08 June 2007

W.Va. GOP Joining Super Duper Tuesday

The state GOP is finalizing a plan that could raise West Virginia's political profile and land the Mountain State on the 2008 presidential campaign trail.

It has slated Feb. 5 for a "State Presidential Convention" to choose 15 of its 27 delegates to the Republican Party's national convention later that year.

Dubbed 'Super Duper Tuesday,' more than a dozen states are already slated to vote for presidential candidates and convention delegates during party primary elections.

Setting West Virginia apart, the state GOP intends to complete its selection of the 15 delegates by mid-afternoon -- hours before the polls close in these other states.

The plan has caught the attention of The Hill newspaper. "While the state is not on the tip of most pundits’ tongues, that could change if a winner is announced as early as 11:30 a.m. on the West Coast," its article said.

“I believe it can have a big impact,” Robert Fish, head of "Republican Presidential Convention Inc." told The Hill. “This can give a winning characteristic to one of the campaigns.”

"One round of voting will begin in the morning to narrow the crowded field down to three candidates," The Hill reported. "Then the party will allow for a one-hour break, during which Fish envisions serious horse-trading, as the supporters of vanquished candidates look to sign on with one of the three top vote-getters. A giant tote board at the front of the room will keep score."

The Charleston Gazette's Tom Searls reports that the 15 will be picked by a pool of 1,413 state party members, elected in January during county caucuses and via online voting.

The Republican primary in May will choose 12 of the remaining national convention delegates.

The state GOP has outlined its presidential convention plan on its web site. "The Republican National Committee has not raised any objections, and the state party is anticipating getting the RNC’s “blessing” once the final rules and schedules are reviewed this month," The Hill article said.

The state Democratic Party, which continues to outnumber Republicans by nearly 2 to 1, has also proposed a method for selecting convention candidates.

Update: MetroNews also has a story on the GOP plan, with audio.

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