With the official certification of the Illinois Green Party primary results, Jill Stein has locked in 22 Delegates to the Presidential Nominating Convention (PNC), Roseanne Barr has 5, Kent Mesplay 2, and 2 are Uncommitted.
These numbers are based on a Delegation Formula that is currently being voted on by the Green Party’s National Committee, with the vote concluding this Sunday. The allocation is currently passing by a 43-9 margin, however there is an effort to defeat it and vote on an alternative. If this allocation is passed, there will be approximately 350-400 Delegates allocated, with the largest Delegations to the PNC coming from California (65), Illinois (31), New York (16), Michigan (16), Maine (13), Texas (12), Massachusetts (11), Arkansas (10) and Connecticut (10). The full list of proposed Delegation sizes is listed below.
The only other state besides Illinois that has held a State Convention to determine Presidential Delegations so far is Ohio, which may be allocated 9 Delegates. Given that Jill Stein won 90% of the vote there, she likely will receive 8 or 9 of Ohio’s 9 Delegates, while the 9th Delegate could wind up either Uncommitted or going to Roseanne Barr, who won 4.7%.
Minnesota’s caucuses earlier this month were largely a straw poll, and apparently not binding on Delegate support. The final numbers of that straw poll bear witnessing though: Stein: 92, Barr: 26, Mesplay: 22. If these proportions of support eventually turn into Delegates, Minnesota’s 7 Delegates might go 5 for Stein and one a piece for Barr and Mesplay.
Considering Illinois and Ohio only, at this point Jill Stein has 30 Delegates, Roseanne Barr 5, Kent Mesplay 2, and 3 Uncommitted or Unknown.
The next Primary for the Green Party is in Arizona on February 28, where six names appear on the Green Party ballot: Kent Mesplay & Jill Stein, who are both running nationally, along with Gary Swing, a Congressional candidate from Colorado, and three Arizonans: Gerald Davis, Richard Grayson, and Michael Oatman. Roseanne Barr had not qualified for the Arizona Primary ballot in time, but given the 18% write-in vote she received in Illinois, gaining votes, and delegates from Arizona is not impossible. Arizona would be allocated 5 Delegates under the proposed plan. A debate in Arizona this weekend features Kent Mesplay and Jill Stein.
Over the next three weeks, many more State Green Parties will be holding Conventions and Primaries to determine Delegates for the candidates seeking the Green Party nomination. While Jill Stein appears to be the early on favorite, it is too early to tell whether she will secure enough Delegates prior to the Presidential Nominating Convention to become the presumptive nominee. Stein’s success so far can be attributed in part to her organized campaign, and her willingness to campaign across the States such as Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, California, Arizona, Wisconsin, New York, Vermont, etc. meeting with “Greens on the Ground.”
Another major force is the Stein Campaign’s serious commitment to Ballot Access. The Stein Campaign got the Vermont Green Party re-established and the Utah Green Party on the ballot, and is actively committing funds and resources to put the Green Party on the ballot in 46 states. This is a costly exercise, but a necessary one. States that benefit from the Stein Campaign’s efforts will certainly reciprocate with votes, and Presidential Delegates. Petition drives are costly, and the Green Party’s Ballot Access Committee has been starved for funds. The Green Party could use a wealthy donor to make a significant contribution earmarked for Ballot Access and the money would be very well spent.
The Roseanne Barr Campaign is by no means sitting on the campaign sidelines. Roseanne’s website prominently states “OCCUPY THE GREEN PARTY!” and encourages people to participate in the Wisconsin Green Party Primary, currently underway. Roseanne Barr’s entry into the Green Party race resulted in hundreds of mainstream press pieces, and her inclusion in a Public Policy Poll, where she polled at 6% versus Barack Obama (47%) and Mitt Romney (42%). Given that the California Secretary of State has added Roseanne Barr to the Green Party’s Primary there in June, and California’s possible 65 Presidential Delegates (16% of the total number), it is safest to say that anything can happen. If nothing else, Roseanne Barr should book herself a ticket to Baltimore in July, because she has earned a prominent role at the Green Party’s Presidential Nominating Convention.
Kent Mesplay is also running for the nomination, and despite setbacks such as being “un-recognized” by the Green Party’s Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC) due to low fund raising numbers, Kent is campaigning as best he can given his limited resources. Mesplay and Stein will be debating in Arizona this weekend, and Mesplay has been clicking for votes in Illinois and Wisconsin via email and Facebook. He is still hoping to raise the funds necessary to become “re-recognized” by the PCSC, but the further behind he falls in the Delegate count, the harder it will be to raise those funds. Mesplay points out that he is on the ballot in Texas, California, Massachusetts, & Arizona, and that he is stumping for votes in other states that meet and vote by Convention.
Harley Mikkelson of Michigan has yet to receive a Delegate, and has not made a significant effort to appear on Presidential Primary ballots such as Arizona that require simply a signed affidavit expressing interest. Although he is not currently recognized by the PCSC due to several measures, he is on the Wisconsin ballot and will likely be on others.
Green Party Watch will continue to provide coverage and commentary about the Green Party Presidential race throughout the year.
by Ronald Kane Hardy
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