Republican cumulative delegates by date

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Florida turned out as expected, but as I wrote right after South Carolina, there's no need for anyone of the remaining candidates to head for the exits. Mitt Romney's campaign is restarting the inevitability bandwagon. Pundits are falling over each other to be the first to declare that it's all over, that there's no path to victory for anyone else. (Haven't the pundits ever heard of suspense? That people stay interested only until they know the final outcome?)

Those of us who bother to read the rules by which the game is played know that the 2012 campaign has just begun. Only 87 of a possible 2286 delegates have been bound to a candidate at this point. 59 delegates -- 7 in New Hampshire, 2 in South Carolina, and 50 in Florida -- have been bound to Mitt Romney. He needs 1,085 more to clinch the nomination, and the earliest possible date he can mathematically accomplish that (assuming all other candidates drop out now) is April 24. More likely, because of many proportionally allocated states, it would be late May or possibly June 5 before anyone could cross the finish line. (Click the graph to see it full-size.)


The Associated Press includes Iowa in its count, but Iowa doesn't elect delegates until June, and, as I noted before the caucus, there's no necessary or mechanical connection between the caucus straw poll results and whom the delegates will support at the Republican National Convention.

The AP count also includes certain "super-delegates" as pledged to candidates, presumably based on public declarations of support. The members of the Republican National Committee -- state party chairman, national committeeman, and national committeewoman from each state and territory -- are ex-officio convention delegates. A few states require their RNC members to be bound by the result of the primary, but most send their RNC members unbound. RNC members from states that have been penalized for holding a primary too early -- New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Michigan -- won't have a vote at the convention.

The basis for the above chart is in the BatesLine GOP Delegate Count spreadsheet. I've followed the comprehensive information on delegate allocation found at the Green Papers website, differing only in treating any delegates elected based on their declared presidential preference as bindable delegates. For example, the Green Papers treats all 66 Ohio delegates as unpledged because they aren't legally bound to vote for a particular presidential candidate at the national convention. My count treats all the Ohio delegates (except the three RNC members) as bindable delegates, since the delegates are nominated by a presidential campaign and would have a significant personal stake in voting for the candidate who made it possible for them to attend the national convention.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 1, 2012 12:58 AM.

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