Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Delaware

This is the thirty-second in a multipart series of posts that will examine the Republican delegate allocation by state.1 The main goal of this exercise is to assess the rules for 2012 -- especially relative to 2008 -- in order to gauge the impact the changes to the rules along the winner-take-all/proportionality spectrum may have on the race for the Republican nomination. As FHQ has argued in the past, this has often been cast as a black and white change. That the RNC has winner-take-all rules and the Democrats have proportional rules. Beyond that, the changes have been wrongly interpreted in a great many cases as having made a 180ยบ change from straight winner-take-all to straight proportional rules in all pre-April 1 primary and caucus states. That is not the case. 

The new requirement has been adopted in a number of different ways across the states. Some have moved to a conditional system where winner-take-all allocation is dependent upon one candidate receiving 50% or more of the vote and others have responded by making just the usually small sliver of a state's delegate apportionment from the national party -- at-large delegates -- proportional as mandated by the party. Those are just two examples. There are other variations in between that also allow state parties to comply with the rules. FHQ has long argued that the effect of this change would be to lengthen the process. However, the extent of the changes from four years ago is not as great as has been interpreted and points to the spacing of the 2012 primary calendar -- and how that interacts with the ongoing campaign -- being a much larger factor in the accumulation of delegates (Again, especially relative to the 2008 calendar).

For links to the other states' plans see the Republican Delegate Selection Plans by State section in the left sidebar under the calendar.


DELAWARE

Here we are staring an April 24 series of primaries in the face and the 2012 presidential primary calendar has its first real, honest-to-gosh, winner-take-all primary. Well, the First state will be the first Republican contest to allocate/bind all of its delegates to the winner of its presidential preference primary without some sort of caveat. In Florida and Arizona, all of the delegates were allocated to Mitt Romney, but both states were penalized. Both not only lost half of their delegates but their automatic delegates lost their convention voting privileges. Maryland allocated all of its delegates to Romney as well, but the former Massachusetts governor had to win each of the Old Line state's congressional districts to do so. In Washington, DC, Romney also won all of the delegates. Well, all of the non-automatic delegates from the District were bound to him while the automatic delegates remained unbound free agents. The situation was similar in Puerto Rico with the exception that the allocation was conditionally winner-take-all/proportional.2

But Delaware is the first state to allocate and bind all 17 of its delegates -- including automatic delegates -- to the winner of today's closed primary.

Delaware delegate breakdown:
  • 17 total delegates
  • 11 at-large delegates
  • 3 congressional district delegates
  • 3 automatic delegates
At-large/congressional district/automatic allocation: The winner of the primary -- whether by plurality or majority -- wins all 17 delegates from the state of Delaware.

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It should be noted that Newt Gingrich picked up the endorsement of Delaware Republican National Committeewoman Priscilla Rakestraw. However, should someone other than Gingrich win the Delaware primary, Ms. Rakestraw will be bound to the winner through the first ballot at the Tampa convention regardless of her preference.

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1 FHQ would say 50 part, but that doesn't count the territories and Washington, DC.

2 If you read that paragraph closely, note that Romney has done quite well in states that have allocated their delegates on a winner-take-all basis. In those states where conditionality rules have been triggered, Romney has been the beneficiary.


Recent Posts:
2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Rhode Island

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Connecticut

Race to 1144: MN, MO & WY Conventions


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