Sunday, May 25, 2008

First Ballot In

Another convention, another close first-round finish:

Bob Barr 153 votes
Mary Ruwart 152
Wayne Root 123
Mike Gravel 71
George Phillies 49
Steve Kubby 41
Mike Jingozian 23
Christine Smith  6
Daniel Imperato 1
None of the Above 2

Comically, there were write-in votes cast for Penn Gillette (3) and Ron Paul (6), plus one other whose name I didn't catch.

Only Jingozian and Smith are eliminated from this ballot, and a new vote is taken. Due to the closeness and the lack of surprises here, I would expect the numbers to look very similar, as only 39 delegate votes are up for grabs. That said, some who voted for Kubby or Phillies may decide the writing is on the wall, and put their votes up for grabs. This where it gets to be very exciting to be on the floor. In 2002, I was filmed by C-SPAN standing on a chair and stumping before our regional caucus for Gary Nolan, right after the first vote.

At this point, anyone can switch at any time. Sometimes delegates vote with their state or regional delegation the first time, and then go their own way for subsequent balloting. 

I was struck that Georgia really turned up for Bob Barr, delivering 33 votes for him, with just two else cast (for Ruwart). California showed up for Wayne Allyn Root, with 38 votes. It will be interesting to see if those numbers change. Alaska did not support its' own Mike Gravel, casting its' four votes elsewhere. 

I watched Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project represent DC and announce the casting of its' three votes for Bob Barr, the erstwhile drug warrior, and wondered if Kampia had to choke down some cognitive dissonance on the vote. Apparently not, though. Kampia was one of the three.

Indiana's 22 delegates voted thusly:

Root 6
Gravel 5
Barr 4
Phillies 3
Jingozian 2
Root 2

Hopefully this vote will pare it down to two. I do not see a clear victory coming on the second ballot. 

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