Obama's Kentucky primary performance means party could need plan B for delegate selection

05/24/2012 05:39 PM

President Barack Obama’s 58 percent share of the vote against the “uncommitted” option on Tuesday not only caused some national headlines but also some headaches for Kentucky Democrats — specifically when it comes to selecting national delegates.

Party officials are in the planning process of the statewide organizational convention on June 2 in which those participating with select Kentucky’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

The uncommitted option received enough support to have representation in Kentucky’s delegation to the national convention, and that’s what’s causing the biggest headache for Democratic Party officials who are trying to work out how to elect delegates to the national convention that technically reflect being uncommitted. The deadline to apply to be a delegate was May 4.

Article IIIV of the party’s bylaws suggest that the party’s Central Executive Committee could be called on to decide how the delegates should be selected if there aren’t enough who applied as “uncommitted.”

The State Central Committee shall have in addition to the other powers herein conferred upon it, the authority to promulgate, alter, or amend the method and procedure for the selection of delegates to the Democratic National Convention, provided that such promulgation, alteration or amendment shall conform to the applicable rules and regulations of the National Democratic Party.

But Kentucky Democratic Spokesman Matt Erwin told Pure Politics on Thursday that no matter what, the party will be sending loyal Democrats who ultimately will support President Obama to the convention.

Erwin noted that Obama still received 1,700 more total votes than likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney did in Kentucky’s GOP primary. But as former Secretary of State Trey Grayson said on Pure Politics that is largely meaningless heading into the fall because the electorate will be different and much larger. For that reason, Grayson said Obama’s performance in the Democratic primary only reinforces that Obama will likely lose Kentucky but reveals nothing about the margin.

Erwin said he attributed the results for President Obama to Kentucky Democrats’ “independence.”


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