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Gregg: GOP nomination rules could help Palin in 2012

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  March 14, 2011 05:29 PM

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Will the rules of the GOP nomination process give an advantage to Sarah Palin if she decides to run for president?

Former New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg, an authority on the state's first-in-the-nation primary, thinks so. Evidently no fan of the former Alaska governor, Gregg frets in a column in The Hill yesterday that the way the Republican primary process is shaping up may give an edge to a candidate he fears "would be easily defeated by President Obama."

Gregg writes that the Granite State primary is unlikely to winnow the field down to two frontrunners, as it has in the past, and that subsequent primaries could produce an even more muddled picture.

"It is plausible that the most likely scenario will be that this could be the first convention since 1952 in which no one really knows who is going to be the nominee going into the hall," he writes.

In such a scenario, Gregg writes, the primaries would deliver a series of mixed results, and Palin and her devoted supporters would be able to claim the nomination at the convention:

Because the nominating process has become so dominated by primary elections, with the vast majority of the delegates chosen by direct vote, it is entirely possible that with no presumptive winner or even favorites, a candidate who runs second or third in a great many primaries could go into the convention with a sizable block of delegates.

Who would this favor? Does Sarah Palin come to mind? Although she is not viewed by most as strong enough to win, she is viewed by many as a person worth voting for to make a statement. And primaries tend to be populated by people who go to the polls with the purpose of making a statement.

Globe file photo: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin at a rally in 2010.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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