposed to be reported tonight around 9 p.m. Let the fun begin!

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