Live blogging the WV GOP convetion feed
Update: Ron Paul got huge pops from his small but dedicated crowd.
Update: There was a hint of desperation in Romney's voice. He knows that he needs this. WSAZ's Scott Saxton says that most of the national press left after Romney finished.
Update: There were a good bit folks heckling fmr. Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, John McCain's surrogate, from the ignorant redneck faction of the state GOP. Don't reinforce stereotypes, folks (Saxton is blaming the Paul folks. Figures). That being said, Roemer was less than inspiring and McCain must know that he really doesn't need these 18 delegates.
Update: Huckabee went from the charming, folksy preacher to a "they're gonna kill us all" fear-monger without skipping a beat. He even used the word "Islamofascism." He also came this close to calling the Saudis "Sand People." He is also using lots of populist rhetoric on immigration (outsource it to UPS), the "fair tax" (so that drug dealers pay taxes), guns (they keep us free somehow), abortion (Thomas Jefferson would somehow oppose it), and gay marriage (teh gheys are bad). His speech was over with the crowd, though, and he might just steal this thing from Mitt.
Update: It is 11:15 and the first round of voting is about to begin.
Update: The WV blogosphere's own Crystal is there as a delegate. I can't wait to read her eye-witness account of the event.
Update: At 11:29, the podium announced that there are some problems and the live county-by-county roll-call vote will start in 5 minutes.
Update: I see white people.
Update: 11:38 sees the convention back in session. The roll call is about to begin.
Update: Highlights so far include Berkeley going big for Romney, Boone going for Paul, and Cabell going huge for the Huckster.
Update: Romney seems to be in the lead, with Huckabee in second, and McCain and Paul pulling up the rear.
Update: Jefferson County loves Ron Paul. And Kanawha likes Romney. And someone sucks at math....
Update: WSAZ is flubbing up and we can hear Michael Wooten's chit-chat instead of the delegate counts. Bummer. We can also see him primp for his live update, as it is almost time for the Noon newscast.
Update: WSAZ needs to get used to the whole live feed thing. The same thing happened before the press conference regarding the murdered Marshall student a couple of months ago.
Update: Now some old white guy is just standing there with a mic. Again, no sound from the podium. Grrr. Now he is talking, my guess is that he is from the Parkersburg station owned by Gray Communications.
Update: ...And the feed is back with Pleasants County. People keep saying "Hucklebee," by the way.
Update: It looks like Paul will be the first one knocked out of the race.
Update: 12:23 and they are taking a break to tabulate/urinate. They haven't zoomed on the total, but I think that Paul is done. We can hear Amanda Barren and Michael Wooten discussing the feed. For some reason, Barren didn't want to do it. And they just realized their boo-boo. Also Saxton has confirmed that Paul is toast. There will need to be a second round, with Romney having a big lead (464) and Huckabee (375) in a solid second place. McCain lags in 3rd with 176 and Paul is knocked out with 118. They are now taking a 1 hour break.
Update: As the delegates lunch, there will surely be some deal-making. I have no idea who the Paul folks will vote for, but I'd imagine that the Huckabee folks will be courting the McCain people hardcore as they look to keep the delegates out of Romney's hands, as it is almost certain that McCain will be knocked out in the next round.
Update: Some notes on the GOP Convention. It will be a winner take all deal, with the first person getting 50% +1 of the state delegates getting 18 or WV's 30 national delegates. The lowest vote getter in each round is knocked out. Right now, Paul is gone and, even if all of his voters went to the McCain camp, he still would not have the votes to survive the third round. It'll come down to Romney vs. Huckabee, so expect some strategery over the next 40 minutes until things pick back up at 1:30.
Update: A warm WV welcome everyone dropping by from RedState.com. Please pardon my lame left-of-center attempts at humor. I'll try to get you the straight dope on the convention though, so hang with me, as I'm as curious how this is gonna turn out as y'all are. And, to reply to some comments on that site, no, West Virginia is NOT a southern state. We are the home of Yankee charm and Southern efficiency. :)
Update: It is 1:18, less than 15 minutes until round 2. I gotta wonder if the Paul supporters will stick around or if they have already left to go to the titty bars in Jefferson.
Update: 1:40 and we are live again. They are plugging Jay Wolfe, the likely token opposition to Sen. Rockefeller.
Update: 5 minute delay due to people lallygagging around with necessary paperwork. Someone (the emcee, I think) just said "I'm Ted Kennedy and I'm going to vote for Osama bin Laden," thinking that he couldn't be heard. Always remember to beware of hot mics, dumbass.
Update: It is 1:50 and the roll call is starting. The delegates have been warned for the stupid county introductions. Early counties look like McCain voters are going for Huckabee already, as are many Paul supporters. AND STOP SAYING HUCKLEBEE!!!!
Update: It looks like the Huckster could win this round of voting and take the delegates, thereby keeping them out of Romney's camp. Good strategy by the McCain people.
Update: Wow, there is a Republican in McDowell County?
Update: McCain supporters might be doing as much for their candidate by voting for Huckabee as they would for him if they had actually managed to win this thing. It'll be a real momentum killer for Mitt "da Shit" if they can throw this to Huckabee. Scott Saxton confirms that Huckabee has the numbers to win.
Update: Huckabee is starting to pull away, even without Saxton's prediction and someone finally spoke up about the "Hucklebee" business.
Update: At 2:11, there is a five minute break to tabulate votes. It looks like they are trying to figure out if Huckabee has it clinched.
Update: It is 2:15 and Saxton says that they are getting Huck's surrogate ready to accept. He should thank McCain's supporters for their tactical voting. They won it for Huckabee.
Update: It is 2:20 and we still wait... While we are killin' time, check out West Virginia's official tourism site. Please. We need the money. :)
Update: Huckabee's win has to piss all over Romney's cornflakes, as he was counting on the WV bump to give him some mo' going into the primaries of the bigger states. Meanwhile, Huckabee can keep his head above water just a lil' longer and, somewhere, McCain has to be busting a move.
Update: Gavel drops at 2:35, Huckabee has formally been declared the winner, and Steve Harrison (a former State Senator, I believe) is accepting on his behalf. He is giving the usual party unity stump speech.
Update: The convention was closed at 2:39. Thanks to everyone who dropped by to follow ...ASAT's coverage of the WV GOP convention. Thanks to RedState.com and DailyKos for the links and WSAZ for the Internet feed.
Update: It looks like Romney is having a behavior over McCain's "dirty tricks" and collusion. TS.