Election Update: Where the Candidates Stand

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With three months to go before the Republican Convention in Tampa, the general election is all but certain to be a face-off between President Obama and the media’s pick for the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney. So where do the potential candidates stand now?

Gingrich Suspends His Bid 

Today, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ended his presidential campaign, and in a YouTube video released yesterday, personally thanked his supporters for their contributions to his campaign. While he did not mention Romney in his video, he emphasized the importance of the 2012 election, stating, “All of us have an obligation I think to do whatever we can to defeat Barack Obama.”

With somewhere around 150 delegates, the question most people are asking is, what happens to them in Tampa? In a recent commentary from the Green Papers, Richard Berg-Andersson explains the possibility of “stealth delegates”, or the possibility of delegates shifting support from one candidate to another:

The reason this is even being discussed in the first place is that- even though Presidential Primaries have already been held in many a State, Primaries that have already (by Party rules) bound/pledged National Convention delegates to the Republican presidential contenders- the actual persons who will sit in the seats reserved for said States’ delegations in Tampa are determined only after said Primaries.

For example, while the Massachusetts primary was held on March 6th, only 11 of the 38 delegates are ‘at-large’ delegates and represent the state as a whole. The remaining 27 delegates are Congressional District delegates, chosen at congressional conventions that took place this past Saturday, April 28th. The majority of those delegates, reports show, are Ron Paul supporters.

What this means is that Gingrich’s delegates are essentially up for grabs, and while Romney continues to win primary elections, Ron Paul’s supporters’ in-depth understanding of the delegate process may derail Romney’s nomination come August.

Politicizing Terrorism? 

Marking the one year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALS, Obama’s re-election team released an ad yesterday praising the president for his role in the operation. Narrated by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, the ad questions whether or not Romney would have ordered the raid in Pakistan that led to bin Laden’s death.

The controversial ad released yesterday has Republicans nationwide up in arms over the “politicizing” of the war on terrorism, with Romney’s top adviser calling the video a “divisive, partisan, political attack.” Ed Gillespie, a former aid to President George W. Bush, said in an interview with NBC:

“He took something that was a unifying event for all Americans—an event that Governor Romney congratulated him and the military and the intelligence analysts in our government for completing the mission in terms of killing Osama bin Laden—and he’s managed to turn it into a divisive partisan political attack.”

And while the Obama re-election campaign doesn’t officially start until May 5th, it’s apparent the president has shifted into general election mode, with a surprise visit to Afghanistan and live addressto the nation yesterday. During his visit, Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzal both signed a peace agreement outlining the actions to come in the decade following the U.S. withdrawal of troops in 2014.

What’s more, his unannounced visit comes just one day after his re-election team released a new campaign video titled “Forward”. In this seven-minute long, Obama’s team focused on the economy, framing the economic crisis as something the president inherited.

Ron Paul’s Still Collecting Delegates 

We’ve been covering Ron Paul’s delegate strategy since day 1, and in the passed week, have offered extensive analysis on where he stands, delegate wise. For coverage on Paul’s campaign, check out some of our recent IVN articles:

Looking Towards Tampa: Ron Paul’s Delegate Strategy

Ron Paul, In It to Win It

Ron Paul’s Winning Weekend Causing GOP Headaches

Forget the Nomination: Ron Paul’s “Revolution” Is Taking Over The Republican Party 

W.E. Messamore reiterates, “Again, the bigger story here is not Ron Paul’s chances at winning his party’s nomination, but his supporters’ marked success at winning control over the party apparatus itself.”