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Entries in Delegates (24)

Tuesday
Apr102012

What Will Happen to Rick Santorum's Delegates?

Steve Pope/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Now that Rick Santorum is out of the race, what happens to his delegates?

Santorum has 285 delegates, according to the latest ABC News delegate estimate, second to Mitt Romney’s 661. He captured the majority of them by winning 10 states -- 11 if you count Missouri’s non-binding primary, which the candidate counted in his bowing-out speech Tuesday.

But some of those delegates were never really “his.”  ABC estimates that 78 Santorum delegates, from his wins in states that don’t “award” their delegates -- Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and North Dakota -- would have been free to support any candidate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Another two of Santorum’s delegates were Republican National Committee superdelegates, who will attend the convention by virtue of their positions in the party, and are also free to support whomever they choose in Tampa.

Santorum won seven more delegates from unbound caucus states Washington and Wyoming.

He won another 10 delegates from Illinois, where they would not be required by state or national-party rule to vote for Santorum in Tampa, either, although Santorum’s campaign presented their names and qualifying signatures to the state board of elections.

That leaves 188 Santorum delegates heading to Tampa. They’ll be required to vote for him, unless he chooses to release them, according to state-party rules.

Even if Santorum endorses Romney, that doesn’t mean he can gift all of his delegates to his former rival.  Should Santorum elect to release his delegates, they’ll become free agents, able to support whichever candidate they choose.

If he does release them, will he receive any votes on the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum?

Maybe a few. Mike Huckabee received no votes in St. Paul, Minn., after releasing his delegates. Mitt Romney received two votes, having dropped out two days after Super Tuesday in 2008. Ron Paul, the last man standing against John McCain, who held his own shadow convention as McCain was being crowned, received 20 votes at the Xcel Center, despite failing to qualify for the convention ballot. Romney, who also did not qualify for the ballot, received two votes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr042012

Newt Gingrich Says He’s In Until Romney Reaches 1,144

Richard Ellis/Getty Images(WILMINGTON, N.C.) -- Spring allergies took their toll on Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. In a scratchy, barely recognizable voice, he told a North Carolina crowd he expected to do well in that state and set a “new tone” for the Arkansas, Texas and California primaries.

Gingrich said he slept 13 hours on Tuesday but still couldn’t shake his illness. Another thing annoying Gingrich, possibly even more than a stuffy nose, is the talk among pundits that he is dropping out of the race soon.

“Until [Romney] becomes the nominee, I’m staying in the race. And in order to be the nominee, he has to get 1,144 uncontested delegates. He has not done that yet,” Gingrich said.

At a news conference, a reporter said to Gingrich, “Clearly you have no intention of getting out of the race,” to which Gingrich interrupted, “I want to commend you for being the first reporter to state the obvious.”

Gingrich said he, Romney and Santorum said they would support the eventual nominee. He didn’t believe the words of their past would come back to haunt them in the general election.

“It doesn’t matter because they just make stuff up anyway,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich told ABC News he is still in the race to win the nomination, not just to take away delegates from Romney.

“I’m trying to get to an open convention to see what would happen,” he said. “I mean, I’m not going to beat Romney head to head, but it’s conceivable that between Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and me, we’ll have enough delegates to have an open convention, and if we have an open convention, the truth is, nobody knows what would happen.”

Gingrich has only won the majority of votes in South Carolina and his home state of Georgia, and gathered a total 135 delegates, compared to Santorum’s overall count of 278 and Romney’s 655.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar272012

Ron Paul: ‘I Am Trailing But the Race Isn’t Over’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Not an interview goes by where Ron Paul isn’t asked about the viability of his campaign, and although the Texas congressman usually brushes off the questions by reiterating that he’s in it for the long run, Paul got testy Monday when asked why he doesn’t just do the “decent thing and pull out” on Piers Morgan Tonight.

“Why don’t you do the decent thing and not pester me with silly questions like that,” a fiery Paul replied to host Piers Morgan.  “I mean that would be decent of you.”

Morgan pointed out that a recent Gallup poll has Paul at 9 percent nationally, and that the congressman has so far collected 71 delegates compared with 569 for Mitt Romney.

“It’s way too soon for you to write anybody off,” said Paul, pointing out that states such as Maine, Washington and North Dakota are still working through the process of awarding delegates.

“Through the process, our people are in the right places.  They’re doing the things to become a delegate,” he said.

Not losing a beat, Paul mused about Romney’s position as the Republican front-runner.

“What if Mitt Romney isn’t the best person,” Paul asked, adding “why should we just throw in the towel because people like you say ‘hey, throw in the towel.’”

Taking a dig at Morgan’s British roots, Paul said, “We fought the British because the British came over here and arrested our American citizens for civil law.”

Morgan eventually offered Paul an olive branch: “I don’t want you to throw in the towel, I think you’re a national treasure in this country.”

Paul had also remained calm Monday morning despite it being stated to him in an interview on Bloomberg TV that Romney has vastly more delegates, and that it is “obvious” he is not going to win.

“So far we don’t have a declared winner, we have a ways to go,” said Paul.  “Yes, I am trailing but the race isn’t over.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar202012

Is Delegate Race Between Santorum, Romney Closer Than Thought?

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rick Santorum’s number crunchers are under no illusions that they are facing a tooth-and-nail fight with Mitt Romney over delegates, but their calculations show a significantly narrower gap between the two contenders than most estimates.

The Santorum campaign offered ABC News a sneak peek at their in-house delegate tally, which still shows the former Pennsylvania senator trailing Romney but in a much better position to catch him.

“There is the Romney way of going about the counting and then there is the real way of going about the counting,” John Yob, Santorum’s delegate strategist, said in an interview on Monday.

Here’s how the Santorum campaign sees the standings in the race for delegates:

-- Romney: 435
-- Santorum: 311
-- Gingrich: 158
-- Paul: 91

The Santorum campaign’s version of the count puts them 124 delegates shy of Romney.  By comparison, the ABC News delegate estimate shows Santorum 268 delegates behind Romney.

Here is the ABC News delegate estimate, which tracks closely with tallied kept by other news organizations:

-- Romney: 521
-- Santorum: 253
-- Gingrich: 136
-- Paul: 50
-- Uncommitted: 2

A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, and Yob conceded that it is going to be “very difficult for any candidate” to reach that threshold before this summer’s national party convention.

According to the Santorum team’s count, Romney has 86 fewer delegates than in ABC’s estimate; Santorum has 58 more; Newt Gingrich has 22 more; and Ron Paul has 41 more.

So, where does Yob, who played a similar delegate strategy role for John McCain in 2008, come up with the 144 delegate difference?

Their delegate equation largely rests on two key assumptions: First, that Arizona and Florida will eventually allocate their delegates proportionally rather than using their current winner-take-all scheme.  Second, that delegate tallies in Iowa, Missouri and Washington State should be estimated based upon the preliminary results of ongoing county and district conventions, not on the initial “beauty contest” votes.

The Santorum campaign believes they will receive the vast majority of the delegates in Iowa and Missouri and they are seeing signs of encouragement in Washington state.

“We are now far exceeding the perceived delegate counts as laid out by the Romney campaign,” Yob said.  “This is just the beginning.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar182012

Mitt Romney Says Talk Of Delegate Math Is Just For ‘Insiders’ (Unless You’re Mitt Romney)

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Delegate math? That’s a topic only “insiders” care about, Mitt Romney said on Sunday.

His comments, however, don’t square with the message he and his campaign have been driving home recently — especially over the last week.

“I know a lot of people will talk about delegates and strategies and math and that’s all very interesting to the insiders,” Romney said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “But I think the American people want to see someone who has the leadership, skill and experience to defeat the president, and a vision of conservatism that will get American back on track again.”

But rewind to Tuesday when he told reporters ahead of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries: “This is all about getting delegates. If the polls are right, we’ll pick up some delegates. That’s what it’s all about.”

Later that day, after Santorum won both states, Romney said in a written statement that he was “pleased that we will be increasing our delegate count in a very substantial way after tonight.”

“With the delegates won tonight, we are even closer to the nomination,” he added.

By 11 a.m. the next day, Romney’s political director Rich Beeson had fired off a memo with one central message: “Tuesday’s results actually increased Governor Romney’s delegate lead.”

(Romney did, in fact, capture more delegates last Tuesday despite Rick Santorum’s wins in the two Southern States.)

In an interview on Fox News Wednesday morning, Romney echoed his campaign’s point about the delegate math: “Oh, and by the way, last night I got more delegates than anybody else.”

And while campaigning in Mobile, Ala. two days earlier, Romney noted in another Fox News interview, “this is all about delegates.”

“At this stage we’re putting together as many delegates as we can. We’ve got a good solid lead,” he said. “We’re closing the deal, state-by-state, delegate-by-delegate.”

Romney even volunteered a procedural point: “As you know delegates are awarded proportionally, so that lengthens the process, but we’re winning this.”

On Sunday, however, his recall of party rules appeared fuzzier.

“I can’t tell you exactly how the process is going to work,” he told Fox’s Bret Baier, “but I bet I’m going to become the nominee.”

The former Massachusetts governor’s team in Boston has been aggressively touting their delegate advantage, using terms for their rivals’ ultimate fate like: “date of mathematical elimination.” But Romney’s advisers also seem to be heeding warning calls coming from inside and outside of the Republican Party that math is not a message.

“Let your smart operatives do the process stuff. You do the vision thing,” GOP pollster Whit Ayers said in an interview with The New York Times last week, giving Romney some unsolicited advice. “It’s a mistake to get sucked into a mathematical discussion to the point where that’s the only message that is being communicated.”

As the candidates claw toward the magic number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination — 1,144 — Romney has a heavy advantage. The latest ABC News tally shows Romney with 501 delegates compared to 253 for Rick Santorum, 136 for Newt Gingrich, and 50 for Ron Paul.

But Romney’s Democratic opponents have been only too happy to see arguments over the delegate count overshadow other Republican talking points.

“When you listen to him over the course of this week shift his message from anything that a voter might care about to delegate math, you can see why he’s having trouble catching on,” Bill Burton, the head of a Democratic super PAC, said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “If I’m his campaign, I’m trying to focus on the economy, trying to focus on issues that actually matter, not going on television day after day talking about the probability of different mathematical scenarios.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar082012

Romney Needs 47 Percent of Remaining Delegates

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney won six of the 10 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday and built a commanding lead among delegates who will officially select the party’s nominee at this summer’s convention in Tampa, Fla.

In total, Romney won 217 delegates on Tuesday -- almost half the total 437 at stake, and more than his competitors combined.

But the former Massachusetts governor is not yet a sure thing for the nomination and he must win 47 percent of the remaining delegates before he can rightly be called the presumptive nominee.  The math of the GOP nomination lays groundwork for a delegate fight that could extend well into the summer and even potentially leave Romney without the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Romney scored victories in Virginia, Vermont, Ohio, Idaho, Alaska and Massachusetts on Tuesday.  Rick Santorum emerged the victor in Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee, while Newt Gingrich won his home state of Georgia and Ron Paul came up empty-handed, again.

Romney now leads all candidates with 401 delegates, according to the latest ABC News estimate.  Rick Santorum follows with 177, and Newt Gingrich, 106, and Ron Paul, 45, trail behind.

There are a total of 2,286 delegates up for grabs during the primary and 729 have already been estimated -- about 31 percent.  That leaves 1,557 outstanding delegates. Romney will have to win 743 or 47 percent to reach 1,144.

The calendar could present Romney with some problems.  The next contests focus on the South, where he is thought to be weak against Santorum.  And the main delegate prizes are more than a month away.  New York holds its primary in late April, Texas is likely to hold its primary in late May, and California Republicans do not vote until June.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar022012

Santorum May Lose Delegates Due to Eligibility Requirements

Steve Pope/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Even if Rick Santorum wins Ohio on Super Tuesday, he won’t be able to claim all of its delegates. In fact, he is at risk of forfeiting more than one-quarter of them.

In three of the state’s 16 congressional districts, including two that are near Ohio’s border with Pennsylvania, Santorum will lose any delegates he might have won because his campaign failed to meet the state’s eligibility requirements months ago.

Those three districts alone take nine delegates out of a total of 66 off the table for Santorum.

But it gets worse: Nine more Ohio delegates may also be in jeopardy.

Sources say that in six other congressional districts — the third, fourth, eighth, tenth, twelfth and sixteenth — Santorum submitted fewer names than required to be eligible for all three delegates up-for-grabs in each district.

That means even if he wins in those places, he might not be able to receive the full contingent of delegates.

In the three districts where Santorum did not submit a delegate slate at all, he will not be able to receive any delegates. In the six where he submitted only a partial slate, he is eligible to be awarded only the number of delegates he submitted, assuming he wins a particular district.

Chris Maloney, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party, said the leftover delegates will be considered “unbound” and the campaigns will be able to file a petition with the state party to claim them. Once such a petition is filed, Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine is required to impanel a “committee on contests” composed of three members of the Ohio GOP’s central committee to sort out the delegate awards.

What’s clear is that Santorum will be competing in Ohio on Tuesday handicapped by the fact that he is ineligible to receive nine delegates and perhaps as many as nine more, or more than one-quarter of the state’s delegates.

Worse yet, some of these problem districts are in areas of the state where Santorum is expected to do well. The sixth congressional district, for example, hugs Ohio’s eastern border with West Virginia and Pennsylvania — the state Santorum represented in Congress. The thirteenth district, which includes Akron, is nearby.

Notably, Santorum plans to spend election night in old steel town of Steubenville, Ohio, located in the sixth district, even though he has no chance of collecting any of the district’s three delegates.

The bar to file what’s known in election parlance as a “full slate of delegates” in each district was not particularly high. Candidates were required to submit the names of three delegates and three alternates per district.

According to the Ohio GOP, the Santorum campaign is missing the names of one delegate in the state’s third district, two in the fourth, one delegate in the eighth, two delegates in the tenth, one delegate in the twelfth and two delegates in the sixteenth. Santorum’s opponents — Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich — each filed full slates in all of Ohio’s districts as did two candidates who are no longer in the race, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman.

In other words, Santorum needed to submit 48 names in order to be eligible to compete for all of state’s district delegates outright.

Santorum is facing a high-stakes contest with Romney in Ohio. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday showed the former Pennsylvania senator with a slim four percentage point lead over Romney in the state, 35 percent to 31 percent. Roughly one-third of likely Republican primary voters said they could still change their mind before Tuesday.

And as the Republican nominating contest becomes as much a battle for delegates as it is for momentum, Santorum’s difficulties in Ohio offer another window into the organizational challenges his campaign has faced throughout the primary season. Santorum is not on the ballot in Virginia, which also holds a primary on Super Tuesday and where each candidate was required to submit 10,000 signatures, including 400 from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.

The eligibility requirements in Ohio were comparatively easier, but at the time Santorum’s rivals were putting together their delegate slates in December, Santorum was crisscrossing Iowa in a pickup truck ahead of the caucuses, which he ended up winning by a hair. The deadline for submitting the slates in Ohio was the last week of December.

There are a total of 63 delegates up for grabs in Ohio on Tuesday, 48 of them are awarded proportionally based on who wins the popular vote in each Congressional district — three per district — and 15 will be awarded to the candidate who wins a majority of votes in the state. However, if no candidate surpasses 50 percent of the vote, the “at-large” delegates are awarded proportionally to each candidate who received more than 20 percent of the statewide vote. Three additional party leaders will act as unbound delegates at the Republican National Convention, but they will not be awarded on Tuesday.

The Santorum campaign declined to comment on their delegate woes in Ohio.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar022012

Santorum Campaign Disputes Change in Michigan Delegate Count

Steve Pope/Getty Images(VERONA, Pa.) -- The Santorum campaign held a conference call Thursday to dispute a meeting the Michigan Republican Party held the night before that changed the rules, breaking a delegate tie that awarded 15 delegates each to Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.

Two at-large delegates are now allocated to Romney, pushing his count up to 16 and Santorum's down to 14.

Santorum national communications director Hogan Gidley said the meeting was “unannounced” and “behind closed doors.”  According to the party’s rules, written on Feb. 4, there would be proportional allocation of the two at-large delegates, but that was changed in the meeting to winner-takes-all.  Romney had edged out Santorum in the popular vote 41 percent to 38 percent, so he got both at-large delegates.

John Yob, who headed up the Santorum campaign’s Michigan strategy, explained that the party voted four to two to change the rules and he said the four that did vote to change it were Romney supporters, including party chair Bob Schostak, said to be a Romney backer although he hasn’t announced publicly.

“They vote four to two to change the rules that were previously approved to give Mitt Romney a win in his home state, rather than a tie in his home state, essentially because he was being embarrassed by it being a tie,” Yob said.

Ohio Attorney General and former Romney supporter Mike DeWine unleashed on the Romney campaign.

“This is a very sad commentary on the Romney campaign that for one delegate they would break the rules and they would risk tearing a state party apart over one delegate,” DeWine said, calling the campaign “desperate.”

DeWine also said his wife had received a robo-call “lambasting Santorum” from someone identified as “Mike.”

“I can guarantee you it was not this Mike,” DeWine said.  “They will do anything and say anything to try and get this nomination and they are very desperate.”

In response to the Santorum campaign’s charges, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul wrote in an email to ABC News: ”Rick Santorum encouraged Democrats in Michigan to hijack the Republican Primary.  Because his strategy failed and Mitt Romney won, he is now attacking the Republican Party.  The Romney campaign respects the process as determined by the Michigan state party, and we are pleased that we have been awarded a majority of the delegates.  We are now focused on the upcoming contests.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar012012

Michigan GOP Changes Delegate Rules, Gives Primary Edge to Romney

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LANSING, Mich.) -- The Michigan Republican Party voted to break a delegate tie Wednesday night, awarding 16 delegates to Mitt Romney and 14 to Rick Santorum.

The decision, which broke a 15-15 tie that would have resulted under the pre-primary interpretation of the rules, caused disbelief at Rick Santorum’s campaign. A spokesman rejected the decision.

Santorum had claimed partial victory, and ABC News projected a delegate tie from Michigan’s Tuesday primary based on the rules as originally laid out by the Michigan GOP.

Romney won the popular vote 41 percent to Santorum’s 38 percent.

There could be a lot of fuss over this one delegate. The notion of a delegate tie has encapsulated the Santorum campaign’s spin on Michigan, but perhaps more importantly, Santorum is counting on an energized conservative Tea Party base to oppose Romney for the rest of the primary season. Winning this one delegate could hurt Romney more than it helps him, if the Michigan GOP’s contradiction leads to an added sense of injustice in the anti-Romney contingent of GOP primary voters.

Before the primary, party officials repeatedly explained the rules as splitting the two at-large delegates between any candidate getting more than 15 percent of the vote. Under that interpretation, as laid out by party officials, Santorum should have gotten an at-large delegate.

Santorum’s campaign accused Romney’s campaign of trying to rig the results.

“There’s just no way this is happening,” Santorum communications director Hogan Gidley said in an email statement to press after the Michigan GOP’s announcement. “We never thought the Romney campaign would try to rig the outcome of an election by changing the rules after the vote. This kind of backroom dealing political thug-ery [sic] just doesn’t happen in America.”

There was no evidence Thursday to show Romney’s campaign was involved with the delegate allocation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb292012

Romney and Santorum Tie in Michigan, Based on Delegates Awarded

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to delegates, it turns out Mitt Romney did not win Michigan.

ABC News projects that the 30 delegates awarded based on Michigan’s Tuesday primary will be evenly split – 15 delegates for Mitt Romney and 15 delegates for Rick Santorum.

Mitt Romney may have won the overall vote by a margin of 3 points, but Michigan awards its delegates based on how the candidates did in each of the state’s 14 congressional districts, not solely on the popular vote totals.

The system works like this: the winner of each congressional district gets two delegates. Two additional delegates are awarded based on the overall statewide vote — one delegate for the first-place winner and one delegate for the second-place winner if he gets more than 15 percent of the popular vote.

Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney split the state’s congressional evenly, each triumphing in seven.

Counting Tuesday’s other primary, in Arizona, Michigan’s split primary still leaves Romney with a substantial delegate lead overall. He won 44 delegates from both states on Tuesday, bringing his overall count to 153. Santorum took home 15 delegates from Michigan on Tuesday and zero from the winner-takes-all state of Arizona, bringing his total to 87.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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