American Samoa Caucus: 50 Republicans in a bar


A shipwreck lies at the entrance to Amouli Bay on the east coast of Tutuila in American Samoa in October, 2009.



Fifty Samoan Republicans walk into a bar.

A new leader of the free world emerges.

Indeed, 7,000 miles from the White House, that is the scenario the GOP hopes will play out today when American Samoa holds its caucus in this year’s Republican nominating contest, according to the Associated Press.

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In the US territory (population 68,420), the South Pacific stalwarts of the Republican Party will gather to choose which candidate six of their nine delegates will support in the presidential nominating contest, according to the AP.

They will meet at at Toa Bar & Grill in Pago Pago,

Oddly, Gallup has not polled them.

According to the AP, one reason so few attend is that on American Samoa — an unincorporated US territory west of the Cook Islands and only slightly larger than Washington, DC itself — most elected officials do not seek election on party lines and so most voters have no party affiliation. (Their local Congressman, Eni Faleomavaega, a Democrat, cannot vote in the House of Representatives.)

Only those who did bother to register as Republicans can participate today.

Hence, so much will be decided for so many by so few.

Victor Tofaeono, the chairman of the local Republican party, told the AP he hoped caucus-goers would agree to commit all of their nine delegates (three “super delegates,” who may independently chose whom to support, and the six whose support will be determined by the caucus) to one candidate.

The nine unanimously backed Arizona Sen John McCain in 2008.

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The agency quoted Amata Radewagen, a member of the Republican National Committee and a superdelegate, as saying that Mitt Romney had “quite a bit of support” among Samoan Republicans but refusing to reveal whom she would support.

Caucuses held Saturday in the US Virgin Islands appeared to give a split result, according to The Sate Column. Ron Paul apparently won the most votes (just 112) but Mitt Romney was declared the winner because he won seven delegates to Paul’s one.