GOP voters being led around by the nose?

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Hey, Republicans, how does it feel to be taking your marching orders from Big Media, Big Government, and Big Money?

It turns out that your vote doesnít matter because those three ďBigsĒ have already decided that Mitt Romney is the ďinevitableĒ nominee of the Republican Party to oppose President Obama in November.

But if you believe that, you have been scammed (Iím trying to use polite language). No one candidate is anywhere near wrapping up the nomination.

Sure, Republicans have been told that they need to get behind Mitt Romney ďfor the good of the party,Ē but ask yourself what that means. Why exactly is it good for the party to consolidate behind Romney?

Hereís a theory: Because he is such a bad candidate that the longer he is forced to compete for the nomination, the more he will be exposed as a hollow suit who didnít earn the presidency but bought it. There are lots of reasons to think that President Obama will be delighted to face Mitt Romney in the fall election, and plenty of reasons to think that Romney will fail just like Bob Dole and John McCain, the candidates most like him in recent history.

But forget about whether you feel differently about Romney. Letís suppose that he really is the best qualified candidate and truly deserves to win the nomination. Does that mean that he should be able to win without a fight?

Every four years, we hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth of the nationís cultural elite as they lament that Iowa farmers and New Hampshire ďlive-free-or-dieĒ cultists get to ďpickĒ the president for the rest of us. Why ó this quadrennial complaint goes ó do these small states have so much power? Why not get a more representative sampling of opinion to ensure that candidates chosen are truly acceptable to the nation as a whole?

And yet, here we are now being told by those same pundits that since Mitt Romney has won Florida, the contest is over. The rest of the states donít need to bother with their elections. The other candidates should crawl away in shame. The anchor desks at CNN, Fox and MSNBC have declared a victor! Mitt Romney has prevailed!

It is amazing how much traction this nonsense has gotten, but just saying that Mitt Romney is the victor doesnít actually make it so. Indeed, the only thing that has become clear in the past month of primaries and caucuses is that the pundits donít actually understand the nature of the electoral system they are cramming down our throats.

Think of it. In the current Republican presidential race, Iowans can select a total of 28 delegates. New Hampshire gets even fewer ó just 12 delegates because it was penalized for holding its binding election contest before Feb. 1. South Carolina gets 25 delegates, half of its normal allotment ó again because of jumping ahead in the schedule. Floridaís penalty-shrunk allotment is 50 delegates. And Nevada, which held caucuses Saturday, gets its full slate of 28 delegates because it followed the rules.

Take a minute and add that up. It comes to 143 total delegates.

Thatís 143 delegates selected so far out of 2,286 possible total delegates. That means no more than 7 percent of the total delegates have been selected so far.

Even assuming that Mitt Romney won half of the delegates available in Nevada yesterday, he now has only approximately 81 delegates locked up after voting in the first five states.

Thatís 81 delegates out of the 1,144 that are needed to secure the nomination. Thatís just a paltry 7 percent of what he needs to be able to claim victory!

This is where your nose ring should start to feel like it is being bent out of shape, Republicans ó because you are being yanked around by Big Media and the GOP establishment. Mitt Romney does NOT have the GOP nomination locked up. Not by a long shot. What he has done so far is win victories in New Hampshire, Florida and Nevada, and lose narrowly in Iowa and decisively in South Carolina. He has not locked up anything except the enduring wrath of Newt Gingrich and the endorsement of Donald Trump.

If Romney won all the delegates from this point forward, he would not have the nomination locked up until sometime in April, but there is no way he is going to win all the delegates.

Point One: Ron Paul is not going anywhere. His candidacy is issue oriented and he canít bring attention to his issues unless he stays in the race. You can probably count on Paul winning between 10 and 15 percent of the delegates from this point forward.

Point Two: Newt Gingrich is not going anywhere. Fact is, heís 68 years old and if he isnít elected now, itís never going to happen. If Gingrich wanted an excuse to drop out of the race, he could have taken it last summer when his campaign staff abandoned him and left him for dead. Instead, he battled on and has been the front-runner for several long stretches. You can probably count on Gingrich winning between 25 and 30 percent of the delegates from this point forward, especially in the South and in rural states.

Point Three: Rick Santorum PROBABLY isnít going anywhere either. Why should he? He doesnít think Romney would make a good president, and he doesnít think Gingrich makes a good candidate. If Gingrich implodes, it gives Santorum a chance to prove he is a better statesman than Romney. As long as Santorum decides to keep going, he can probably pick up between 10 and 20 percent of the delegates.

Point Four: The more time that passes, the more likely it is that fortunes will shift once again. Romney has lost his lead twice already, and it is entirely possible that if Gingrich, Paul and Santorum remain patient, that it will happen again. Even if Santorum drops out, it is hard to see Romney amassing a majority of the delegates before the convention.

If you like Mitt Romney, more power to you. Itís entirely possible he would make a great president. I donít have a crystal ball, just a hunch that he represents the status quo at a time when the status quo sucks.

What I want to know is what do the party bosses have against the voters in the 45 states that havenít voted yet? Why do they think that Montana shouldnít be heard from in a race that is obviously quite close and competitive and intensely fought. What are they afraid of? Why not let the process play out in the way intended? Could they just be defending the status quo that lets them have power whether Romney wins or Obama wins?

I wouldnít be surprised.

Remember, the current primary system was invented to put power in the hands of the people and to take it away from those power brokers in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals. Donít let Big Media and Big Government tell you that your vote is irrelevant. Donít get stuck with the candidate they say you want. Donít be pulled along without at least fighting back.

Make your own choice. Vote your own conscience, not for the candidate that Bob Dole and John McCain tell you will win in November. After all, what do they know about winning?

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