So — there are 11 primaries coming up in the next 5 days, and the rules governing delegate apportionment following each primary/caucus are so confusing that only a person with a triple law degree and a second advanced degree in combinatorics and chaos theory can possibly follow them (Seriously, GOP: we need to organize these primaries better. *sigh*).
But here’s what’s coming up and how the delegates are apportioned, along with the latest polling data for each primary for which I could find intel. We’re going to have a little fun trying to figure out who’s going to have momentum after Tuesday!
Let’s start with a recap of what has happened so far because, if you’re anything like me, you are extremely confused about who has won what delegates even though you know all of the vote count results. This is the media’s best guess at who’s getting what delegates from each primary state thus far:
Huntsman: 2 (Who’s out. His delegates are free to pick a side, and it’s likely they’ll go to Romney)
Romney: 2 (Not sure why. It’s winner take all, but perhaps the at-large bids were free?)
Romney: 50 (Winner take all.)
COLORADO: (Note: This one was non-binding, but the unwritten rule is that the delegates are bound for one vote.)
At large: 9 (Probably going to Santorum if he’s still in contention at the time of Colorado’s state convention.)
At Large: 3 (Also probably going to Santorum.)
MISSOURI: (Non-binding informal primary, but the state is winner take all when it does vote, and they tend to respect the popular primary.)
Santorum: 52 (I’m going ahead and counting those because Santorum will surely win the state caucus on March 17th.)
At Large: 2
WYOMING: (Bet you didn’t even know they already voted! Their tiny caucus was indeed already held, and their official contest date is merely the date when votes are officially tallied.)
ARIZONA: (Winner take all.)
So unofficially, that’s:
Romney: 160 (Why am I seeing nothing but higher numbers in all of the official delegate counts?)
At Large: 16
The media is not counting Missouri and Wyoming yet, so you’ll see mostly much lower numbers for Santorum — but I’m going ahead and counting those states and representing the at large delegates so we know who’s available as free agents.
What’s coming up next:
WASHINGTON (Saturday): 43 delegates – non-binding winner take all.
PPP Poll suggests that Santorum currently leads in Washington 37-28-21-14
ALASKA: 27 delegates – proportional allocation.
Santorum and Paul are the front-runners in Palin’s home state, though polling data is hard to come by.
GEORGIA: 76 delegates – proportional allocation.
Rasmussen has Gingrich holding his home state with a dwindling margin: 39-24-23-9.
IDAHO: 32 delegates – non-binding winner-take all caucus.
No current polling data from the potato state. My guess is that Romney will win here based on his performance in Wyoming, Nevada and Colorado (averaged).
MASSACHUSETTS: 41 delegates – proportional primary.
Romney will get at least 60% of the vote here – probably 85 or 90% of the delegates – and the second place finisher will be Paul. Santorum and Gingrich won’t even crack double digits or receive a single delegate.
NORTH DAKOTA: 28 delegates – proportional caucus.
Given Santorum’s strong showing in Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri, North Dakota will surely go his way. Gallup agrees, giving Santorum the early 52-21-14-8 lead over Romney, Paul and Gingrich (in that order).
OHIO: 66 delegates – hybrid proportional primary (like Michigan).
This state is crucial. Santorum has the strong edge in current polls, leading Romney 37-36-16-11 (Paul and Grinch remain buried according to PPP).
OKLAHIOMA: 43 delegates – proportional primary.
Santorum is destroying Romney and Paul here according to Pew Research and Rasmussen. In two separate polls, Santorum is winning 49-18-13-11 (Pew) and 52-20-14-10 (Rasmussen) and in both polls, Romney is THIRD and Paul is second.
TENNESSEE: 58 delegates – proportional primary.
Santorum is CRUNCHING his rivals here. The most recent poll conducted by Middle Tennessee State University has Santorum up 40-19-13-11.
VERMONT: 17 delegates – hybrid proportional primary.
I confidently projected Romney to win this one easily, but the latest polling from Castleton State College has Romney leading by a mere 7 points over Santorum, 34-27-14-10.
VIRGINIA: 49 delegates – hybrid proportional (again, like Michigan).
With only two candidates on the ballot, Ron Paul is likely to hold mountainous areas while Romney dominates the rest. This will largely go to Romney.
KANSAS: 40 delegates – hybrid proportional (it goes by district).
Latest polling shows Santorum walloping Romney and Paul again.
VIRGIN ISLANDS and GUAM: 18 delegates – direct election
Military support is for Romney, by in large, so Romney will get all 18 of these I fear.
So let’s try to make a projection here on the delegates. I’ll list my projections by state and try to be as conservative as I can (avoiding projecting slam dunk victories in the high-delegate states):
WA: Santorum 43 (It’ll be close, but it’s winner-take all.)
AK: Romney 11, Santorum 8, Paul 5, Gingrich 3
GA: Gingrich 29, Santorum 20, Romney 19, Paul 8
ID: Romney 32
MA: Romney 34, Paul, 7
ND: Santorum 18, Romney 8, Paul 2
OH: Santorum 30, Romney 28, Paul 5, Gingrich 3
OK: Santorum 22, Romney 9, Paul 5, Gingrich 5
TN: Santorum 36, Romney 12, Gingrich 6, Paul 4
VT: Romney 10, Santorum, 5, Paul 2
VA: Romney 40, Paul 9
KS: Santorum 25, Romney 15
VI/GU: Romney 18
So here are the totals for each guy:
Romney: 218 + 160 = 378
Santorum: 203 + 148 = 351
Gingrich: 46 + 30 = 76
Paul: 47 + 26 = 73
As you can see, I don’t think Super Tuesday will decide this election (other than to virtually eliminate Gingrich and Paul from the discussion). I’m starting to believe we really may be headed toward a brokered convention.