Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2008 Republican Delegate Allocation Rules by State

1. FHQ will not dive too far into all of this now. This is, along with the 2012 post, should serve as a baseline to which the 2016 rules as they come more into focus can be compared.

2. The Republican delegate allocation in 2008 may be a better prism through which to view the aggregate patchwork of rules that will govern the 2016 Republican presidential nomination process at the state level. FHQ says that because the expectation is that there will be a handful (to a great deal) more winner-take-all states in 2016. The addition of the proportionality window in 2012 had something to do with the 11 winner-take-all states in 2008 dropping to just 6 in 2012. Two of those five states (Connecticut and New York) voluntarily adopted more proportional rules even with later primary dates outside of the proportionality window. Missouri switched a caucus with no formal rules in 2012. Only Vermont and Virginia had primaries scheduled in the 2012 proportionality window, forcing a change to a more proportional method of allocation from a truly winner-take-all plan.

3. In the aggregate, it appears that most of those winner-take-all (2008) turned more proportional (2012) states went from the truly winner-take-all category in 2008 to the truly proportional category in 2012. When we push the examination down to the individual (state) level, the shuffling is more complex (see previous paragraph).

4. Again, FHQ should note that those states in the hybrid category tend to be more like proportional states than truly winner-take-all states in terms of the underlying allocation. Together, hybrid and proportional states comprised two-thirds of the total delegates available in the 2008 Republican presidential nomination process. Importantly, 10 of the 11 winner-take-all states were on or before February 12, 2008 (the week after Super Tuesday). John McCain won all of those early truly winner-take-all states except Utah. That provided a significant delegate cushion for the Arizona senator over his challengers.

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