Friday, February 3, 2012

Current Delegate Standing

Newt Gingrich has 29 pledged delegates to Romney's 65.

A brief update on the pledged delegate numbers before we head into the Nevada Caucuses tomorrow: Mitt Romney 65, Newt Gingrich 29, Ron Paul 9, Rick Santorum 6.

The territory is favorable to Mitt Romney. So far, exit polling has found that Romney overwhelmingly wins the votes of Republicans who say the economy is their top priority, and Nevada has one of the hardest hit housing markets in the country. Add on top of that a sprinkling of Mormon communities around the state, an gambling industry that's less receptive to social conservatism, and Romney's momentum, and he should be good for a win.

That said, there's a good chance that everyone will walk away from Nevada with at least one delegate. The results of the state-wide 'preference vote' tomorrow are binding, so we don't have the uncertainty in delegate count of your typical caucus. Any candidate that garners at least 3.57% of the vote tomorrow is eligible for at least one delegate, the lowest threshold for a delegate in the entire Republican calendar. Most states require either 15 or 20% support before a candidate gets their first delegate, even when they are awarded 'proportionately.'

That's why no matter who wins Nevada, every campaign would be wise to spend a little extra attention on the state. A little extra marginal investment can easily translate into a second or ninth delegate.

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