Conservatives continue push for winner-take-all primary
Sat April 7, 2012 1:56 pm

The Texas Eagle Forum has upped the ante for the May 29 Texas presidential primary. Five prominent conservatives have signed a TEF e-mail headlined "Texas' role in choosing the president." It calls for a winner-take-all Republican presidential primary, rather than awarding the state's 155 delegates based on proportionality, as stipulated by the Republican National Committee. The signees include David Barton, former vice president of the Republican Party of Texas; Kelly Shackelford, a former national platform committee member; Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans; Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum and a former state GOP chairman; and Paul Bettencourt, former state GOP treasurer and Harris County tax assessor-collector.) The text of the e-mail follows:

We in Texas know that we are a significant force in national conservative politics. After all, we have the largest Republican congressional delegation of any state, and ours is a conservative delegation!
We also have 155 delegates at stake in the presidential primary – that’s more than the famous first five primary states combined (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Nevada). Those five states are considered to have set the tone for the entire presidential race, but Texas has not spoken yet – and we can speak with a louder voice and with more impact than all of those states!

Under our winner-take-all system, our 155 delegates have a significant impact on any presidential race. But this year, the Republican National Committee was poised to penalize Texas for holding our primary in March (as we always do) by imposing on us a proportional delegate count, so the Republican Party of Texas moved away from our normal presidential procedure. But then the federal courts got involved and delayed the Texas primary until May. So Texas now has an opportunity to regain its unified voice by going back to a winner-take-all primary.

Contrary to what you may have heard from the national media, the race for the Republican presidential nominee is far from over. [emphasis added--pb] After all, only 37% of delegates have been assigned so far; and the media has been completely wrong on the number of delegates that separate Romney from the others (particularly the oft-repeated Associated Press count) – the actual count shows the gap to be much narrower than claimed.

Texas can therefore have a clear and powerful voice in selecting a conservative Republican nominee for president by moving back to a winner-take-all system. All it takes is for the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) to call a meeting and make the rule change before the Texas primary vote. Please contact your SREC member (link here) and ask them to convene and make that change; and also contact the Republican Party of Texas (link here) and let them know that you want to see Texas regain its national voice.

Please act on this as quickly as possible - Texas, as the biggest conservative state in the country, should be allowed to speak with the loudest voice!! Thanks for all you do to keep Texas a conservative state!

God bless!

* * * *

The premise underlying the winner-take-all primary is that the Associated Press delegate count is wrong. Really? What do the signees know that the AP doesn't? If successful, which I doubt it will be, the main impact of moving to a winner-take-all primary will be to weaken the national Republican party's attempt to defeat Barack Obama. It is quite remarkable that these prominent Republicans regard as their primary mission the defeat of another Republican. Following a similar effort Friday by Weston Martinez, a supporter of Rick Santorum, to get the State Republican Executive Committee to change the primary to a winner-take-all format (see yesterday's post, "Santorum supporters seek winner-take-all Tx primary"), it's a good indication of just how far out of the national Republican mainstream the state Republican party is.

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