Bad Call, Good Call

Calls I made, that is. In the keeping me honest category…

I haven’t mentioned it since the primary, and I should: wow, I was dead wrong about Tommy Thompson. I figured he would fade right out of the picture — really, I don’t think I specified anything and I’m too lazy to look it up, but if I had I would have predicted he would finish third or fourth, far from winning. Obviously, I got that one totally wrong. 

On the other hand, I’m pretty pleased with my advise back during the primaries and caucuses that the Ron Paul “delegate strategy” was basically an overhyped nothing. Today’s reports have the Paul people and the Romney folks reaching deals, and Paul certainly appears to have received things he was looking for. And yet it’s hard in my view to argue that he would have received much more or much less had his delegate count been significantly different. His leverage has always been walking out entirely, and the threat of taking his voters elsewhere doesn’t depend on how many actual delegates he has in the building.

By the way, I should note that it is possible that his caucus-state organizing might make a difference in other ways if it produces more Paul influence within formal state organizations going forward. It’s possible that happened; I don’t know how many states link party governance and delegate selection procedures.

This is, by the way, exactly as it should be. My Thompson prediction was basically just a guess based on my reading of the GOP electorate in Wisconsin, the Republican Party, and the various candidates; in other words, basically stuff that I have no particular expertise about. I should, on the other hand, get things I say about nomination procedure right, so I’m glad I did. I hope I make it more or less clear which category I’m doing most of the time.

Anyway, enough about myself, but I did want to mention the Thompson thing.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.