Monday, February 29, 2016

Tulsa GOP Chairman Opposes Super Tuesday

  This cycle, Oklahoma has been elevated to the #5 date on the GOP calendar. The RNC has stood firm to punish states like Florida and stared down North Carolina's attempt to cut in line. Why did those states want to? Relevance. I never heard an Iowan complain that his state has TOO MUCH impact on the presidential election process.
  This year, Oklahoma has had presidential campaign rallies like never before. Some leading candidates are coming back for a 2nd time in the past week. Others are booking venues in multiple cities as they come sweep'n down the plain.
  But Tulsa County GOP Chairman, Michael F. Ford; doesn't want Oklahoma to be a part of this early process. Last spring he publicly supported a bill in the legislature which would have buried Oklahoma into the April election dates. that's far beyond the point where a real choice of candidates remain. It would allow half of the other states to narrow down our Oklahoma choices to at most 2 active candidates, if that?

Ford's thesis still remains publicly posted on a social media forum. We're posting it here, for our readers:

Regarding all the hype about the 2016 Presidential Primaries…

Tulsa County GOP Chairman, Michael F. Ford
  Earlier today, I read another email telling me why Oklahoma should not move out of the 2016 Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Abyss.  The author cited many opinions why, which he is entitled to.  However, we should carefully look at the facts and also look at the big picture instead of listening to people who clearly don’t understand presidential campaigns and have their facts wrong.One source says OK was a winner take all (WTA) state in 2008, but we were not.We were proportional, as Huckabee won 6 delegates because he won D1 and D2, McCain won D3, D4 and D5 for 9 delegates, and also the remaining at large delegates awarded to the nominee at the convention.
  They also assume if we move back, past March 15, we will definitely be WTA instead of proportional. Not true. We can pick either format, according to the new RNC rules.  The rule states “Prior to March 15th,” the process shall be proportional.  Those states going on or after 3/15 can choose either WTA or proportional.  Personally, I believe Oklahoma will have more influence if we go WTA, but again, the only restrictions are on states holding primaries BEFORE 3/15.
  And today, we hear alarmist rhetoric saying the race will be over before mid-April, which is definitely not true. Mitt Romney didn't sew up the 2012 nomination until summer, after winning Texas in MAY. There are two main reasons Romney didn't get the required 1144 delegates to secure the nomination much earlier than that:

  1. FL again jumped up and was docked half of their WTA delegates.
  2. California, New York and Texas jumped way back into the summer.
  Those 4 states combine for enough electoral value to run the table. Over half of the states previously holding their elections on Super Tuesday in 2008 backed out in 2012, and so far at least 1/3 of those states are backing out in 2016.  Why?
  Because Super Tuesday makes most participating states irrelevant in regard to economic boost, candidate presence, and also national recognition as a player. The only states where we saw candidates actually spend time and money campaigning were in states offering a significant amount of delegates to win, and/or who stood alone on the calendar and provided national spotlight potential. Super Tuesday buried OK with a bunch of other obscure states where candidates without $200 Million can do very little to compete.
  Beyond a quick “fly-in, rally, fly-out” presence like we saw in OK in 2012, the candidates spent no significant time or money here. Their total combined time on the ground in OK totaled less than 18 hours. There were literally no significant mail, no TV or radio commercials purchased here, and most or all of each respective candidate's signs, apparel and literature were printed in another state and sent here via UPS or Fed-Ex.
 Unlike we've seen in the past, high total delegate states tentatively going before March 15th, such as NY, FL, OH and TX will all have to be proportional instead of WTA.  At least half of all the states will be voting on or AFTER 3/15, including larger value states like MO, IL, CA, PA, and WI. These 25+ states will be more strategically valuable as WTA states than the previous 25- proportional states, because candidates in 2nd and 3rd place can quickly overtake the leader.  It is almost mathematically impossible for anyone to secure the 1144 or more delegates required to seal the nomination before mid April.
  As it stands now, more than a dozen states (like OK) are undecided on when they will hold their elections. Many of them are discussing the potential of moving out of Super Tuesday and beyond 3/15 to give them more individual value and publicity. It's pure speculation for anyone right now to assume the schedule will stay the same or even be remotely similar to the last few presidential primaries. The only thing we can count on for sure is that this will NOT be over in March.
Candidates will now have to reassess the traditional strategy of treating the "conservative death traps" we know to be IA and SC like a gold rush, and look at the prospect of longevity and creating firewalls of money, time and organization in other states down the line. History has already shown us that Iowa has nothing to do with winning the nomination, and Conservatives can no longer afford to spend 6-9 months in Iowa spending an average of $20 Million each there because Iowa is no longer the catalyst it once was.I respect everyone’s opinion about elections, including those without much experience or a successful track record of involvement with them.  But as someone who has been heavily involved in a few federal elections, including presidential races, I have to set the record straight.  Oklahoma has received no benefit from being proportional, nor have we seen any fruit from being lost in the Super Tuesday shuffle.  Moving past March 15th and becoming Winner Take All will absolutely put our 41 delegates in the national conversation and finally bring some REAL recognition and economic benefit to the Red State.

  • Mike Ford  
  • Chairman Republican Party of Tulsa County 
  • March 27, 2015
This year, Oklahoma has had presidential campaign rallies like never before. Some leading candidates are coming back for a 2nd time in the past week. Others are booking venues in multiple cities as they come sweep'n down the plain.
In March of 2015, I went to the state leg-
islature to testify against the bill that
Chairman Ford endorsed. I was successful in
killing the bill in committee.
  Ford is incorrect on a few glaring points. He says Oklahoma was proportional in 2008. We were not. We were District winner-take-all, and State Winner-take-all. Each of the 5 districts awarded 3 delegates to it's winner and the state awarded about 2 dozen delegates to the over-all statewide winner.
  Ford is also errant about the history of competitive presidential races in mid April. The 2012 primary contest was essentially over on April 5th, when Rick Santorum ended his effort.
  In 2008, it was even earlier than that. But this year several campaigns are flush with money for Super Tuesday and they can afford a brisk travel schedule. It won't be so in 3 weeks from now.
We go to vote this week with 5 very viable choices:

  • Carson
  • Cruz
  • Kasich
  • Rubio
  • Trump
  This is the most viable options Oklahoma has had since we switched from caucus to primary, in 1988. We earned this spot through our discipline to follow party rules and our desire to be relevant in the selection process.
The people who despise our influential position are:
  1. Eastern media who find our midwestern conservatism to be an embarrassment to their liberal friends.
  2. Non conservatives (RINOs) who would rather that other, more 'moderate' electorates make the choice, instead.
  3. Those who want to get rid of the Oklahoma Tea Party influence.
  4. Oklahoma Political operatives who get paid by RINO presidential candidates and their  PACs.
  Perhaps Chairman Ford has corrected his perspective on Super Tuesday, in light of the fantastic and unprecedented role that the Sooner State now sees herself filling. But his thesis is still posted up on social media sites, for multitudes to read.
  I will say that for anyone who despises the role we've played, this week; you are always free to stay home from the polls and let the rest of us make the selection for you. Because if you had your way, Florida and Ohio would have made our selection for us.

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