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Sunday, April 17, 2016

In the Georgia District Conventions, Trump Got Exactly What the Electorate Wanted

Yesterday, representing Hall County, my lovely wife Michelle was a delegate for the 9th district GOP convention in Georgia. While there, she voted on multiple resolutions and voted to select the delegates and the alternates to the national convention. Three delegates were chosen, along with three alternates.

Tellingly, Michelle reported to me that while voting on the delegates, some of the voters would shout out "We need to know who they are for!" An officer leading the proceedings declared that the candidates were not required to reveal who they were "for." However--as I suppose is usually the case--there was enough information being spread around the convention to deduce which GOP candidate for U.S. President each delegate was supporting (some were literally wearing their support on their sleeve).

The 9th congressional district of Georgia is one of the most conservative districts in the country. Unsurprisingly, Ted Cruz had the most support at yesterday's meeting in Dillard, Georgia. Evidently, this was the case across all of the district conventions in Georgia. Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) reported that Donald Trump got "outmaneuvered by Ted Cruz forces in Georgia." Of course, this sent the Trump supporters into a tizzy.

Today, the AJC reports that Trump supporters "stormed out of a Georgia GOP convention." After being denied delegate positions, showing a grainy photo of a man snatching the U.S. flag, the article notes that Trump supporters "bolted the 7th district GOP convention." The Trump propaganda machine took such information and (again) began shouting that Trump had been "cheated."

The Trump apologists at Breitbart reported on an "Uproar In The Hall." Of course, Drudge--another rabid Trump apologist--prominently placed a link to the Breitbart piece at the top of his page. As Rush Limbaugh noted on the selection of Cruz delegates in Colorado, this is not Ted Cruz "cheating," this is Ted Cruz "winning."

As I posted on the AJC and Breitbart yesterday, Trump did not win a majority of the vote in GA (39%), he won a plurality. A significant majority voted for someone else (Cruz and Rubio totaled 48% together), thus Trump's struggle to get supportive delegates is no surprise. Trump will get his promised delegates on the first ballot at the convention, but if he doesn't get 1,237, the delegates can vote as they like.

There's nothing nefarious going on here. There's certainly no "fraud." Of the 20 counties represented in the Georgia 9th district (see a the vote by each Georgia county here), Trump won a majority of the vote in only two of those counties (Fannin: 53%, Gilmer: 52%). Thus, 90% of the counties in the Georgia 9th preferred another candidate to Mr. Trump. When given a choice of only Trump or Cruz (which they did not have in the primary), it is clear that most voters in these counties prefer Cruz. Thus, it is perfectly legitimate for these districts to send delegates to the national convention that represent such an outcome.

What's more, this is true across Georgia. Trump rarely won a majority of the vote in any Georgia county. This is how the process works when the field is narrowed to the three GOP candidates that we now have, and when no candidate looks likely to secure 1,237. All that the Georgia district conventions did yesterday was again reveal the disorganization and weakness of Trump's national GOP campaign.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World

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