The Fix: delegates

GOP delegates will vote to nominate Romney on Monday

Delegates from each state will cast their votes for president on the first day of the Republican National Convention on Monday.

The “rolling roll call of the states” is the formal process by which delegates cast votes on behalf of their respective states and paves the way for the nomination of the party’s presidential candidate, which will officially take place on the final day of the convention next Thursday.

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Trio of wins inch Romney toward officially securing nomination

Mitt Romney won all three primaries on Tuesday and is closing in on the number of delegates he needs to officially secure the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

108 delegates were available Tuesday, and Romney is likely to win all 27 up for grabs in Indiana, the vast majority of the 52 available in North Carolina and most or all of the 28 in West Virginia.

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Romney takes big delegate prize from Wisconsin, Maryland and D.C.

Mitt Romney expanded his delegate lead significantly on Tuesday, taking at least 83 delegates from Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia and reinforcing that he is on a clear path for the GOP presidential nomination.

Rick Santorum, meanwhile, is projected to have won six delegates, with six yet to be determined.

Romney has expanded his delegate lead over Santorum to 655 to 278, according to the most recent AP projections. (For all the numbers, see the Post’s delegate tracker.)

The 83 delegates Romney won for sure makes Tuesday his second-biggest single-day delegate haul of the GOP primary season.

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How Mitt Romney gets to 1,144 delegates

The Republican presidential race isn’t even half over.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney visits a campaign headquarters Jan. 19 in Charleston, S.C. (Joe Raedle - Getty Images)
That’s right, we haven’t even handed out half the delegates yet, and Mitt Romney isn’t yet halfway to winning the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.

Which means there is a long way to go.

At the same time, the states that have voted so far have given us a pretty good idea about where each candidate’s strengths lie — Rick Santorum in Southern and Midwestern states and among more conservative voters, and Romney in the Northeast and West and among more affluent voters, etc.

With that in mind, we thought it worthwhile to take a look at just how Romney gets to that magical number: 1,144 delegates.

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Romney expands lead to 300 delegates

Mitt Romney took a 300-delegate lead on Rick Santorum in the GOP presidential race after a decisive victory Tuesday in Illinois’s primary, according to projections.

AP projections show Romney won 43 of 54 delegates available in the state, with 10 delegates going for Santorum. That final delegate available Tuesday hasn’t been awarded.

The results mean Romney now leads Santorum 563 delegates to 263 delegates. Romney is now almost exactly halfway to the 1,144 delegates he would need to clinch the nomination. He needs to win about 46 percent of the available delegates in the remaining two dozen contests.

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Is Rick Santorum closer in the delegate race than we think?

Rick Santorum’s campaign on Monday set about arguing that it is actually much closer in the delegate race than current projections indicate.

Rather than the 268-delegate deficit that AP currently projects, Santorum’s campaign estimates that it trails only by 124 delegates, according to a memo obtained by ABC News.
Standing in front of a statue of Ronald Reagan on horseback, Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum speaks at a campaign rally Monday in Dixon, Ill. Dixon is the boyhood home of Reagan. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

It’s theoretically possible. But it’s also a best-case scenario that is unlikely, and it’s based on a lot of assumptions that are hard to make.

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Romney’s delegate lead grows

Despite his losses in the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, Mitt Romney appears to have expanded his delegate lead on Tuesday.

The most recent projections from AP show Rick Santorum took 31 delegates from Alabama and Mississippi, while Newt Gingrich took 24 delegates and Romney got 23.

But this morning, Romney was projected to win all nine delegates from American Samoa’s caucuses, and he also won the Hawaii caucuses by a large margin.

AP projections show Romney beat Santorum 18 delegates to four in those jurisdictions.

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Romney’s big delegate lead — in one graph

Mitt Romney won more than twice as many delegates as Rick Santorum on Super Tuesday, taking advantage of the former Pennsylvania Senator’s failure to file for some delegates in Ohio or to get on the ballot in Virginia.

As the Post’s Phil Rucker is reporting, the Romney campaign is spinnning this development as the beginning of the end for the rivals to the former Massachusetts governor. .

And a look at the graph below affirms the delegate challenge for the non-Romneys — especially because states can’t award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis until April.

Romney has now won a clear majority of the 745 delegates that have been projected to date. Santorum’s deficit stands at 239 delegates with just 1,541 delegates to go.

Unless he puts together a pretty significant winning streak in the verty near future, Santorum’s best hope would be a brokered convention since he wouldn’t be able to win the nomination outright.

Rick Santorum’s delegate math doesn’t add up

In responding to its popular-vote loss in the Michigan primary last Tuesday, Rick Santorum’s campaign argued that the result amounted to a tie since the former Pennsylvania senator and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney were both slated to win 15 delegates.

(Later, one delegate was controversially shifted to Romney, who wound up edging Santorum 16 to 14.)

That argument could pretty easily backfire on Super Tuesday tomorrow.

As Romney’s campaign pointed out this weekend, Santorum’s campaign is not on the ballot in Virginia and failed to file for as many as 18 of the available delegates in Ohio.

It all adds up to a situation in which Santorum could have a very good day in terms of raw vote but still come away with significantly fewer delegates than Romney.

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Despite victory, Romney may split Michigan’s delegates with Santorum

Mitt Romney won the popular vote in Michigan on Tuesday, but it’s still possible that Rick Santorum will win just as many delegates.

Given the close nature of the contest and the fact that almost all of the state’s delegates will be awarded by congressional district, there is still some uncertainty about whether Romney will also take home more delegates.

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How to follow the delegate race — in one chart

As we’ve noted before, the GOP presidential contest is on the precipice of becoming a delegate race.

Your problem: Like most normal people, you don’t have any idea how the delegate process works.

Well, we here at The Fix have your answer; the Post’s already-great delegate tracker has now gone interactive.

The graphic here (shown below) shows you just how many delegates are at stake on each primary/caucus day on the calendar, gives you updated delegate counts after every contest, and even tells you how close each candidate is to the nomination.

So take a look and tell us what you think. (And for the true nerd, also be sure to check out our more-detailed chart of the delegate allocation rules in each state.

A hyper-regional GOP delegate race? Here’s how

Rick Santorum’s trio of victories in Tuesday’s contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri virtually assures that the Republican presidential race will, on some level, be a delegate race.

And if that delegate race drags on for a while, it could very well pit different regions of the country against one another.

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The Republican delegate race explained — in one chart

If you want to know why Newt Gingrich is raising a ruckus about how Florida allocates its delegates, just take a look at the chart below.

Florida, by awarding its 50 delegates on a winner-take-all basis, provided one of the biggest delegate swings you’ll see in the presidential race, outside of Super Tuesday.

Mitt Romney, who was neck and neck in the delegate total before Florida, all of a sudden has a big lead, as the colors in the lower left-hand corner indicate. He won just 21 delegates before Florida, and more than tripled his delegate haul on Tuesday.

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Florida primary’s winner-take-all delegate situation, explained

Florida primary’s winner-take-all delegate situation, explained

There is a good bit of confusion about how Florida will award its delegates following today’s primary.

So, to clear things up, here’s where we stand:

A new Republican National Committee rule says that no state holding its presidential contest before April is allowed to award its delegates to the national convention on a winner-take-all basis, unless it is one of the four early carve-out states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada).

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Gingrich and Santorum: We’re in it for the long haul

Gingrich and Santorum: We’re in it for the long haul

Mitt Romney is on course for victory in the Florida primary, but the campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum say they aren’t leaving the race anytime soon.

Gingrich’s campaign says it aims to win enough delegates in the coming months to force a brokered convention, and Santorum’s campaign has turned its focus to the contests in early February and then to Super Tuesday in early March.

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A brokered convention for Mitt Romney, and why it won’t happen

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Now that Mitt Romney has gone two-for-two in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the question is whether his wins will be enough to chase his opponents from the race and effectively end it in January.

But there is a train of thought, at least among some in the chattering classes, that even a sustained string of victories won’t be enough for the former Massachusetts governor.

They argue that there is such resistance to Romney in the GOP that, even if he continues to win, he may not be able to win a majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention.

If that were the case, it would lead to a brokered convention, in which the GOP would head to Tampa later this year without a nominee.

It’s a political junkie’s fantasy. But mostly, it’s just a fantasy.

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