Thursday, March 1, 2012

Race to 1144: Arizona Primary

Contest Delegates (via contest results and rules, and RNC)
Automatic Delegates (Democratic Convention Watch)

Delegate breakdown (post-Arizona primary):
Romney: 120 delegates (New Hampshire: 7, South Carolina: 2, Florida: 50, Nevada: 14, Arizona: 29, Automatic: 18)
Gingrich: 32 delegates (South Carolina: 23, Nevada: 6, Automatic: 3)
Paul: 8 delegates (New Hampshire: 3, Nevada: 5)1
Santorum: 4 delegates (Nevada: 3, Automatic: 1)
Unbound: 126 delegates (Iowa: 25, Colorado: 33, Minnesota: 37, Maine: 21 Automatic: 8, Huntsman: 2)

In the same way that Rick Santorum was able to win every county in the beauty contest primary in Missouri on February 7, Mitt Romney accomplished the same feat with 29 delegates on the line Tuesday night in Arizona. Romney scored a decisive victory on the same scale as his victory in similarly winner-take-all Florida at the end of January. The additional delegate boost from the Grand Canyon state pushes the former Massachusetts governor's delegate margin to level approaching one hundred delegates.2 In that sense -- counting Michigan or not -- Mitt Romney ever so slightly padded his delegate lead on February 28.

A few other notes:
  • The unbound delegate total did not -- and will not when Michigan is added into the mix -- change because of what happened on Tuesday. Due to the penalties both Michigan and Arizona incurred for holding delegate selection events at odds with the RNC rules on primary/caucus timing, both states not only lost half of their delegations but were stripped of their automatic delegates in the process. 
  • When will we hear about a challenge to the winner-take-all allocation of the Arizona delegates? It has been all quiet on the western front to this point. A strictly proportional allocation of Arizona's delegates would have netted Romney 15 delegates, Santorum 9 delegates and Gingrich  the remaining 5 delegates, assuming a 15% threshold for winning delegates. 
  • Of course, if the delegate total would have been split into a proportional allocation of at-large delegates and a winner-take-all allocation of congressional district delegates (by congressional district vote), Romney likely would have taken 24 delegates, Santorum 3 and Gingrich 2. That's based on Romney winning all nine congressional districts and taking approximately half of the at-large, statewide delegates (assuming a 15% threshold for winning any delegates). The most likely plan would have largely resembled the Michigan plan. With two delegates allocated to each of the nine congressional districts there would have been 18 congressional district delegates and 11 at-large delegates. Again, this is a hypothetical plan that could be used in the event of a successful challenge to the Arizona delegate allocation plan.
  • This is great illustration of how different the two parties conceptions on proportional can be when implemented. The former scenario with a 15% threshold yields a fairly mathematically proportional allocation. But the latter, congressional district plan is not nearly so proportional. In the case of a sweeping victory like what Romney enjoyed in Arizona or Gingrich in South Carolina, such a method of allocation will advantage the winner in the zero-sum game of delegate allocation. 

1 Iowa Republican Party Chairman Spiker was a part of the Paul campaign in Iowa and resigned his position upon taking up the post of party chair. While he has expressed his intent to side with whomever the Republican nominee will be, Spiker has not also directly signaled any neutrality in the race. The door is open for his support of Paul at a potential contested convention. While FHQ does not include Spiker in Paul's delegate total, it is however necessary to make note of the possible addition of one delegate that would bring the Texas congressman's total to nine.

2 Though the Michigan vote and thus delegate count is not official, a 15-15 delegate split in the Great Lakes state between Romney and Santorum would stretch Romney's lead to over one hundred delegates. FHQ will not add Michigan to the total until the vote tabulation is complete there. That is, assuming there is no controversy over the Michigan delegate allocation, it will be split 15-15.

Recent Posts:
Idaho House Bill to Eliminate Presidential Primary Passes State Senate

Romney is the Winner in Wyoming Straw Poll

Santorum Inches Closer in Wyoming Straw Poll

Are you following FHQ on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook? Click on the links to join in.


Dorian said...

Great posts! Any chance of showing a chart with popular vote totals to date? Curious to see what percentage of voters have voted for each of the remaining four candidates. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Your delegate numbers are a joke. Santorum earned 14 in Michigan alone and won four other states!

Santorum has 85 delegates currently.