Without changing anything since prior to the 2004 presidential election, California’s Republican Party is causing a ruckus among Republicans who are finally noticing a rule changing how delegates are allocated to the national nominating convention.

An AP story by Glen Johnson describes how the rule change might allow Republican presidential candidates to focus on tiny populations of Republicans in Democrat-dominated congressional districts. Because each district is allocated three delegates regardless of how many Republicans reside in the district, such a strategy could reap a quick and healthy harvest to take to the convention.

So normally lonely Republicans in districts in and around San Francisco or Los Angeles might gain attention out of proportion to their numbers:

The new rules have prompted candidates like Romney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas to focus not only on traditionally Republican areas such as Orange and San Diego counties, but also a half-dozen Democratic strongholds in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

…The congressional district strategy doesn’t make a lot of sense from a general election perspective, but in a primary battle solely for the hearts and minds of GOP voters, it is a model of efficiency.

That tactic won’t work for the general election — but a current initiative to crack open the current winner-takes-all electoral vote allocation has Democrats set back on their heels:

Our friend, attorney Tom Hiltachk, submitted an Initiative proposal that absolutely rocks the Democrats. Squeals could be heard ranging from Howard Dean to every California Democrat elected official, crying about everything from disenfranchisement to “stealing” elections.

Everyone understands if proportional voting is legal in California in 2008, Democrats will not win the White House. By having each electoral vote based on the votes of each Congressional district, Republicans will win at least 19 electoral votes of California’s 55. California is 20% of what’s needed to win the 270 Electoral College votes nationwide.

Maybe conservative Californians won’t be forced to be silent spectators in yet another presidential election.

[cehwiedel also writes at cehwiedel.com]

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