Don’t Blame the Rules for the GOP’s Unsettled Primary

Mar 22 '12

Josh Putnam and I have a new op-ed at Bloomberg View that takes on a few myths about this year’s Republican primary.  In short, we show that:

* The GOP’s delegate allocation process did not switch wholesale from a winner-take-all rule prior to 2012 to a proportional rule in 2012.  This is a common misconception, despite Josh’s heroic attempts to correct it.

* If you simulate the 2012 primaries and caucuses to date using the 2008 rules, Romney actually loses delegates.  In other words, the GOP would be further from a clear frontrunner, not closer.  This belies the idea that the proportional rule is to blame.

* The real problem is that the GOP elongated the calendar.  And they did it precisely to prevent a heavyweight from wrapping up the nomination early!

Read the whole piece here.  I thank Josh for spending many tedious hours with the data.