When we first started our GOP superdelegate list, we did not treat TX differently from most other states, and even had TX State Chairman Steve Munisteri as an endorser for Rick Perry. However, we subsequently removed TX, (along with some other states), from the superdelegate list, based on the Texas Republican General Rules for All Conventions and Meeting, October 2011, Section 38.8.f, which says:
The total Texas delegation of delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention shall be proportional to the statewide presidential primary vote, as provided for in this rule.
Seems clear, right? "Total" means "total", right? But today, Munisteri said no, he is a superdelegate:
With Texas' primary date up in the air, there's a question about how important the state will be to the GOP nominating process. One sign of the uncertainty may be that Munisteri's telephone has been curiously silent on at least one front since Perry got out of the presidential race.
Munisteri had supported Perry's White House bid but now is undecided. What's more, he's a super-delegate."
I wouldn't have expected anybody to call me while Perry was running because I was very publicly for Perry, but I would have thought the campaigns would have made efforts to contact the supporters of the candidates that dropped out, especially supporters that are automatically guaranteed delegate spots," Munisteri said. "Maybe I just don't understand campaigns. I must be missing something."
So we did some more research, and found two things. First, the General Rules, cited above, also says in Section 38.7.b:
At the State Convention, the National Nominations Committee shall meet to select nominees for all at-large delegates and alternate delegates, and consider the recommended names of members of the Congressional District Caucuses for possible selection as National Convention Delegates and Alternates. Those individuals who have access to the floor of the National Convention by virtue of their office shall be prohibited for selection as an at-large national delegate, by the National Nominations Committee.
So the superdelegates are not considered "at-large delegates".
We also found meeting minutes of the TX GOP (h/t Green Papers), which says:
Under the new rule, presidential candidates will be allocated national convention delegates in direct proportion to the statewide popular vote they receive in the Texas Republican Primary on March 6, 2012. However, to ensure that local leadership continues to have significant input in the selection of delegates, 3 delegates per Congressional district will still be selected. With 36 Congressional districts, this means that 108 of the state's 155 delegates will be selected by individual Congressional districts. 3 delegate spots are reserved for the National Committeeman, National Committeewoman and State Chairman, pursuant to national party rules. The remaining 44 delegates will be selected at-large by a nominating committee at the convention.
The evidence is clear, so we have restored Texas's 3 superdelegates to our list. Memo to the Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul campaigns: Steve Munisteri, Bill Crocker and Borah Van Dormolen are waiting for your call.
Update: See also here.