Primary Day 2012 In Pa

Those who have been following this blog or politics in general will know that today, April 24, is the Pennsylvania primary election.

The Democrat ticket features a challenge to incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Casey from blue-collar business owner Joseph Vodvarka of Allegheny County. Send a message Democrats. Show you are not sheep. Vote for the little guy.
It also incudes a battle for state Attorney General between Kathleen Kane of Lackawanna County and former 8th District Congressman Patrick Murphy, who our columnist Chris Freind really doesn’t like. The winner faces Republican David Freed of Cumberland County who is unopposed.
On the Republican ticket there is of course the presidential contest with  Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich still trying to take down Mitt Romney, and with Rick Santorum still on the ballot serving as a useful “none of the above”.
The most important presidential vote, though, may be those for the congressional district delegates (see list at the bottom). Of the 72 delegates Pennsylvania will send to the Presidential election 59 will be directly elected from the states 18 congressional districts.   
The U.S. Senate contest features David Christian of Bucks County, Marc Scaringi of Cumberland County, Sam Rohrer of Berks County, Tom Smith of Armstrong County and Steve Welch of Chester County. Welch, who is a former donor to liberal Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak, and who voted for Barack Obama, is the man the state Republican leaders strangely decided to endorse. He has also been endorsed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. If you are a Republican who believes President Obama has been good for this country, you should probably vote for Welch. I’m voting for Rohrer.
For those in the 9th State Senatorial District, incumbent Dominic Pileggi, who is that body’s majority leader, is trying to fend off a challenge from citizen Rogers Howard who is angry about drunken spending and cronyism in Harrisburg. For those living in the 9th District looking to send a loud message, well, here is your chance.
Frank Pinto of Dauphin County and John Maher of Allegheny County are seeking the nomination for state Auditor General. The winer will face Eugene DePasquale of York County who is running unopposed on the Democrat ticket.
Here is a list of  congressional district delegates posted by JediJones on FreeRepublic.Com in which he has endeavored to place the delegate with his preferred candidate. If the candidate’s name is on the party ballot you can be confident that that candidate is for Romney.
(Updated at noon)

CD 1 (Vote for 3)

Taxin, Marion (2008 alternate) [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Delaware/Philly}

Vogler, Christopher [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Delaware/Philly}

Boggia, Tom [PAUL]

Untermeyer, Michael

Anton, Frederick (2008 delegate) [ROMNEY]

Kerns Jr., Dale [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 2 (Vote for 3)

Tucker, Calvin

Harris, Lewis [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Philly/Montco}

Vogler, Walter [ROMNEY]

Lang, Adam [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Philly/Montco}

Gureghian, Vahan [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Philly/Montco}

ALTERNATE Koren, Seth [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 3 (Vote for 3)

Sergi, Michael [PAUL]

Lange, Carl

English, Philip [ROMNEY]

Lindsey, Travis [PAUL]

Mustello, Michele (2004 alternate)

Pepper, Jean (2000 alternate)

Metcalfe, Daryl (State Rep.)

Salorino, Joe [PAUL]

Adametz, Paul

********************************************************************

CD 4 (Vote for 4)

Wingert, Lisa [ROMNEY]

Gerow, Charlie [GINGRICH]

Hoffman, Eric [GINGRICH]

Gillispie, Marilyn (2008 delegate) [SANTORUM]

Roberts, Elizabeth [PAUL]

Zentmeyer, Deborah [ROMNEY]

Bair, Barbara [NO RESPONSE]

Talley, Dave [PAUL]

Wingert, Kenneth (2004 delegate) [ROMNEY]

Parsley, Thomas Byran [PAUL]

Keys, Deborah [ROMNEY]

Brown, Emily [GINGRICH]

Matthias, G [SANTORUM]

Hoang, David [UNDECIDED, BUT SAYS HE LIKES ASIANS LOL]

Habacivch, William [UNDECIDED, DISLIKES ROMNEY AND PAUL]

Stewart, Dick (2008 delegate) [UNCOMMITTED, LONGTIME RNC MEMBER]

Doller, Suzanne C. (2008 alternate) [PAUL]

Grippi, Antonio [NO RESPONSE, BUT RUMORED TO BE FOR PAUL]

ALTERNATE Cotton, Derek [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Garry, Dave [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Nagle, Chad [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Shoemaker, Seth M. [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 5 (Vote for 3)

Styn, Mary

Martin, Thomas [PAUL]

Haas, Joyce [SANTORUM]

Corman, III, Jacob [SANTORUM]

Brown, Thomas G. [PAUL]

Mitchell, Lee A. [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Brady, Mark R. [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 6 (Vote for 3)

Spadt, Jonathan [ROMNEY OR POSSIBLY SANTORUM OR DISTRICT WINNER]

Schroder, Curt (State Rep.) [ROMNEY, SWITCHED FROM GINGRICH?]

Costello, Ryan [ROMNEY]

Duffy, Philip G. [PAUL]

Bender, Edmund (Berks County Patriots Member) [UNKNOWN]

Leban, Sean [PAUL]

Whitman, Byron [PAUL]

Kearney, Janice [UNCOMMITTED, LEANING TOWARD GINGRICH] [petition under challenge?]

Gerlach, Jim [ROMNEY]

ALTERNATE Doyle, Mary Louise [UNCOMMITTED, SOUNDS LIKE SHE DOESN’T LIKE GINGRICH]

ALTERNATE Cutillo, Jonathan [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Peppel, Brian [UNCOMMITTED, LEANING TOWARD DISTRICT WINNER]

ALTERNATE MacQueen, Norm [UNCOMMITTED, LEANING TOWARD DISTRICT WINNER]

********************************************************************

CD 7 (Vote for 4)

Cocco, Michael [PAUL]

Willert, Robert [ROMNEY?] {endorsed by county GOP in Delaware}

Grande, Joe [PAUL]

Owens, David [PAUL]

Lewis, Andy [ROMNEY?] {endorsed by county GOP in Delaware}

Sellers, Patrick Henry [PAUL]

Booker, Patricia [ROMNEY?] {endorsed by county GOP in Delaware}

Puppio, Michael [ROMNEY?] {endorsed by county GOP in Delaware} (2008 Delegate)

ALTERNATE Wood-Jacobs, Katherine

ALTERNATE Kocher, Patrick G. [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Salvucci, Elizabeth

ALTERNATE Egan, John

ALTERNATE Paracchio, Nicholas [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Boyle, Michael P. [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Welsh, Carolyn [ROMNEY]

ALTERNATE Moffa, Rocco [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 8 (Vote for 4)

Przybylski, Anastasia [DISTRICT WINNER]

Rosato, Ernest [PAUL]

Merritt, John [GINGRICH]

McCabe, Daniel [GINGRICH]

DiGirolamo, Joe [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Bucks}

Serdula, Donna [PAUL]

Loughery, Robert [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Bucks}

Puig, Ana [GINGRICH]

Dinan, Charles [PAUL]

Poprik, Patricia [ROMNEY] (2008 delegate) {endorsed by county GOP in Bucks}

Pao, David (2000 alternate)

O’Neill, Bernie (State Rep.) [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Bucks}

Pepe, Rob [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Pepe, Eileen [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Rumbold, Andrew [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Schaefer, Kevin [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Stottlar, Justin [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 9 (Vote for 3)

Burkholder, Mary [UNCOMMITTED] (Has solid conservatives values and is a non-politician)

Shuster, Bill [ROMNEY]

Smith, Joan [PAUL]

Thomas, Bob (2008 delegate)

Epps, Meryle-Lynn [PAUL]

Ward, Judy [UNCOMMITTED] (A solid conservative, son is in the Navy, a non-politician. Judy is not sure if she will vote for District or State Winner, but wants the “People” to vote.)

Cruder, Audra [PAUL]

Hess, Dick (State Rep.)

Geist, Richard (State Rep.)

Alloway, II, Richard [SANTORUM]

Kagarise, Wade

Campbell, Allan (1996 delegate) [UNDECIDED, LEANING TOWARD GINGRICH]

ALTERNATE Comfort, Bernadette

ALTERNATE Ward, Judy [UNCOMMITTED, see above]

ALTERNATE Brown, Mark [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Schooley, Travis [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Gambol, Patricia [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 10 (Vote for 3)

Cipolla, Anthony [PAUL]

Harris, Mark [DISTRICT WINNER]

Sides, Carol

Price, James T. [PAUL]

Saylor, Pat (2008 delegate)

Brobson, Robert

Wilson, Aaron [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Price, Nancy E. [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 11 (Vote for 3)

McPherson, Randolph [GINGRICH]

Harrison, Michael [PAUL]

Etzweiler, Debra

Evans, Kathy

Urbanski, William [GINGRICH]

Ely, Donald [ROMNEY]

Reichley, Evan [SANTORUM]

Haste, Jeff [ROMNEY]

Henry, Lowman [GINGRICH PROBABLY?]

Gordner, John (State Senator) [ROMNEY]

Cusat, Jeffrey

Henry, Scott

Anderson, Michael [PAUL]

Piccola, Jeff (State Senator) [ROMNEY]

Zapach, Joseph [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Anderson, Holly [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 12 (Vote for 4)

Laporta, Stephen [GINGRICH THEN SANTORUM THEN ROMNEY]

Pavlick, Jeannette [DISTRICT WINNER, HAS SOLID CONSERVATIVE POSITIONS]

Wilson, Ann [NO RESPONSE]

Cooper, Jill [DISTRICT WINNER]

Majernik, David [DISTRICT WINNER]

Gleason, Jane (Daughter of Bob “Gunner” Gleason. Bob is the Chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania.) [SANTORUM OR POSSIBLY UNCOMMITTED NOW]

Fromme, Christopher [SANTORUM OR POSSIBLY DISTRICT WINNER NOW, ALSO LIKES PAUL]

Turzai, Lidia (2008 delegate) [DISTRICT WINNER, HAS SOLID CONSERVATIVE POSITIONS]

Boreland, Lawrence [PAUL]

McMullen, Mike (2008 delegate) [GINGRICH]

ALTERNATE McMullen, Mike (2008 delegate) [GINGRICH]

ALTERNATE Kennedy, Sarah

ALTERNATE Pruchnic, Carol [ROMNEY]

********************************************************************

CD 13 (Vote for 3)

Donnelly, William [ROMNEY]

McMonagle, Michael (2008 delegate) (President of Pro-Life Coalition PA in Lansdale) [ROMNEY]

Ellis, Thomas [ROMNEY]

Salvi, Michael Anthony [PAUL]

Yates, Brandon [PAUL]

Boyd, Edward

Barrilli, Robert

Gilber, Steven J. [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Hennelly, John [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Odhner, Chad [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Fishburn, Shaun [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 14 (Vote for 3)

Meloy, Mary Ann

Wander, Joshua [GINGRICH]

Roddey, James [ROMNEY]

Brajovic, Melina [PAUL]

Pfeifer, Carl [UNCOMMITTED](has no preconceived plans based on the District or State winner)

Yanovich, Jared [PAUL]

Haluszczak, Melissa [UNCOMMITTED]

ALTERNATE Maul, Andy [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Sheets, James [PAUL]

WRITE-IN Destro, Tony [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 15 (Vote for 3)

Smith, Robert (2008 alternate)

Day, Gary (State Rep.) [petition under challenge]

Carroll, Thomas

Metrick, Michael [GINGRICH]

Simao, Antonio [UNCOMMITTED] (his vote would only deviate if there is a brokered convention, which means he is genuinely open to all the candidates) [petition under challenge]

Browne, Pat [ROMNEY, SWITCHED FROM SANTORUM?]

Blickman, Ellen [PAUL]

McElwee, Charles [GINGRICH PROBABLY?]

Eckhart, Glenn

Diamond, Russ [PAUL]

Piotrowski, Rich [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Felix, Patricia [UNCOMMITTED] (a solid conservative but probably not Paul because of his stance on the military)

ALTERNATE Donatelli, Chris [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Lax, John [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Schulberger, Todd [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 16 (Vote for 3)

Brubaker, Michael [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Lancaster}

Walker, Robert [GINGRICH]

Sheaffer, Evgenia [PAUL]

Sheaffer, Ben [PAUL]

Womble, Ann [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Lancaster}

Frick, Clifford [GINGRICH]

Miller, Rodney [UNCOMMITTED]

Gibson, Andrew [PAUL]

Dumeyer, David [ROMNEY] {endorsed by county GOP in Lancaster}

ALTERNATE Schnee, Marilyn [DISTRICT WINNER]

ALTERNATE Bradley, Ben [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Lawrence, John

ALTERNATE Lafauci, Daniel [PAUL]

ALTERNATE Demme, Ethan [DISTRICT WINNER]

ALTERNATE Scoppettuolo, Jason [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 17 (Vote for 3)

Antonello, Anthony M. [PAUL]

Manko, John [PAUL]

Daub, Daniel (2008 delegate) [ROMNEY]

Spano, Charlie [GINGRICH]

McAndrew Spano, Mary Rose [GINGRICH]

Kerr, Robert [ROMNEY]

Miller, Trent [PAUL]

Sterns, Gretchen [SANTORUM PROBABLY?]

Gaetano, Rose Ann [SANTORUM]

Montero, Maria [ROMNEY]

Thomas, Scott

Dougherty, Mary Beth [ROMNEY, SWITCHED FROM GINGRICH?]

Roces, Eltgad

Mezzacappa, Tricia [GINGRICH PROBABLY?]

ALTERNATE Sheeler, Greg [PAUL]

********************************************************************

CD 18 (Vote for 4)

Steeber, Charles [GINGRICH]

Morreale, Steven [PAUL]

Uram, Thomas (2008 alternate)

Means, Sue

Means, Jim

Oliverio, Louis

Hatton, Meryl

Dougherty, Brian [PAUL]

Garsteck, James [PAUL]

Stopperich, Sonia

Silvis, Mary Jo (2008 delegate)

Wells, Jay

Disarro, Joseph

ALTERNATE Garsteck, James [PAUL]

Primary Day 2012 In Pa

Primary Day 2012 In Pa

Howard Is Breathing On Pileggi’s Neck Harder Than Expected

The Tea Party challenger to the powerful state senate majority leader has gotten twice the number of  signatures needed to get on on April 24 Republican Primary ballot.

Rogers Howard credited his success to a volunteer army of stay-at-home moms, military veterans and professionals.

The man whose job he wants, Dominic Pileggi, the one-time mayor of Chester who has represented the 9th District since 2002, was thought by the pundits to be in for cakewalks in the primary and general elections.


Rick Hits Big Time: 0 Wants Dirt

Rick Hits Big Time: 0 Wants Dirt — Below is a message received by a conservative who has managed to get himself placed on the Obama campaign’s mailing list. So much for running on the issues with vigorous and fair debate about the common good.

Of course since Romney wasn’t doing that why should we who care about this country expect different from the Democrats, whose sole raison d’être is to acquire a soft life through government power?

Name Withheld

Rick Santorum — Pennsylvania’s own — is currently rocketing to the top of the Republican primary polls in key states around the country. I mean, who’d have guessed?

Here’s someone who has actually bragged that he was a tea partier before there was a Tea Party — someone whose extreme-right social views are as out of touch as they are memorable.

Folks across the country are just starting to learn about Rick Santorum as he enjoys his newfound wave of popularity. But people here have known him for some time — long before he was out on the national stage like he is now. And it’s on us to make sure the rest of the country sees Rick Santorum’s true colors.

Share your recollections of Rick Santorum’s record in Pennsylvania.

We all have a role to play in helping introduce the real Rick Santorum to voters in the 49 other states. Your story will help hold him responsible for his actions — and could inspire other Pennsylvanians to get involved and raise their voices, too.

And when it comes to his greatest hits in this state, you’ll have no shortage of material to choose from.

Share what you want the rest of the country to know about Rick Santorum — and then ask your fellow Pennsylvanians to join you:

http://pa.barackobama.com/Santorum

Thanks,

Bill

Bill Hyers
Pennsylvania State Director
Obama for America

 

Rick Hits Big Time: 0 Wants Dirt

Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum

Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum  — Rick Santorum got a big boost in his battle to be the GOP presidential nominee when Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine gave him the thumbs up.

“You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m
hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the
White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum,” Mustaine told MusicRadar.com.

Megadeth is known for such works as Rust in Peace, Symphony of Destruction, and, of course, Holy Wars.

Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum

Mustaine Endorses Rick Santorum  -- Rick Santorum got a big boost in his battle to be the GOP presidential nominee when Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine gave him

 

Toeing GOP Line In Welch Endorsement

Toeing GOP Line In Welch Endorsement — The York 912 Patriots have compiled a list of state Republican Committee members who voted to give  Steve Welch  the party’s endorsement  for the U.S. Senate Primary this April 24.

Welch is a Chester County businessman who supported Barack Obama and liberal Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak.

He won the endorsement with 182 votes with the rest being split by Tom Smith, Tim Burns,  Sam Rohrer and Marc
Scaringi  with several abstentions.

The party establishment — and especially Gov. Tom Corbett — put unprecedented pressure on committee members to vote for Welch.

The intimidation reportedly even caused some to break down in tears.

Of course some were happy to put party over principle and didn’t need threats to vote as they were told.

The winner of the primary — who does not have to be the one who the establishment endorsed, and Sam Rohrer, for one, is running  hard for the seat — faces Democrat incumbent Bob Casey in November.

Here is the list compiled by the York 912 Patriots.

Tea Party activist Bob Guzzardi notes that all committee members from Delaware and Chester counties voted for Welch albeit eight from Montco voted for Tom Smith with one voting for Tim Burns.

 

Toeing GOP Line In Welch Endorsement

Toeing GOP Line In Welch Endorsement

Sam Rohrer’s Schedule

Franklin County

Event: Town Hall with Sam
When: 7-9 p.m., Feb.10
Where: Franklin Fire Company Social Hall: 158 West King Street in Chambersburg, PA  17201

Columbia County

Event: Coffee with Sam
When: 10-11:30 a.m., Feb. 11
Where: Budget Host – Patriot Inn: 6305 Columbia Boulevard, (I-80 exit 241A) Bloomsburg PA 17815

Northumberland County

Event: Town Hall with Sam
When: 7-9 p.m.
Where: Where: Old YMCA, 235 Market Street, Sunbury PA 17801

Goldman Sachs Backs Mitt Gay Marriage

Goldman Sachs Backs Mitt Gay Marriage — Bloomberg.com reported, Feb. 1,  that Goldman Sachs Group  workers contributed $106,580 to Mitt Romney’s presidential bid in the fourth quarter of last year and that  Goldie is his largest source of  campaign bucks at a half-million total so far.

Goldman Sachs does like to spread its money around. It gave boatloads to Barack Obama and got Timothy Geithner as secretary of the treasury in return, along with a whole lot of bonus people.

And it gave boatloads to George W. Bush, and got Henry “TARP ’em” Paulson as secretary of the treasury along with a whole lot of bonus people. Bush, by the way, was the one who picked Geithner for  president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In other Goldman Sachs news, its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, became the first national corporate spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual advocacy group.

Blankfein made this video for them declaring his support for anal-sex marriage.

 

 Goldman Sachs Backs Mitt Gay Marriage

Sam Rohrer Schedule

Sam Rohrer Schedule — I’m pretty confident that I will be voting for Sam Rohrer on April 24 but if any other candidate wants to submit a public event schedule, I’ll be happy to use it:

Lackawanna County
Event: Town Hall with Sam
When: 7 -9 p.m., today, Feb. 6
Where: Ramada Inn Clarks Summit820 Northern Blvd., Clarks Summit, PA 18411

Lackawanna County
Event: Coffee with Sam
When: 8:30-10 a.m., Feb. 7
Where: Iron Skillet Restaurant, 98 Grove Street, Dupont, PA 18641

Snyder County
Event: Coffee with Sam
When: 8:30-10:30 a.m., Feb. 8
Where: Wendt’s Pork Palace, 950 Route 522, Selinsgrove, PA 17870

Centre County
Event: Town Hall with Sam
When: 7:30-9:30 p.m
Where: The Ramada Conference Center, 1450 South Atherton Street, State College, PA

 

Sam Rohrer Schedule

Don’t Rule Out Chris Christie Just Yet

Don’t Rule Out Chris Christie Just Yet

By Chris Freind

About the only job better than weatherman –
where you can get it wrong half the time and still remain employed – is
political pundit. These guys make an art out of looking dumb, and doing
so with authority.

In the last few years alone, we have been told
that Obama had zero chance of beating Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney was
sure to be the GOP nominee in 2008, and now, the President can’t win
re-election because Romney will beat him. That last prediction, of
course, is predicated upon Romney winning the Republican nomination,
which the pundit brain trust is now telling us is a done deal after
Mitt’s victory in Florida.

But just as it wasn’t over when the
Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, as Blutarsky taught us in ‘Animal House,’
this race is far from over.

And the most comedic part is that the
“experts” don’t even know it. If they just took a walk outside their
ivory towers, they would discover that there are still many elections –
not coronations – yet to come, and that Newt Gingrich hasn’t been
vanquished.

This is not to say that Romney won’t end up the
winner. In fact, that’s a good bet since he has money and organization
advantages over Gingrich. But to say it’s all but over is simply
foolish.

Cutting through the pundits’ white noise, it is worth
looking at where the race really stands. Never before have there been
three different winners in the first three contests, so that alone
should be a caution sign for traditional predictions. Mitt Romney has
won two of the four contests, including the winner-take-all state of
Florida, and yet the total number of delegates awarded so far amounts to
just 5 percent.

Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, for various reasons,
cannot win the nomination, but they can and will garner delegates, as
many states award delegates on a proportional basis based on popular
vote.

Without question, Gingrich will be in the hunt for the long
haul. Following a disappointing fifth-place finish in New Hampshire,
after which the “experts” wrote him off for good, he roared back to a
thundering victory in South Carolina. In all likelihood, he will win a
number of states on Super Tuesday, and in the contests that he doesn’t,
will post strong second-place finishes.

(There is another reason
for Gingrich to stay in the race: the possibility that Romney will say
or do something that would catastrophically implode his candidacy. Mitt
came close this week when he said “I’m not concerned about the very poor
…You can focus on the very poor, that’s not my focus.” Such blunders
run in the family, as his father, former Michigan Gov. George, crushed
his quite viable presidential aspirations by stating he was
“brainwashed” into supporting the Vietnam War. The game was over the
very instant he uttered that word.)

Short of a Romney implosion,
Gingrich won’t win the nomination outright, but the impact of his
candidacy could be substantially greater: he may deny Romney the prize.
If the three “challengers” to Romney can keep Mitt from attaining that
“50 percent plus one” number, it’s a whole new ballgame.

And while such a scenario was unthinkable to many pundits just a few weeks ago, it is becoming increasingly plausible.

An
often overlooked but extremely important factor in determining the
nominee is that many of the states have different legal rules concerning
their delegates. A handful of states, including delegate-rich
Pennsylvania, do NOT require their delegates to commit for the candidate
who won the state. Put in layman’s terms, come convention time,
delegates from the Keystone State can cast votes for any person they
wish, whether or not the candidate won the state or even participated in
the primary process.

Obviously, in normal election years, party
unity is assured because the nominee is determined early in the process.
But this year is anything but normal. And there is precedent for
delegates breaking ranks.

In 1980, George H.W. Bush handily won
the primary election in Pennsylvania over Ronald Reagan. The Reagan
folks knew they weren’t going to win, so they pulled a coup by ensuring
that the delegates elected were loyal to The Gipper. So despite Bush
winning by 100,000 votes, Reagan emerged with roughly 70 percent of the
state’s delegates morally committed to him.

Given that situation,
a major concern for Romney is getting the right delegates to achieve
the right majority. But since Mitt has been running for president for
five years, spent hundreds of millions in that endeavor, and still can’t
come close to getting 50 percent of GOP primary voters, that might be a
daunting task.

While still a “long shot” scenario, don’t be
surprised that, after all the states have voted, no one emerges a
winner. If neither Romney nor Gingrich can successfully make a deal with
Paul or Santorum to acquire their delegates, the country may see two
men who despise each other hold a joint press conference announcing
that, for the good of the Party, they are withdrawing from the campaign
and releasing their delegates.

And then it would become the Wild
West. Backroom conventioneering would take on a life of its own, with
countless deals being struck to choose the most unifying Republican
ticket to take on Obama.

And who might top that list? Well, put
it this way. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would do well to start using
a treadmill. More than anyone else, Christie’s ability to tell it like
it is, take no prisoners, and bulldog his way to success – despite major
Democratic majorities in the state assembly – make him a party
favorite. He is one of a very few who commands respect by the
Establishment, rank-and-file grassroots activists, and Tea Parties
alike.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents may not always
agree with Christie, but they always know where he stands, and his
speak-from-the-heart style is a breath of fresh air in a world of sound
bites, talking points and focus groups.

Christie may have
foreseen this scenario, possibly explaining why he declined to run in
the brutal primaries. And for those who predict Christie as a Romney VP,
forget it. He is nobody’s Number Two, and almost certainly would not
sign on to a meaningless ceremonial post when he could have, quite
possibly, captured the top prize for himself had he wanted to do so.

Should Christie decline an offer
made at a brokered convention, the list of frontline candidates grows
relatively thin, but undoubtedly Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Virginia
Gov. Bob McDonnell and, dare we say it – Jeb Bush! – would certainly be
in play.

This scarcity of good candidates is testament to what
happens when a political party refuses to build its bench with folks who
actually believe in things, instead promoting those whose “turn it is.”
Look no further than Bob Dole and John McCain. It’s pretty sad that in
the election many Republicans are calling the most important in American
history, the GOP can muster so few viable contenders.

No matter
how it eventually plays out, the battle for the Republican nomination
will go on for at least the next four months, and that’s a good thing.
Despite the conventional wisdom as postulated by pundits that divisive
primaries only serve to weaken the party’s candidates and needlessly
give an advantage to the opponent, the opposite is true. Combative and
lengthy primaries make candidates stronger, sharper and better prepared
for the rigors of a general election presidential campaign. Barack Obama
proved that in his protracted battle with Hillary.

And given
that Obama is in the driver’s seat to emerge victorious in November, a
long primary season – and even a brokered convention – could be just
what the doctor ordered to energize the Republican Party and unify what
is now a very discontented base.

President Christie, anyone?