Sunday, February 17, 2008

Most Romney delegates now plan to back McCain

  • Most Romney delegates now plan to back McCain

  • 2/16/2008, 5:09 p.m. EST
    The Associated Press

  • LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The majority of Michigan's Republican presidential delegates say they'll back Sen. John McCain now that primary winner Mitt Romney is out of the race, although it's still unclear how many will go to the national convention.
  • The Republican National Committee stripped Michigan of half its 60 delegates for defying party rules by moving its presidential primary to Jan. 15.
  • Counting just the 30 Michigan delegates allowed so far, 23 were supposed to go to Romney, who won Michigan's primary. Although those delegates technically will go the Sept. 1-4 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul uncommitted to any candidate, four-fifths now say they'll back McCain.
  • With the Romney delegates divvied up, McCain has the backing of 24 Michigan national delegates, while Huckabee has the backing of four. It was unclear which candidates two delegates would back.
  • But GOP activists are sure they'll get 57 pledged delegates and three unpledged delegates seated in Minneapolis-St. Paul, so they filled all those spots — plus 57 for alternates — during their state convention Friday and Saturday at the Lansing Center.
  • Of the 57 pledged delegates, Romney was supposed to get 45. At least 36 now plan to back McCain, according to conversations with delegates and party leaders. The Arizona senator already had 10 delegates after winning 30 percent of the primary vote, plus the backing of RNC members Chuck Yob and Holly Hughes, two of the three unpledged delegates.
  • The third unpledged delegate, state GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, remains uncommitted.
  • Huckabee won two delegates based on the primary results and has the backing of at least six of the former Romney delegates, according to Huckabee supporters.
  • Michigan's delegate process is complicated because the party has no process in place for choosing just 30 delegates. Anuzis said he expects Michigan and other states stripped of half their delegates for moving up their primary contests would ask for waivers once the national convention starts so all of their delegates can be seated.
  • If the waiver isn't granted, Anuzis said it's likely that the three unpledged delegates probably would be dropped as delegates. He thinks the next step would be to drop the 12 at-large delegates, as well as one each from the state's 15 congressional districts.
  • If that happens, Huckabee could end up without any Michigan delegates, Anuzis said, since the only two delegates he has for sure are at-large delegates. [more here]

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