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Jindal late start presidential nomination a pipe dream

At the perceptive The Hayride, the case already has been made as to why Gov. Bobby Jindal politically would not work as a last minute entry into the Republican presidential sweepstakes. This space has discussed why, from the standpoint of Jindal’s personal situation and presumed career goals, he would never enter the 2012 contest for the top spot, although perhaps for the vice presidency. Amid some continuing chatter about how the GOP could use another candidate with Jindal’s name being mentioned, the numerical case against Jindal, or anybody else jumping in at such a late date, needs making.

There are just two ways to win the Republican convention, having a majority of delegates pledged prior to the first ballot or, if no candidate receives that majority, by obtaining an absolute majority of delegates in any subsequent ballot. Any late entrant simply cannot fulfill the former requirement because, by the time of the Iowa caucuses, qualification for well over a quarter of delegates that would be pledged by various states and territories would be over.

And this assumes that in several states using a caucus type of selection that these delegates forgo instructions requiring pledging, which account at this writing for more than an eighth of delegates to be picked, from states whose filing dates have been passed. Add them in and over a third of all delegates could be pledged before a late entrant could begin to pick up delegates. Nobody is going to swoop in and have enough voters available to swoon over his candidacy and simultaneously prevent from winning a frontrunner with many delegates pledged already to win the nomination in this fashion.

The other way, hoping for a brokered convention that would allow a unifying figure to be handed the nomination is, to be charitable, the longest of long shots. Yes, there are scenarios that don’t strain credulity that could produce an open convention, but recent history (every major party convention has been closed – a majority pledged by rule or word before their convening – since 1952) strongly militates against this possibility with advent of the era where most delegates get selected by preference primaries – especially since many states and territories will be able to use the unit rule (winner-take-all for delegates selected). And it’s been since 1932 that a non-first ballot winner of the office emerged.

At this point in his personal life, Jindal has little desire to disrupt his family situation and little reason to take such a huge gamble with the tremendous resource commitment involved. He’s already strongly aligned himself with Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s candidacy and whose political moves at the state’s helm not only do not lend them to position oneself for an immediate tack to higher office, you could argue they might work the opposite. And the numbers and odds simply are incredibly against him or anybody else taking the plunge at this late date.

If conservatives dissatisfied with the current crop of GOP contenders feel such a need to hope against hope that some more ideal candidate presents himself for consideration with any chance of winning, at least they should strike Jindal from their lists.

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