Media Misleads as Ron Paul Gets His First Win in Virgin Islands

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Photo used with permission: Gage Skidmore

Now on his second bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Ron Paul has secured his first ever victory in a state or territory’s presidential nominating contest, a milestone for the Texas congressman and champion of limited government, individual liberty, and the Constitutional rule of law.

Over the weekend, in the U.S. Virgin Islands caucus, Ron Paul took first place with 29% of the vote, Mitt Romney was a close second with 26%, and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich statistically tied for last with a 6% and 5% finish, respectively.

Those are the results reported by the Virgin Islands GOP on their website at this page, though the results were taken down in the middle of the day Monday and replaced with a note from the V.I. GOP and a more detailed breakdown of the delegate count after the territory’s caucus. The original text can still be read at Slate on Dave Weigel’s blog where he copy/pasted it in his report on the contest before it was taken down.

But despite originally reporting what was clearly a Ron Paul victory in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the GOP chair announced that Mitt Romney was the winner of the territory’s nominating contest because the governor took more delegates than the Texas congressman. The Associated Press then uncritically announced that Mitt Romney was Saturday’s winner with the headline, “Romney Wins Virgin Islands GOP Caucus,” and their report was parroted by the rest of the mainstream media, including USA Today, NPR, The Sacramento Bee, The San Francisco Chronicle, CBS News, Yahoo! News, and many others.

Ron Paul supporters, including his official campaign blogger, Jack Hunter, are crying foul. Up until now, the media has hardly taken notice of the delegate counts as compared to its coverage of who wins each caucus’ presidential preference contest, and as a universally-applied and accepted convention, when a major news source reports “(Candidate) wins (state or territory),” they have always meant the candidate won the presidential preference poll at that state’s nominating contest, not the most delegates.

Because of this, the AP‘s Virgin Islands headline seems awfully deceptive and abusive of its audience’s trust. Everyone expects and understands headlines like this to mean what they have always meant this entire primary season; otherwise the media is not comparing “like” with “like.” Instead it’s cherry-picking results to suit an agenda. As the Paul blogger claims at the link above, the media abruptly changed its rules in its coverage of the Virgin Islands caucuses, and just so happened to abruptly change them when Ron Paul won the contest that the media has been using to call each state’s victor this entire time up until now– the presidential preference contest. It’s just a little more than curiously suspicious.

At this point, after the mainstream media’s bias against Ron Paul has been scientifically demonstrated and humorously derided, it’s no big leap to interpret the mainstream media’s deceptive reporting as a deliberate and concerted effort to marginalize an increasingly popular political figure who misses no opportunity to slaughter the sacred cows of traditional party dogmas and conventional media narratives. Paul’s supporters can only hope that Jon Stewart has taken notice and has something to say about it once again this time.

The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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  1. Trisha Ann I want Obama gone...Ron, best wishes.
  2. ConservativeLifer America will be a much better place when we rid ourselves of obama and paul. NOBAMA 2012
  3. lakawak It is amazing how ignorant RonPaulians allow themselves to lok. THERE WAS NO POPULAR VOTE! RON PAUL GOT ZERO VOTES! How PATHETIC is Ron Paul that his SIX delegates could barely beat Romney's THREE when voters could vote for 6? It is obvious that if Romney had had 6 delegates, he would have swept and humilaited Rin Paul again.
  4. johnfrance What can we do to make sure as many people see this article as possible - it's the only one of its kind out there that breaks down the VI scandal so clearly Thank you for writing it!
  5. Jack Ron Paul marginalizes himself by winning in an area most Americans have never heard of. He will never be the Republican nominee, much less President. It's nice that his supporters are excited and he wants to contribute to the debate but at the end of the day, if you're not winning double digit states and racking up delegate totals in the many hundreds no one cares.
  6. ConservativeLifer Ron who?????
  7. Dean Myrick At least we know you don't Jack. Say hi to the RNC chairman for me when you go back to HQ.
  8. Charles Your facts and conclusions are wrong. There was NO popular vote in the VI caucus. The votes case were for delegates ONLY. No one voted for ANY republican candidate. The numbers (29%, etc) were cumulative numbers received by all delegates and their pledged candidate. Each VI voter could vote for up to six delegates... the top six become delegates to the RNC... the next six become alternates. While the numbers confused several people (including you) they are meaningless when describing it as a "popular vote". There WAS no popular vote. While the VI GOP presented numbers that were easy to misunderstand, a tiny bit of research would have clarified the issue. Since voters could be choosing a delegate for any number or reasons (pledged candidate, neighbor, friend, hot chick) the cumulative numbers have as much meaning as the shoe size of the delegates. Interesting statistics for some... meaningless to others because there was NO popular vote. No rules were changed and the delegates were selected according to the simple and easy to understand rules established well prior of the VI caucus. There is no conspiracy here, just bad conclusions and bad reporting. Do some research next time.
  9. Dean Myrick Maybe the GOP deliberately makes things hard to understand.
  10. Charles I think the VI GOP caucus is very easy to understand and may be the most fair. You place up to 6 votes for the delegates you want... the top 6 become delegates and the next 6 become alternates. I think this is more fair than having a "beauty contest" then deciding how to apportion delegates based on the percentage each Republican candidate received. The voters vote for the delegates... not the candidates... simple.The rules are easy to understand and clearly spelled out. No rules were changed and they were published well ahead of the caucus. Here are the rules including a sample ballot: http://vigop.com/gop-2012-convention-delegate-selection-process/ 
14 comments
Trisha Ann
Trisha Ann

I want Obama gone...Ron, best wishes.

ConservativeLifer
ConservativeLifer

America will be a much better place when we rid ourselves of obama and paul.

NOBAMA 2012

lakawak
lakawak

It is amazing how ignorant RonPaulians allow themselves to lok.

THERE WAS NO POPULAR VOTE!

RON PAUL GOT ZERO VOTES!

How PATHETIC is Ron Paul that his SIX delegates could barely beat Romney's THREE when voters could vote for 6?

It is obvious that if Romney had had 6 delegates, he would have swept and humilaited Rin Paul again.

johnfrance
johnfrance

What can we do to make sure as many people see this article as possible - it's the only one of its kind out there that breaks down the VI scandal so clearly

Thank you for writing it!

Jack
Jack

Ron Paul marginalizes himself by winning in an area most Americans have never heard of. He will never be the Republican nominee, much less President. It's nice that his supporters are excited and he wants to contribute to the debate but at the end of the day, if you're not winning double digit states and racking up delegate totals in the many hundreds no one cares.

Charles
Charles

Your facts and conclusions are wrong. There was NO popular vote in the VI caucus. The votes case were for delegates ONLY. No one voted for ANY republican candidate.

The numbers (29%, etc) were cumulative numbers received by all delegates and their pledged candidate. Each VI voter could vote for up to six delegates... the top six become delegates to the RNC... the next six become alternates.

While the numbers confused several people (including you) they are meaningless when describing it as a "popular vote". There WAS no popular vote. While the VI GOP presented numbers that were easy to misunderstand, a tiny bit of research would have clarified the issue.

Since voters could be choosing a delegate for any number or reasons (pledged candidate, neighbor, friend, hot chick) the cumulative numbers have as much meaning as the shoe size of the delegates. Interesting statistics for some... meaningless to others because there was NO popular vote.

No rules were changed and the delegates were selected according to the simple and easy to understand rules established well prior of the VI caucus. There is no conspiracy here, just bad conclusions and bad reporting.

Do some research next time.

John Balzer
John Balzer

Ron Paul is swimming with sharks. He took a big risk seeking the Republican ticket but his supporters have been very loyal and consistent just like Ron Paul. All Libertarians can rejoice that no matter what the Republican outcome, Gary Johnson who supported Ron Paul in 2008 will be taking the torch of Liberty right up to the November election. Who knows who willl be the VP on the Gary Johnson 2012 ticket? The name Paul has been mentioned.

Lynn Smith
Lynn Smith

Thank you for this well-written, balanced, and much needed article.

Dean Myrick
Dean Myrick

At least we know you don't Jack. Say hi to the RNC chairman for me when you go back to HQ.

Dean Myrick
Dean Myrick

Maybe the GOP deliberately makes things hard to understand.

Charles
Charles

I think the VI GOP caucus is very easy to understand and may be the most fair. You place up to 6 votes for the delegates you want... the top 6 become delegates and the next 6 become alternates.

I think this is more fair than having a "beauty contest" then deciding how to apportion delegates based on the percentage each Republican candidate received. The voters vote for the delegates... not the candidates... simple.The rules are easy to understand and clearly spelled out. No rules were changed and they were published well ahead of the caucus. Here are the rules including a sample ballot:

http://vigop.com/gop-2012-convention-delegate-selection-process/