Sunday, January 22, 2012

Updated Delegate Counts

Following South Carolina, Newt Gingrich surges to a lead in delegates won.  Note that the way the Republican nominating process works, there are Republican National Committee delegates (3 from each state) that are awarded to party leaders from each state, separate from the nominating contests.  Those individuals are free to voice support for any candidate, and some have, but are in no way obligated or bound by their selection at the convention.  I therefore exclude that "soft" support from my totals.

Iowa and New Hampshire have proportional representation rules, awarding a share of delegates to all candidates receiving more than 10% of the vote.  South Carolina is district based system, with delegates awarded to the winner of the state and to the winner of each congressional district, so it tends to magnify the magnitude of a win.  Newt Gingrich won in most of the districts, so he won 23 of the 25 delegates Florida has.

Florida will be a full winner-take-all state, so even a narrow win at the polls will translate into a big win in delegates.

To date, delegates won are as follows:
Newt Gingrch - 27
Mitt Romney - 15
Ron Paul - 9
Rick Santorum - 6
Rick Perry* - 3
Jon Huntsman* - 2

* Dropped out of race

With Perry endorsing Gingrich and Huntsman endorsing Romney, if you assume their delegates follow suit, the totals would be:
Newt Gingrich - 30
Mitt Romney - 17
Ron Paul - 9
Rick Santorum - 6

Note that very few delegates have been awarded so far, in part because only 3 states have had nominating contests and in part because both New Hampshire and South Carolina were penalized 50% of their delegates for holding their contests earlier than party rules had dictated (Iowa had no restriction around when it was to hold its "first in the nation" caucus.)  Florida is similarly penalized as are the other early states of Michigan and Arizona - all the other states will receive their full allocation of delegates.

These early contest matter far more for momentum and money than they do in terms of the actual delegate awards. 

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