15 August 2011

The 2012 Republican Primary/Caucus Calendar


I am working on an extensive study of the changes in the Republican nomination system. At the bottom of this report is a chart, chronologically, of all 2012 GOP caucuses and primaries by date, state name, type of contest, method of delegate allocation, bounding rules for the convention, number of delegates, and a running total of delegates in play. If anyone has more updated information and would like to share it, that information would be welcome.

You may find this hyperlinked table to be most helpful. Especially in this chronological fashion, with a running tally. As the primary season gears up, I will be adding links to the SOS websites for results, etc.

A great deal of this information comes from The Green Papers, which does absolutely outstanding non-partisan work at recording such details. Also, thanks for fairvote.com. Changes in dates are happening even now, so the table will be changed again, surely.

Based on the results from the 2008 primaries, I noticed that the vast majority of republican states were WTA (winner take all) states, but this has changed some. Here some new statistics: of the 56 contests that will be fought out in 50 states, DC and 5 territories (US Samoa, Guam, N. Marinaras, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands):

Note: the open primaries are in bold and green, for instance, VA (49)
The semi-open primary is in bold and blue: AZ (57)


7 are caucus or convention type situations where the delegates are free and unbound from the direct popular vote, worth 167 delegates (6.9% of all delegates): WY (29), IA (28), Am. Samoa (9), N. Marianas (9), Guam (9), MN (40), WA (43)

11 are absolute WTA contests based on the statewide vote, often including the 3 unpledged delegates that are generally assigned to each state, worth 397 delegates (or 16.4% all all delegates): MO (53), NJ (50), AZ (57), VA (49), VT (17), LA (45)***, DC (19), CT (28), DE (17), MT (26), UT (36)

1 is an absolute WTA contest by STATE district instead of Cds, but without at-large delegates: RI (19)

16 are a mix of WTA per CD for pledged delegates and WTA per statewide vote for the at-large delegates, worth 977 delegates (40.3% of all delegates): SC (50), FL (99), GA(75), KS (40), WI (42), OK (43), TN (58)***, AL (50)***, MS (37)***, MD (37), NY (95)***, IN (46), OH (66), WV (31), AR (36)***, CA (172)

2 are a mix of WTA per CD for some delegates and proportional allotment by statewide vote for the at-large delegates, worth 211 delegates (8.7% of all delegates). MI (59), TX (152)***

11 are entirely proportional, worth 352 delegates (14.5% of all delegates): NH (23), AK (28), NV(28), MA (41), Hi (20), NC (55), ID (32) – 80% proportional, OR (29), KY (45), NM (23), SD (28),

3 are „Loophole“ Primaries, meaning that the results of the popular vote will have absolutely no impact on the selection of the delegates themselves, worth 176 delegates (7.3% of all delegates): IL (69), PA (72), NE (35). The loophole states are absolute wild cards and MI is in danger of again losing 1/2 of its delegates, should it decide to frontload. This would be to Mitt Romney's DISADVANTAGE.

2 are the direct result of selection by the state republican party, worth 33 delegates: ME (24), Virgin Islands (9).

Special cases, not listed above::

In ND (28), If one candidate gets over 2/3, then WTA (25 of 28) / if not, then proportional (threshold = 15%).

In Puerto Rico (23), it is WTA if a candidate gets 2/3. If 3 candidates get over 15%, then 10, 6 and 4. If 2 candidates get over 15%, then 13 and 7.

In CO (36), Unspecified whether WTA or proportional. CO also does caucuses and the date is still moving. But all 36 delegates are considered „Unpledged“.


***from above:

In TN (58), If one candidate gets over 2/3, then WTA, both per CD (27 of 58) and statewide (15 of 58) / if not, then proportional (threshold = 20%) / 3 unpledged / the other 13 delegates are selected by committee on 04/07/2012.

In TX (152), If majority win (over 50%), then WTA per CD (108 of 152) and statewide (41 of 152). If minority win, then 2 +1 per CD for the top two winners (threshold: 20%) and proportional for the statewide delegates (threshold: 20%).

In AL (50), WTA by CD (21 of 50): threshold 20%. Under 20%, then proportional / WTA statewide (26 of 50).

In MS (37), WTA by CD (12 of 37) / WTA statewide (22 of 37) if majority win. If minority win, then proportional (threshold: 15%)

In LA (45), If majority win, then WTA statewide (20 of 45), if not, then those 20 go unpledged to the State Convention (April 2012 – the other 22 delegates)

In NY (95), WTA per CD (81 of 95) if majority vote in that CD. If no majority, then 2 + 1 for the top two candidates (threshold: 20%). If no one gets at least 20%, then the party divies up the delegates for that CD / WTA stateside for the at-large (11of 95) if majority win. If not, then proportional.

In AR (36), WTA per CD (12 of 36) if majority win. If not, then 2 +1 for the top 2 candidates. At large delegates (21 of 36): each candidate with at least 10% of the statewide vote gets 1 delegate. If majority win, then the winner gets the rest. If no majority win, then proportional for the rest under the top 3 candidates.

Here is how this looks on a map:


red= absolute WTA contests

gold = mix of WTA per CD for pledged delegates and WTA per statewide vote for the at-large delegates

yellow = mix of WTA per CD for some delegates and proportional allotment by statewide vote for the at-large delegates

green = proportional allotment

black = loophole primary

grey = free caucus or other special case

This makes for a huge swath of states that are esentially WTA, but with WTA by CD, other candidates can pick up delegates, for instance, Ron Paul in TX. In a close race in SC, Perry could win, but Bachmann could come away with enough CD delegates to stay in the running, etc, etc, etc.
--------------------------------------------------

Open Primaries:

There are 17 states with open primaries, one with a semi-open primary and one that acts like an open primary (PA). Why? Well, in most of these cases, the states themselves do not do voter registration by party affiliation, so having a closed primary would be impossible, anyway. In PA, voters have the opportunity to de-register from one party and re-register for another party even just days ahead of an election. This was the state where Rush Limbaugh decided to start his „Operation Chaos“ in 2008, which will now probably come back to haunt the GOP in 2012, for in 18 states, the Democrats can now play the same game. In other words, Democrats can go vote in the Republican primaries in order to give the one or the other candidate an advantage and try to force a situation where the GOP will not be able to nominate on the first ballot come convention time. For instance, right at the get go, in SC, Democrats could really make a mess out of the race and deprive Perry of a much wanted win and rather, give the win to Michele Bachmann. GA would be an excellent example of a state where DEMS could come out in droves to push the race toward Bachmann, Perry or Romney, depending on their desires.


Here is how this looks on a map:


green = open primary
blue = semi-open primary (independents are allowed to vote in the GOP primary)
grey = closed primary

When I look at the first seven races of the GOP primary season, in chronological order,

WY County Conventions 01/07
SC Primary 01/21
NH Primary 01/24
FL Primary 01/31
AK District Conventions 02/07
IA Caucuses 02/06

I see built in structural advantages for all three major candidates: Romney, Bachmann and Perry.

Obviously, all three will make a run for SC, but Perry and Bachmann have the right-wing christian advantage here. However, Romney could clean up in WY at the county conventions and is on top in NH. But NH is proportional, so even a big win their would not bring Romney the delegates he could get from SC.
That leaves FL as a sort of make or break for the candidates and then, if Romney wins in FL, GA becomes the next „decider“, but it is a big state with a OPEN primary, as mentioned. So, the layout of the GOP calendar does indeed make for what appears will be a fascinating start to all of this. Also, moving CA to the end of the line up certainly can make for some adventure, should the race stay close.

In the category of „Bound at the convention“, N/A means „not available“. If not specifically instructed in the state party platform, it is assumed that pledged delegates are bound for the 1st ballot.

There are also 501 UNPLEDGED delegates this time around (20.7% of all delegates). Those unpledged delegates could make the difference at the last moment if they wait to declare. It will be a sign of a blowout if they start to declare right away. If they do not, then it means that the race will stay tight, maybe until the convention.

More details to follow in the next weeks...


Republican Primaries / Caucuses 2012

Date
State
Type (O, S, C)
Allocation
Bound at Convention?
Delegates
Running total – delegates in play
01/07/2012
WY
County Conventions
Free and unbound
no
29 (see: 05/25-26-2012)
29
01/21/2012
SC (O)
Primary
WTA by CD (21 of 50) / 26 delegates WTA statewide (26 of 50) / 3 unpledged


Republicans want to close their primaries in SC, but a U.S. District Court judge ruled that they cannot do that and must resort to a convention or caucus if they want to keep out independent voters, who currently may pick a party on Election Day. As of May 31, 2011, the GOP had asked the judge to reconsider.
1st ballot.
2nd ballot if candidate gets 30% at convention.
50
79
01/24/2012
NH
Primary
Proportional (20 of 23) + 3 unpledged (Threshold = 10%). Any remaining after fractional allocation = WTA
N/A
23
102
01/31/2012
FL
Primary
81 of 99: WTA per CD / 18 of 99 WTA statewide
N/A
99
201
02/07-11/2012
AK
District Conventions (State convention on 03/15-17/2012
Proportional (25 of 28), 3 unpledged
N/A
28
229
02/06/2012
IA
Caucuses
Free and unbounded


Voters may change party on the day of the primary election or caucus.
N/A
28 (final allotment 06/08 and 09/2012)
257
02/07/2012
GA (O)
Primary
WTA per CD (42 of 75), WTA statewide (33 of 75)
N/A
75
332
02/07/2012
ME
Caucuses & Convention
Party selection (24 of 24) - all go to the convention as „unpledged“
---
24
356
02/07/2012
MO (O)
Primary
WTA statewide (53 of 53)
N/A
53
409
02/07/2012
NJ
Primary
WTA statewide (50 of 50) / pledged
N/A
50
459
02/07/2012
ND (O)
Caucuses
If one candidate gets over 2/3, then WTA (25 of 28) / if not, then proportional (threshold = 15%). 3 unpledged
1st ballot
28
487
02/11/2012
KS
Caucuses / State Party Committee Meeting on 05/24/2012
WTA per CD (12 of 40), WTA statewide (28 of 40). Note the special rules for TIES.
If no candidate received the most votes in 2 or more congressional districts, then 25 delegates will go to the national convention not bound to any candidate. „
40
527
02/18/2012
NV
Caucuses / the State Convention is on 04/28/2012
Proportional (25 of 28) bounded. 3 unpledged
N/A
28
555
02/21/2012
WI (O)
Primary
WTA by CD (24 of 42) / WTA statewide (18 of 42)
Bound until released by the candidate or if the candidate goes under 1/3 of the total vote at the convention, then automatically unbound.
42
597
02/25/2012
Am. Samoa
Territorial Caucus
Free choice (6 of 9) / 3 unpledged
N/A
9
606
02/25/2012
N. Marianas
Commonwealth Convention
Free choice (6 of 9) / 3 unpledged
N/A
9
615
02/26/2012
Puerto Rico
Territorial Caucus
20 of 23: WTA if candidate gets 2/3. If 3 candidates get over 15%, then 10, 6 and 4. If 2 candidates get over 15%, then 13 and 7. 3 unpledged
Bound. No rules for unbounding. No release specifications.
23
638
02/28/2012
AZ (S)
Primary
WTA Statewide (24 of 27), 3 unpledged
54 bound. 3 unbound
57
695
Between 02/28/2012 and 03/06/2012. If before 03/06/2012, then MI must forfeit 1/2 of its delegates.
MI (O)
Primary (C)
WTA per CD (42 of 59) / Statewide proportional (14 of 59), threshold: 15% / 3 unpledged
1st ballot.
59
754
03/06/2012
MA (O)
Primary
Proportional per CD (27 of 41) / Proportional statewide (11 of 41) / 3 unpledged.
N/A
41
795
03/06/2012
OK
Primary
WTA per CD (15 of 40) / WTA statewide (25 of 40) / 3 unpledged

43
838
03/06/2012
TN (O)
Primary
If one candidate gets over 2/3, then WTA, both per CD (27 of 58) and statewide (15 of 58) / if not, then proportional (threshold = 20%) / 3 unpledged / the other 13 delegates are selected by committee on 04/07/2012
At least 2 ballots. (TCA §§2/13/307(b) )
58
896
03/06/2012
TX (O)
Primary
If majority win (over 50%), then WTA per CD (108 of 152) and statewide (41 of 152). If minority win, then 2 +1 per CD for the top two winners (threshold: 20%) and proportional for the statewide delegates (threshold: 20%).
N/A
152
1048
03/06/2012
VA (O)
Primary
WTA (all 49 delegates), no unpledged delegates.



In VAParties may choose to nominate by convention rather than by primary election.
1st ballot, unless released by the candidate before. As of the 2nd ballot, unbound.
49
1097
03/06/2012
VT (O)
Primary
WTA (all 17 delegates), no unpledged delegates.
2 ballots, then unbound
17
1114
03/10/2012
Guam
Territorial Caucus
Free choice (6 of 9) / 3 unpledged
N/A
9
1123
03/13/2012
HI
Precinct Caucuses
Proportional (17 of 20) / 3 unpledged
1st ballot, afterward unbound.
20
1143
03/13/2012
AL (O)
Primary
WTA by CD (21 of 50): threshold 20%. Under 20%, then proportional / WTA statewide (26 of 50) / 3 unpledged
N/A
50
1193
03/13/2012
MS (O)
Primary
WTA by CD (12 of 37) / WTA statewide (22 of 37) if majority win. If minority win, then proportional (threshold: 15%) / 3 unpledged
N/A
37
1230
03/20/2012
IL
Loophole“ Primary
56 of 69 though loophole. Go read the link. 3 unpledged
N/A
69
1299
03/24/2012
LA
Primary
If majority win, then WTA statewide (20 of 45), if not, then those 20 go unpledged to the State Convention (April 2012 – the other 22 delegates) / 3 unpledged
N/A
45
1344
03/31/2012 to 04/21/2012
03/31: MN-01, 02, 08
04/07: MN-04, 05, 06
04/21: MN-03, 07
MN (O)
District Conventions
Free-choice (24 of 40). The thirteen at-large delegates will be chosen at the State Convention. 3 unpledged
Unbound. The 13 at large delegates to be selected on 05/24-26/2012 may be bound, if directed by the convention.
40
1384
04/2012, no specific day yet
LA
State Convention
22 delegates (22 of 45), free choice
N/A
Already calculated
---
04/03/2012
DC
Potomac Primary
WTA (16 of 19) / 3 unpledged
Bound until released. If candidate withdraws, then unpledged.
19
1403
04/03/2012
MD
Potomac Primary
WTA per CD (24 of 37) / WTA statewide (10 of 37) / 3 unpledged
First 2 ballots. No longer bound if the candidate either releases the delegates or receives less than 35% of the vote at the National Convention.




37
1440
04/07/2012
TN (O)
State Executive Committee
13 of 58 (see: 03/06/2012)
At least 2 ballots. (TCA §§2/13/307(b) )
(13 - already calculated)
---
04/07/2012
Virgin Islands
Territorial Caucuses
Selected (6 of 9) / 3 unpledged
N/A
9
1449
04/24/2012
CT
East Coast Primary
WTA (25 of 28) / 3 unpledged
1st ballot
28
1477
04/24/2012
DE
East Coast Primary
WTA (17 of 17)
N/A
17
1494
04/24/2012
NY
East Coast Primary
WTA per CD (81 of 95) if majority vote in that CD. If no majority, then 2 + 1 for the top two candidates (threshold: 20%). If no one gets at least 20%, then the party divies up the delegates for that CD / WTA stateside for the at-large (11of 95) if majority win. If not, then proportional. 3 unpledged delegates.
N/A
95
1589
04/24/2012
PA
East Coast LOOPHOLE Primary (like MI)
59 congressional delegates / 10 at large / 3 party leaders – all go to the convention as „unpledged“
----
72
1661
04/24/2012
RI
East Coast Primary
Proportional by state district (16 of 19) / 3 unpledged
Bound until released by the candidate under the 75% affirmation rule.
19
1680
05/08/2012
IN (O)
Primary
WTA per CD (27 of 46) / the other delegates will be chosen in June
N/A
46
1726
05/08/2012
NC
Primary
Proportional (55 of 55)
N/A
55
1781
05/08/2012
OH
Primary
WTA per CD (48of 66) / WTA statewide (15 of 66) / 3 unpledged
N/A
66
1847
05/08/2012
WV
???
Confusion, WV has changed the date many times, it may change yet again. Looks like WTA per CD (9of 31) / WTA statewide (19 of 31) / 3 unpledged
N/A
31
1878
05/15/2012
ID (O)
Non-binding Primary
Proportional for 80% of delegates (24 of 29) based on Statewide vote. The remaining 5 will be selected 06/14/12 at the State convention / 3 unpledged
1st ballot for pledged delegates.
32
1910
05/15/2012
OR
Primary
Proportional (29 of 29) per statewide results. Threshold = 3.5% !!
Bound until released or candidate falls under 35% at the national convention.
29
1939
05/22/2012
AR (O)
Primary
WTA per CD (12 of 36) if majority win. If not, then 2 +1 for the top 2 candidates. At large delegates (21 of 36): each candidate with at least 10% of the statewide vote gets 1 delegate. If majority win, then the winner gets the rest. If no majority win, then proportional for the rest under the top 3 candidates. / 3 unpledged
Bound unless released by the candidate.
36
1975
05/22/2012
KY
Primary
Proportional (42 of 45) by statewide results. Threshold = 15%. / 3 unpledged.
N/A
45
2020
05/22-23/2012
NY
State Committee
The remaining 11 delegates will be selected as „unpledged“. See: 04/24/2012
---
(11, already calculated)
---
05/24-26/2012
MN
State Convention
The remaining 13 at-large delegates will be selected by the party.
1st ballot.
Already calculated
---
05/25-26/2012
WY
State Convention (the county conventions were 01/07/2012)
Remaining 17 delegates chosen. No specific method.
N/A
Already calculated

05/31-06/0272012
WA
State Convention
The primary was cancelled. 40 delegates will be selected, no specific method / 3 unpledged
N/A
43
2063
06/05/2012
CA
Primary
WTA per CD (159 of 172) / WTA statewide for the at-large (10 of 172) / 3 unpledged
Bound for 2 ballots or until candidate falls under 10% at the convention on the 1st ballot, or releases the delegates.
172
2235
06/05/2012
MT
Primary
Not specified. I assume WTA for all 26 delegates.
1st ballot, then can be released by the candidate.
26
2261
06/05/2012
NM
Primary
Proportional per Statewide vote (20 of 23): threshold = 15%. / 3 unpledged
N/A
23
2284
06/05/2012
SD (O)
Primary
Proportional per Statewide vote (25 of 28): threshold = 20%. / 3 unpledged
N/A
28
2312
06/26/2012
CO
Primary
Unspecified whether WTA or proportional. CO also does caucuses and the date is still moving. But all 36 delegates are considered „Unpledged“.
---
36
2348
06/26/2012
UT
Primary
WTA per statewide vote (39 of 39)
1st ballot.
39
2387
07/14/2012
NE
Non-Binding Primary
Loophole Primary
The 35 delegates will be selectied on 07/14/2012 at the State Convention. This primary is only cosmetic.
---
35
2422


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