This is a crushing defeat for Romney and McCain.
One of the reasons the PA GOP wants to keep our presidential primary a quaint political relic is because much of the party leadership, and the remnants of Ridge’s claque, support McCain or Romney. Given this, they wanted to keep the presidential primary out of the hands of the voters and in the hands of the insiders.
The state committee had a straw poll this weekend, though, and the results indicate exactly how little power and influence the leaders of the state party apparatus have. (Link at Pennsyltucky Politics via Josh Drobnyk at the Morning Call.)
Here’s the numbers:
Giuliani — 87 votes
Fred Thompson — 40
Mitt Romney — 12
New Gingrich — 10
John McCain — 7
Sam Brownback — 4
Shockingly, some expressed disappointment that none of the candidate showed up. Well, pinheads, stop obstructing the electoral process so some of the candidate may care! Then they’ll show up.
Team Rudy has spent some time attempting to cultivate relationships with the PA GOP leadership, potentially alienating some of the conservative grassroots. Well, the bill to move up our primary is on life support, and those same leaders can’t do much to sway their own committeemen. I suppose its possible some of their new friends like Bob Asher convinced their colleagues it was OK to vote for Giuliani. If so, great. I think it’s more likely, though, these committeemen are simply listening to actual voters as opposed to the guys that run the party.
BTW, who did the PA GOP select as a major speaker for their event this weekend? Karl Rove. Now, I don’t have anything bad to say about Rove. But I can tell you that he and his boss are freaking radioactive right now. That, my friends, shows you how disconnected the PA GOP can be from politics on the ground.