Many pundits have referred to the Pennsylvania Republican Primary as perhaps the most bizarre in the United States, since only 17 of the Keystone State’s 71 delegates will be automatically awarded to the winner of the primary (the remaining delegates will be divided among the state’s 18 congressional districts). This means that a second or third place finisher could potentially walk away with more than twice as many delegates as the winner.
But that’s not even the strange part. Confounding matters is the fact that when voters glance at the ballot on April 26, names like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will be nowhere to be found. Instead, they will have to choose between Matthew Jansen and Marilyn Gillispie (if they live in York County), or Deborah Evangelou and Barry Casper (if they live in Bucks County). That’s because primary voters will not be casting votes for a presidential candidate, but for the delegates who will attend the July convention, where the Republican presidential candidate will be announced.
In total, there are 162 individuals who are running for a spot at the convention. Unless you know beforehand which candidate the aspiring delegate plans on supporting, you will have no idea whether you are voting for Cruz, Trump, Kasich, or the deranged weirdo who stands outside the local Wawa jabbering gibberish at confused passersby.
Yes, these anonymous delegate hopefuls just might have the power to decide who will run against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in the general election, and that’s why it’s important to know your delegates before you head to the polls.
Thankfully, Sean Hannity has compiled a list of the delegate candidates, conveniently arranged by congressional district, along with the GOP contender they plan on supporting. This list can be viewed here.
Astonishingly, many of the 162 contenders have yet to publicly declare who they plan on supporting. These uncommitted Republicans are essentially saying, “Hey, you have no idea who I am, but vote for me to be a delegate at the convention, even though I’m not going to say which candidate I’m going to throw my weight behind.” (And you thought Colorado Republican voters got the shaft? Welcome to Pennsylvania.)
In fact, as of this writing, there are two districts where none of the delegate wannabes have decided which candidate they are going to support. These congressional districts are the 1st District (Philadelphia) and the 14th District (Pittsburgh).
That’s right, folks. In less than a week, voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (the two most populous areas of Pennsylvania) will be going to the polls and casting votes for six people who haven’t announced whether they’re going to pledge themselves to Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Tweety Bird, Mickey Mouse or Kim Kardashian.
These candidates are: Christopher Vogler, Seth Kaufer and Dave Hackett (1st District, Philadelphia, all uncommitted), and Mike DeVanney, Cameron Linton and Mary Ann Meloy (14th District, Pittsburgh, all uncommitted).
So what is a voter in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh to do? Your guess is as good as mine.
And Reince Priebus would have you believe there’s nothing shady about the primary system? If you believe that, then I’ve got some beachfront property in North Dakota you might be interested in purchasing.