Republican Primary Still a Quest for Delegates

Candidates left standing

Despite the battle of perceptions of electability between the Republican candidates the primary is still a matter of accumulating the required number of delegates. There are 2,286 delegates in all the states and territories. Whoever gets more than half those is the presumed nominee. There are several paths to 1,144 for several candidates. The perception issue becomes a problem since winning in early primaries and caucuses affects the outcome in subsequent contests. For example, had Rick Santorum not peaked the interest of the public when he did it’s doubtful that he would have lasted very long in the campaign. Now it appears he will be a serious drag on the Romney campaign.

Several evangelical leaders are purportedly meeting next week to try and convince Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Newt Gingrich to drop out and support Santorum. The more candidates that stay in the race, the longer it takes for any one of them to reach 1,144 delegates. Other factors to take into consideration is whether the delegates are proportionally allocated or winner-take-all and whether the contests are binding or non-binding.

The public perception could decide the race sooner. Romney will most certainly do well in New Hampshire. Nate Silver shows him ahead in the South Carolina polls. If he continues that trend, voters in subsequent races could accept the inevitable candidate meme and Romney could get to 1,144 in a cascading series of wins. If Romney ran the table from here on out, the earliest the nomination could be clinched is March 17th unless all other candidates concede and drop out before then. Super Tuesday on March 6 becomes an important date with thirteen contests held on the same day.

But the reverse is also possible. Newt Gingrich, whom Peggy Noonan has labeled an ‘angry little attack muffin’, seems ready to stay in the race out of spite after the drubbing he received from Romney’s Super Pac in Iowa. Ron Paul will probably go all the way and possibly even further if he doesn’t get the nomination by running in the general as a third party. Both Gingrich and Perry could benefit by staying until at least Super Tuesday when many southern state contests will be held. Poor Jon Huntsman’s home state is actually the last primary in the race and no one really expects him to last much past New Hampshire.

To further complicate matters, Herman Cain announced on ‘Now with Alex Wagner‘ last week that he would be making an ‘unconventional’ endorsement before the South Carolina primary alluding to the idea that he might un-suspend his own campaign.

The first of two debates in New Hampshire takes place tonight. Expect the long knives to come out.

Here are the dates of the contests and the number of delegates at stake in each:

Jan 3

  • Iowa Caucuses » 28 delegates

Jan. 10

  • New Hampshire Primary » 12 delegates

Jan. 21

  • South Carolina Primary » 25 delegates

Jan. 31

  • Florida Primary » 50 delegates

Feb. 4

  • Maine Caucuses 24 delegates
  • Nevada Caucuses 28 delegates

Feb. 7

  • Colorado Caucuses 36 delegates
  • Minnesota Caucuses 40 delegates

Feb. 28

  • Arizona Primary 29 delegates
  • Michigan Primary 30 delegates

March 3

  • Washington Caucuses 43 delegates

March 6

  • Alaska Caucuses 27 delegates
  • Georgia Primary 76 delegates
  • Idaho Caucuses 32 delegates
  • Massachusetts Primary 41 delegates
  • North Dakota Caucuses 28 delegates
  • Ohio Primary 66 delegates
  • Oklahoma Primary 43 delegates
  • Tennessee Primary 58 delegates
  • Vermont Primary 17 delegates
  • Virgin Islands Caucuses 9 delegates
  • Virginia Primary 49 delegates
  • Wyoming Caucuses 29 delegates

March 10

  • Guam Caucuses 9 delegates
  • Kansas Caucuses 40 delegates

March 13

  • Alabama Primary 50 delegates
  • American Samoa Caucuses 9 delegates
  • Hawaii Caucuses 20 delegates
  • Mississippi Primary 40 delegates

March 17

  • Missouri Caucuses 52 delegates

March 18

  • Puerto Rico Caucuses 23 delegates

March 20

  • Illinois Primary 69 delegates

March 24

  • Louisiana Primary 46 delegates

April 3

  • District of Columbia Primary 19 delegates
  • Maryland Primary 37 delegates
  • Wisconsin Primary 42 delegates
  • Texas Primary 155 delegates

April 24

  • Connecticut Primary 28 delegates
  • Delaware Primary 17 delegates
  • New York Primary 95 delegates
  • Pennsylvania Primary 72 delegates
  • Rhode Island Primary 19 delegates

May 8

  • Indiana Primary 46 delegates
  • North Carolina Primary 55 delegates
  • West Virginia Primary 31 delegates

May 15

  • Nebraska Primary 35 delegates
  • Oregon Primary 28 delegates

May 22

  • Arkansas Primary 36 delegates
  • Kentucky Primary 45 delegates

June 5

  • California Primary 172 delegates
  • Montana Primary 26 delegates
  • New Jersey Primary 50 delegates
  • New Mexico Primary 23 delegates
  • South Dakota Primary 28 delegates

June 26

  • Utah Primary 40 delegates

We’ll be armchair quarterbacking each of these races as they happen. Predictions will be posted in the Red Right Returns posts the day before the contests. But feel free to make your own predictions in the comment section.

(Ed. note: An earlier version of this article listed the Texas Primary date incorrectly. The Supreme Court moved the Texas Primary from March 6 to April 3 due to the challenges over the state’s redistricting. This could prove to be a setback for Governor Perry.)

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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3 Responses to Republican Primary Still a Quest for Delegates

  1. valleyforge says:

    Texas has been moved to April 3rd.

    As far as delegates they’ll be split in IA (where Paul seems to have gotten the edge), NH, and SC but FL will give all 50 to the winner so that will be the first significant lead. Someone well organized could offset that with a disproportionate haul in the CO, MN, and ME caucuses (NV is strictly proportional).

  2. Mr. Universe says:

    Thanks for the update on Texas. Perry probably not happy about that.

    Additionally, I keep hearing about the Iowa typo. Santorum may actually have won IA.

  3. Pingback: - Gulf Coast Rising News | Louisiana

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