We all read about who "won" the Iowa caucuses in January or February of election years.
There is an assumption that "winning" means actually getting delegates to the national convention of their respective parties.
That's only partly true. in the Iowa GOP caucuses NO delegates are harvested because it's a pure "beauty contest" where caucus voters express their preference or support for candidates.
The best description I've ever seen on how delegates are actually harvested today is the 2015 article by Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times Magazine.
"The process by which presidential candidates are nominated is, at its
most basic level, a race toward a magic number of party delegates — in
the Republican Party’s case, 1,235 required to win — amassed state by
state and, in some cases, congressional district by congressional
district. Getting them depends not only on the speechifying,
door-to-door vote-hunting and million-dollar ad buys we associate with
campaigning, but also on a bewildering array of procedural minutia:
obscure national bylaws that overlay a mind-bending patchwork of local
rules that can vary drastically from state to state, some of which award
delegates not based on votes received in primary elections but on
back-room wrangling at local party conventions and meetings that take
place weeks or even months after votes are cast." Article title: The Best Reason to Take Rand Paul Seriously Has Nothing to Do With His Politics.
Beyond this great explanation of how candidates become THE party standard bearer is his conclusion that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and his organization are the very best team in figuring out how to harvest the most delegates by meticulously fulfilling all the draconian rules that regulate delegate selection. Please remember that in the last election cycle the Paul family organization (Congressman (Retired) Ron Paul followed by Rand Paul) actually came out of Iowa with an amazing delegate count and controlling the Iowa GOP no easy feat.
Go read the full article and then remember the lesson you have learned here today. The winning candidate is the one who understands the complex delegate selection rules in every state in the nation. Can you say Barack Obama 2008? That's how he beat Hillary Clinton.
Please reserve your place in my FREE fall caucuses class. Click on image below.