You’ve watched the TV coverage and clips from the convention. But, have you ever wondered about the seating inside the convention hall? Which states are getting prime real estate on the floor and which states have been relegated to the “cheap seats” in the back of the auditorium?
The map of the convention floor says it all.
Of course, the best seats in the house are right down front and near the center of the stage. Who sits there?
Six-time Texas delegate and historian David Barton shared his analysis of the floor plan. Barton was quite clear on who is sitting where… and why.
The high profile center section is filled with delegates from three vital states (swing states) for Romney and Ryan — Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
If you look to the right and left of that center section, you will see the Massachusetts and Wisconsin delegations.
The “home states” of both candidates are in key positions on the campaign floor. And, TheBlaze was on the scene this afternoon and snapped a photo showing that the prime seat at the corner of the front row of the Wisconsin delegation will be filled by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.
David Barton explained a bit more about convention floor real estate:
During the “Bush years” Texas was front and center as might be expected. Not so, this year. Barton speculated that the high concentration of Ron Paul delegates within the Texas might cause a distraction or possible embarrassment for the GOP. Texas finds its 150+ group of cowboy-hat wearing delegates in the back section on the left side of the floor.
And so, the Texas delegates are now in the back and New Hampshire has the front row position of the left side of the stage.
Why has a relatively small state been pulled from obscurity to the front of the convention hall?
NH delegate and State Representative Paul Mirski spoke to TheBlaze about his state’s prime real estate and explained it in two words: John Sununu. The former NH Gov is also a top surrogate for the Romney campaign. And that may also explain Tuesday night’s prime time speaking position for NH’s Junior Senator Kelly Ayotte.
If Texas was being punished for its Ron Paul connection, why was West Virginia — a state that is expected to delivery a strong victory for Romney and Ryan — also positioned at the far end of the left side of the floor?
Kris Warner, a delegate and rising star in WV and GOP politics explained it quite simply. He said that his fellow delegates were not worried about it. Warner says they are thrilled to be here and confident that “despite being outnumbered at home by more than 2.5 to 1, (Democrats to Republicans) West Virginia will be a 20 point victory” (for Romney & Ryan). But not every state agrees with Mr. Warner and his WV delegation.
At the very bottom, left corner of the floor map, you will see New Mexico. We spoke with a small group of delegates from the “Land of the Enchantment.”
Six-time delegate Cecilia Martinez-Salazar told TheBlaze that her state was probably “viewed as a loss” and that’s why they were pushed as far back on the floor as possible. Ms. Salazar wondered if the GOP missed a huge opportunity to reach out to the Hispanic community. Their state has the first Hispanic woman governor in the country — Susana Martinez.
However New Mexico’s animus was not shared by representatives from Indiana and the District Of Columbia. Both of those states are sitting almost smack dab in the middle of their sections on the floor.
Evansville, Indiana mayor Lloyd Winnecke sees his delegation’s spot as just right. The recently-elected mayor feels confident about his state’s ability to bring home a solid and decisive win for the GOP.
In the end, convention seating plans seem to be a lot like seating charts for wedding receptions. You put family and friends up close to the head table by the newlyweds. The relatives who won’t raise a fuss get the middle group and perimeter tables. And your crazy friends and nutty uncles get pushed off to the perimeter — those tables in the back — the ones often referred to here in the convention hall as “Siberia.”