Showing posts with label Super Tuesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Super Tuesday. Show all posts

Friday, March 19, 2021

Oregon Bill Would Shift Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

Legislation introduced earlier this month in Oregon would push the Beaver state's typical mid-May primary up to the first Tuesday in March.

SB 785, authored by Sen. Lee Beyer (D-6th, Springfield) resembles in part a bill from the last legislative session in 2019 which would have similarly moved the presidential primary up to Super Tuesday. However, the 2021 bill would move the entire consolidated primary -- including those for other offices -- into March in presidential election years only. The measure would additionally shift back the date on which the legislative session would commence in those years from February to May. The latter change also differs from the 2019 bill and saves state legislators from campaigning or raising money during the legislative session.

While that issue was not raised in the public hearing for the failed 2019 Super Tuesday bill, it was among the shortcomings of the legislation. The committee that heard the testimony on that bill also balked at the costs of a separate presidential primary and the impact it would have on election administrators. 

SB 785 addresses those issues, but it remains to be seen whether it will be any more successful than its predecessor was. Neighboring states all hold March or earlier contests, but the year after a presidential election is not a time when this type of legislation tends to move. But it would align Oregon with its neighbors if signed into law.

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A link to this legislation will be added to the 2024 FHQ presidential primary calendar.



Wednesday, July 10, 2019

American Samoa Democrats Again Aim for Super Tuesday Caucuses

The American Samoa Democratic Party on July 3 released for public comment a draft 2020 delegate selection plan.

Much of the 2016 process has been carried over to 2020. There will again be ten delegates in the American Samoa delegation: six at-large delegates and four automatic delegates (DNC members). It will be those six delegates that will be allocated based on the results of the territorial caucuses. Those caucuses will fall on Super Tuesday again (March 3, the first Tuesday in March).

Candidates receiving more than 15 percent of the vote territory-wide will be eligible to be allocated a proportional share of the six at-large delegates.

The plan treats the four members of the American Samoa Democratic Party Executive Committee -- the party chair, vice chair, national committeeman and national committeewoman -- as pledged party leader and elected official (PLEO) delegates, but only if they opt to run and be elected/selected for those positions; something new in the Democratic delegate selection rules for the 2020 cycle. Additionally, there is no specific plan outlined for pledging those delegates to candidates based on the results of the caucuses. The assumption then, it seems, is that those four DNC members from the territory will remain automatic and unpledged (and ineligible for participation on the first ballot if no one candidate receives a majority of all delegates including the automatic delegates).

The American Samoa Democratic caucuses now become the sixteenth contest on Super Tuesday 2020.


The American Samoa Democratic caucuses date has been added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.


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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Governor Polis Sets Colorado Presidential Primary Date for Super Tuesday

Governor Jared Polis (D-CO) on Tuesday finalized the date of the 2020 Colorado presidential primary.1 In consultation with the Colorado secretary of state, the governor chose Super Tuesday from a narrow range of March Tuesdays as defined in statute after a 2016 ballot initiative reestablished the presidential primary option.

The decision aligns the Colorado presidential primary with primaries or caucuses in 13 other states and territories. Already the most delegate-rich date on the 2020 presidential primary calendar, the addition of primary in the Centennial state puts even more weight on the March 3 Super Tuesday.

This will be the first cycle in which Colorado has conducted a presidential primary since a three cycle run from 1992-2000. Parties in the state have held caucuses since then.


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1 Full press release from Governor Polis's office announcing the date:

Governor Polis and Secretary of State Griswold announced March 3rd, 2020 as Colorado’s new presidential primary date

TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2019

DENVER — Today Governor Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced March 3rd, 2020 as the new date for Colorado’s presidential primary. The two were joined by leaders from the Democratic, Republican, Unity American Constitution and Approval Voting parties.

“Our Super Tuesday primaries will be a tremendous opportunity to participate in democracy and for Coloradans to have their voices heard by presidential candidates in all parties,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are proud of 2018’s record turnout, as well as Colorado’s status as a leader on voting rights. We hope to build on that momentum by participating in a primary along with other Super Tuesday states to ensure that all major candidates listen firsthand to the concerns of Colorado voters.”

In 2016, Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 107, which restored primary elections in Colorado in presidential election years. The state was previously using the caucus system.

“I am excited to join Governor Polis in officially setting March 3, 2020 -- Super Tuesday -- as the date for Colorado’s 2020 presidential primary. This will be the first presidential primary in Colorado in 20 years -- and the first where unaffiliated voters will be able to participate,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold. “As Colorado’s Secretary of State, I believe in the power of our democracy. A secure and accessible presidential primary will give Coloradans the opportunity to create the future we imagine.”

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The Colorado primary date is now reflected on the 2020 FHQ Presidential Primary Calendar.


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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Utah Democrats Will Use New Presidential Primary Option for 2020

With the release of a draft of its 2020 delegate selection plan, the Utah Democratic Party has confirmed that it will utilize the new presidential primary signed into law recently by Governor Gary Herbert (R).

The confirmation means that Utah Democrats will return to a primary for delegate allocation for the first time since the 2008 cycle. The state party opted for caucuses in 2012 when there was no national party rules-compliant primary option. The February date in state statute was too early and the late June option added that cycle for state Republicans was too late. Both parties used caucuses in 2016 when the presidential primary was not funded by the state.

Like the last time Utah Democrats used a primary for delegate allocation in 2008, the election will fall on Super Tuesday. In the Democratic delegate apportionment formula, Utah is not delegate-rich, falling behind ten of the 13 states now slated to hold delegate selection events on Super Tuesday.

Finally, in the switch from 2016 caucuses to 2020 primary, Utah becomes part of another trend. The Beehive state now joins Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Nebraska and Washington state as states to have opted into state government-run primary elections for the 2020 cycle.

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The Utah Democratic Party decision opt into the primary will be reflected on the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.



Related:
2/25/19: Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

3/14/19: Utah House Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

4/1/19: Utah Presidential Primary Shifts to Super Tuesday


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Monday, April 1, 2019

Utah Presidential Primary Shifts to Super Tuesday

On Wednesday, March 27, Governor Gary Herbert (R) signed SB 242 into law.

The bill reestablished and the law now explicitly schedules a presidential primary in the Beehive state for the first Tuesday in March during presidential election years. Utah will rejoin Super Tuesday for the first time since the 2008 cycle when the primary coincided with a de facto national primary day with over twenty contests in both parties.

Utah at this time becomes the thirteenth state to schedule a primary or caucus for Super Tuesday. Of the 13, Utah will have fewer delegates at stake in the Democratic process than ten of the Super Tuesday states or territories. Only Vermont and Democrats Abroad will offer fewer delegates on Super Tuesday. Typically, that has been a combination -- few delegates at stake on a date that offers many more delegate-rich states -- that has led to smaller states getting lost in the shuffle.

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The Utah presidential primary change will be reflected on the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.


Related:
2/25/19: Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

3/14/19: Utah House Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill


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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Utah House Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

On the final day of the 2019 regular legislative session, the Utah House passed SB 242 by a vote of 66-1 after no discussion on the floor. The measure reestablishes, funds and schedules the presidential primary in the Beehive state for the first Tuesday in March, Super Tuesday.

The change would align the Utah presidential primary with contests in 11 other states and territories (at this time) on the 2020 presidential primary calendar if Governor Gary Herbert (R) signs it into law.

This would potentially be the first time since the 2008 cycle that both parties have had the option of a primary in Utah. It was also held on Super Tuesday that year on February 5. Four years later, only Republicans in Utah held a late June primary; one that would have been non-compliant under DNC rules in 2012 had the party had a competitive nomination race that cycle. Instead Utah Democrats allocated and selected delegates to the national convention in a caucus/convention system. The legislature refused to fund the primary for the 2016 cycle and did not act on legislation to move the February primary option into compliance with national party rules.

SB 242 now heads to Governor Herbert for his consideration.



Related:
2/25/19: Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill


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Monday, March 11, 2019

Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

In the waning days of the 2019 regular session, the Utah legislature is in hurry up mode. The state Senate today suspended the rules on required third readings of bills before blitzing through all the legislation remaining before it that originated in the upper chamber.

That included the first substitute to SB 242, the bill to reestablish a presidential primary in the Beehive state and schedule it for March 3. State Senator Curtis Bramble (R-16th, Utah/Wasatch) quickly introduced the bill on the floor and got an immediate thumbs up on the caucus-to-primary transition from Democratic Senate caucus manager, Senator Derek Kitchen (D-2nd, Salt Lake), who cited the last two cycles with troublesome caucuses on the Democratic side in Utah. The only question Bramble received on the bill concerned its fiscal impact. The $3 million price tag cited in response to Senator Lyle Hillyard's (R-25th, Cache) query was enough to push him into the nay column when the bill came up for a vote.

But Hillyard was only joined by one other member in opposition to the measure, and the bill passed 25-2 (with two additional members absent). SB 242 now moves over to the House side. The session comes to a close on Thursday, March 14.



Related:
2/25/19: Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah


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Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

With little discussion on Friday, March 8, the Utah Senate Government Operations Committee unanimously sent SB 242 on to the full state Senate for its consideration.

The committee favorably reported the measure to reestablish a presidential primary in the Beehive state and schedule it for March 3 for the 2020 cycle. The state was without a presidential primary in 2016 and it has been since the 2008 cycle that both major parties in Utah used an available presidential primary in lieu of caucuses. The Utah presidential primary was on Super Tuesday in 2008 as well.

Technically, the bill passed and favorably reported was a substitute version of the original bill introduced by Senator Curtis Bramble (R-16th, Utah/Wasatch). But the change was made in a section concerning the canvassing process and not when or whether the primary would be held or funded.


Related:
2/25/19: Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill


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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

With the 2019 Utah state legislative session in its waning days, legislation has been introduced to schedule the newly funded presidential primary in the Beehive state for Super Tuesday.

State Senator Curtis Bramble (R-16th, Utah/Wasatch) has filed SB 242. The bill would not only schedule the presidential primary funded during the 2017 session for the first Tuesday in March, but would make some other technical corrections to the presidential primary code that has remained as part of the Utah statutes.

Mainly, those corrections consist of a couple of matters with respect the timing of the presidential primary. First, it strikes the outdated language referring to the contest as the Western States Presidential Primary, an artifact from the early 2000s when the presidential primary was first created. But second and more importantly, the legislation also removes a clause -- "the the legislature makes the appropriation" -- that makes the the default funding mechanism conditional on the legislature. Of course, the legislature retains the ability to end those appropriations, but now it is a given rather than requiring the legislature to take the proactive step of adding the funding.

The legislative session ends on March 14, so this one will have to move quickly.



Related:
2/25/19: Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill


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Monday, February 25, 2019

Legislation Would Push Reestablished Utah Presidential Primary to Super Tuesday

Legislation is in the works in Utah to set the date of the newly (re)funded presidential primary in Utah for Super Tuesday 2020.

Senator Curtis Bramble (R-16th, Utah/Wasatch), the floor sponsor of the House legislation two years ago that appropriated money for a 2020 presidential primary, is back to complete the task that was in 2017 left for the 2019 legislature to consider: where on the calendar to schedule the event. While Bramble is seeking to align the newly constituted presidential primary with other delegate selection events in at least 10 states, UtahPolicy.com reports that elections officials in the Beehive state are advocating for a later March or even April date. There is more open space on the 2020 calendar in April and the primary would not conflict with the state legislative session.

Utah is no stranger to Super Tuesday. The state held a Friday-after-Super-Tuesday primary in 2000 alongside neighbors Colorado and Wyoming and moved the rest of the way up to Super Tuesday in 2004. The primary remained there as part of the de facto national primary that formed and took place on February 5, 2008. Technically that February date carried over to the 2012 cycle, but the legislature added an option to consolidate the presidential primary with the late June primary for other offices.

Both the February and June options are now included in the state's statute creating a Western States Presidential Primary, but are only in effect if the legislature appropriates money to conduct the election. And it should be noted that both dates are currently non-compliant with national party rules. The February date is too early (and would fall the day after the caucuses in Iowa in 2020) and the June date is too late. That along with the lack of state legislative appropriation for a primary factored into the decisions by the state parties in 2015 to abandon primaries in favor of caucuses for the 2016 cycle.

2020 will be different for Utah. The primary option was funded in 2017, but no date was set then. Bramble's forthcoming legislation will begin those deliberations. But a Super Tuesday date would align the Utah primary with potentially the newly reestablished Colorado primary.


A tip of the cap to Bryan Schott at UtahPolicy.com for sharing the news of Utah bill with FHQ.


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Related:
3/7/19: Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Utah

3/11/19 (a): Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee Stage in Utah

3/11/19 (b): Utah Senate Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill


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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Super Tuesday 2020 Adds Minnesota

It was confirmed Friday that Minnesota will conduct its newly reestablished presidential primary on March 3, 2020, Super Tuesday.

The confirmation comes just a week before a statutory deadline by which the two major parties were to have either jointly agreed to an alternative date or settled on the default first Tuesday in March position. The parties opted again for the latter, bringing Minnesota's primary in line with contests in at least nine other states.

Crowding in to that earliest date allowed by the national parties has implications as Minnesota Public Radio reported:
Ken Martin, chair of the Minnesota DFL Party, said he’s not dwelling on whether Minnesota will get lost in the crowd. 
“It’s certainly a risk we take, maybe potentially getting overshadowed,” Martin said. “But it’s the only date that really works for us in terms of the schedule we need to be able to have our state convention in June and be able to do all the other business of the party.”
But Minnesota is no stranger to Super Tuesday. The caucuses in the state have been on Super Tuesday in every cycle since 1996 with just one exception.1 And that has meant being aligned with the likes of California and New York among others in 2000 and those same two heavy hitters and nearly half the states in the country in 2008. On the one hand there is lost in the shuffle, but on the other for small to medium-sized states, is giving voters a choice (or that is often the refrain from date-setting decision-makers).

In the end, Minnesota winds up right where it was in 2016: on Super Tuesday. And while there was no movement of the date, there has been movement with respect to the mode of delegate allocation. The state has been one of several to make the leap from 2016 caucuses to 2020 primary.


Related: 
2/15/15: Minnesota Parties Jointly Agree on Compliant March 1 Caucuses

2/13/19: #InvisiblePrimary: Visible -- Klobuchar, Minnesota and the Primary Calendar



The finalization of the Minnesota presidential primary date is reflected on the FHQ 2020 Presidential Primary Calendar.

Tip of the cap to Mike Taphorn for passing news of the confirmation on to FHQ.


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1 In the transition from a window in which the national parties allowed February contests to one after 2008 when only March or later was within the rules, Minnesota in 2012 held February caucuses before Super Tuesday. But those caucuses were non-binding on the Republican side in a competitive contest and on the Democratic side where there was no challenge to President Obama, Minnesota Democrats got a waiver from the DNC to hold February contests but release the results in March.


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

On a Revisionist History of the 1988 Southern Super Tuesday

This overly retweeted tweet made its way into the FHQ Twitter feed yesterday, and it really strikes me as #wrong.
This is a pretty blatant revision of this history of how the 1988 Southern Super Tuesday came to be.

The idea of shifting some or all of the southern states to the front of the Democratic Party window -- the period in which the now-so-called carve-out states -- was something that was making the rounds in political circles across the South as early as the early 1970s. Jimmy Carter discussed the idea of a southern regional primary in the infancy of his initial presidential nomination bid just after he completed his stint as Georgia governor. That is not only very far into the post-reform era. And it also pre-dates any Jesse Jackson run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Carter was also tangentially involved in the positioning of the Florida presidential primary for the 1976 cycle. Legislators in the Sunshine state were going to move the Florida primary to a later date, but the Carter team worked their connections in Florida -- connections forged in his time as governor of Georgia -- to request that the primary be kept in March. That primary was a de facto southern elimination round as Carter's win there over George Wallace virtually ended Wallace's chances and further propelled Carter's odds of winning the nomination. It goes without saying that this, too, was before Jesse Jackson's run in 1984.

Facing a prospective challenge from Ted Kennedy in 1980, the Carter White House also made similar entreaties with legislators in both Alabama and Georgia to move their primaries to coincide with the Florida primary in 1980. That was viewed by the Carter campaign as an early counterweight to perceived potential victories by Kennedy in earlier New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The picture that emerges is more of an organic build toward a southern regional primary, and, again, this was before Jesse Jackson's run.

The southern regional primary idea was still around in the lead up to 1984. Several southern states shifted to early caucuses that cycle and began to make the front end of the calendar even more southern-flavored. Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and South Carolina Democrats all shifted their contests into March, joining Alabama, Florida and Georgia on the 1984 primary calendar. The decisions in those states also pre-dated the time period when it was clear that Jesse Jackson was going to run for the Democratic nomination that cycle.

Before the timeline even gets to 1985 when the decisions on 1988 presidential primary dates started coming out of southern state legislatures, then, there is already ample evidence that the movement toward a southern regional primary was in the works. It had happened already; organically and before Jackson.

But this is also only the tip of the iceberg for what is missed in Jilani's revisionist -- or perhaps context-less -- account of the 1988 calendar.

The notion that southern state legislators "frontloaded red states" borders on preposterous. First, the red state/blue state construct dates most specifically to the 2000 election cycle; three cycles after 1988. Southern legislators, who were overwhelmingly Democratic at the time, moved those contests for 1988 attempting to, in the aggregate, influence the nomination. Dating back to the early 1970s, the idea was that the South would speak with one voice behind a more moderate candidate who would, in their way of thinking, make those southern states blue in the fall general election campaign. With Jimmy Carter's 1976 run as the example, the idea was to win some southern states in the fall. To do that they needed a southern or more moderate/conservative candidate. Those were the dominoes in all of this. And that way of thinking survived to and through both of Bill Clinton's runs for the White House. During a period in which Democrats struggled to win the White House, the only success the party had in winning was in nominating a southerner who could peel off some southern states in the general election.

Yes, the Democratic Leadership Council was involved on the periphery of the effort in the lead up to 1988, but Jilani is assigning to them, and the state governments that made the decisions to shift primaries on the calendar, a level of sophistication that just did not exist at the time. His thesis is without context. If they were sophisticated enough to attempt to counter Jackson, then surely they would have realized after Jackson's success with African American voters in 1984 that they -- southern decision makers -- were actually setting Jackson up for success in the Deep South where African American voters comprised a significant portion of the Democratic primary electorate.

That level of sophistication did not exist. Southern political actors were surprised by the results in the 1988 primaries and in many states opted to drop out of the calendar coalition for 1992. Jesse Jackson may have been on the minds of those making the decisions on primary dates for 1988 in 1985-87, but he was not the motivation for moving those states up. The movement was afoot before Jackson and actually benefited him in 1988. Those states just were not "red" in the eyes of those making those decisions. The hope was that they would turn at least some of those states "blue" in the fall.


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Monday, November 10, 2014

"SEC Presidential Primary" Back on the Radar for 2016

Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp (R) is still working on a southern regional primary for March 1, 2016:
"Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s efforts to build what he calls an “SEC” presidential primary in 2016 appear to be proceeding apace.  
"Kemp is working with his counterparts in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama to arrange a coordinated, regional primary for the first Tuesday in March 2016.  
"In a letter to six Southern secretaries of state, Kemp confirmed that he intends to set March 1 as the date for Georgia’s presidential primary:
'It is my hope that our region will participate together that day and that the voters of the Southeast will have a major impact in the selection of the presidential nominees of both parties.'"
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A few things either mentioned or neglected:
1) Kemp seems focused on that March 1 date for the Georgia presidential primary in 2016. The secretary has signaled more than once now that this is a likely destination for the primary in the Peach state. That is a change from the 2012 cycle when the date of the Georgia primary was an unknown through much of 2011 after the state legislature ceded the date-setting authority to the secretary of state.

2) Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Alabama are the low hanging fruit of potential presidential primary moves for 2016. Here's the calendar. Tennessee is already on March 1 (as Galloway and Bluestein mention) and Louisiana is now locked into a Saturday, March 5 primary date after legislation moving the primary up by two weeks was signed into law this summer. That will be as far as Louisiana moves up; the same week as the other southern states. Alabama and Mississippi are already slated for primary dates just a week later on March 8. Those states bumping their dates up by a week is not all that heavy a lift. Arkansas is a different matter. Having gotten lost in the early state shuffle during the Southern Super Tuesday in 1988 and the Titanic Tuesday of 2008, state legislators moved the presidential primary back to the traditional May date in the immediately subsequent cycles. However, Republicans now have unified control of the state government in the Natural state after the 2014 midterms and may be more receptive to such a move.

3) Perhaps more importantly, it should be noted that the two biggest SEC states -- Florida and Texas are already positioned on March 1. It leaves one to wonder if this version of a Southern Super Tuesday plays out the same way as it did in 1988, but in reverse. Spurred by the action of Southern Democratic action, most southern states moved up to the second Tuesday in March in 1988. There was a split decision on the Democratic side with Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and Jesse Jackson all laying some claim to having won the day. While Democrats had a split decision across the South, George HW Bush swept the region. Such a reversal may be less about the decisions throughout the South to cluster primaries on the same date than how the Republican and Democratic nomination races are shaping up at this point in late 2014. Still...


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Monday, March 12, 2012

Race to 1144: Super Tuesday, Kansas/Territories

Source:
Contest Delegates (via contest results and rules, and RNC, Georgia Secretary of State)
Automatic Delegates (Democratic Convention Watch)

Delegate breakdown (post-Super Tuesday, Kansas/Territories):    

Notes:
1) The allocation of the delegates in Georgia is based on the most recent vote returns published online by the office of the Georgia Secretary of State. The allocation here differs from the RNC allocation in Georgia. The above grants Gingrich two additional delegates (which have been taken from Romney's total).

2) The Tennessee primary results by congressional district have not been released by the Tennessee Republican Party. The allocation above is based on the RNC interpretation of the allocation.

3) Take note of the fact that both the percentage of total bound delegates and percentage of delegates needed to clinch the nomination have been added to the table for each candidate.

4) Iowa Republican Party Chairman Spiker was a part of the Paul campaign in Iowa and resigned his position upon taking up the post of party chair. While he has expressed his intent to side with whomever the Republican nominee will be, Spiker has not also directly signaled any neutrality in the race. The door is open for his support of Paul at a potential contested convention. While FHQ includes Spiker in Paul's delegate total, it is necessary to make note of the possible future subtraction of one delegate that would bring the Texas congressman's total to 23.


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About that RNC Delegate Count...

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Kansas

Romney Sweeps Northern Mariana Islands 9 Delegates


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Saturday, March 10, 2012

About that RNC Delegate Count...

Now, FHQ makes no bones about it: We are no fans of the Associated Press delegate projection. Yeah, that's right. I said it. The AP has a projection of delegates; not a count. The distinction is important if we are to accurately count the number of delegates allocated to each candidate. What the AP is doing is taking delegates bound to candidates (but not, truth be told, actually allocated yet) by the primaries and a handful of binding caucuses thus far and adding on top of that total a fantasy proportional allocation of delegates in the non-binding caucus states.1

But enough AP bashing.

You will also notice that FHQ has yet to update its delegate count to include the numbers from Super Tuesday. That is equal parts slow wading through the results and waiting on the RNC delegate count which FHQ uses as a kind of baseline check on our count. Now that the RNC count is out though, I take issue with some of their count based on the numbers I have. Overall they have:
Romney: 339
Gingrich: 107
Santorum: 95
Paul: 22 
But the issues:
  1. No one -- or very few anyway -- have access to the Tennessee numbers; particularly the results by congressional district. The Tennessee secretary of state did not tabulate the vote by congressional districts. Well, they tabulated the delegate elections by congressional districts but not the topline presidential preference vote. It was the Tennessee Republican Party that did that tabulation, and they aren't releasing the numbers until the vote is certified or close to certified. TNGOP asked me to call back on Monday or Tuesday to check on their progress. [Note to self: Be more persistent next time. And hey, don't they know who I am? That ridiculously nitpicky delegate counter.] So we are all kind of taking AP's or the RNC's word on this one. And yes, FHQ is fully aware of the fact that the TNGOP is way more likely to share their results with the national party than FHQ. The Tennessee results are a minor point but still worth noting.
  2. There is a discrepancy between the RNC count of the county delegates allocated thus far in Wyoming and what is being reported in the Equality state. The RNC says Romney has won three delegates, Paul one and that one other delegate will head to the convention uncommitted. But six counties have elected delegates thus far and as the Casper Star-Tribune reports Romney has received four with Paul at one and the remaining delegate uncommitted.2 
  3. Finally, FHQ has done the math at least three times now for Georgia based on the results currently being reported by the secretary of state's office in the Peach state. FHQ has Gingrich with 47% of the vote pulling in 20 of the proportionally allocated 31 at-large delegates and Romney with the remaining 11 as the only other candidate over the 20% threshold to receive delegates. Gingrich by virtue of his statewide win is also entitled to the three Georgia automatic delegates. In the congressional count, Gingrich won 12 of the 14 districts (5 of them with a majority of the vote). That nets Gingrich 31 of the 42 district delegates. Romney won the two remaining congressional districts (but not with a majority) and placed second (worth one delegate) in four other districts. Santorum placed second in three districts which would have gotten him three delegates.
If you have been adding these up that yields:
Gingrich: 54
Romney: 19
Santorum: 3
But the RNC has the count at:
Gingrich: 52
Romney: 21
Santorum: 3
It is worth pointing out that while the Georgia secretary of state is reporting all of the precincts in, only 99% of the votes are in. Now that is likely provisional ballots that are still outstanding. FHQ has no indication of how many of those votes are out. But the thing is that nothing in the reported results indicates that Gingrich and Romney are all that close in a district or statewide to warrant a two delegate swing anywhere. It is curious.
All told, FHQ now has problems with the AP projection and the RNC count. Again, the RNC has the preferred method in our neck of the woods, but they seem to be off a little -- at least based on the information FHQ has access to. Pushing aside the Tennessee issue -- until the count can be adequately dealt with -- the RNC count would need to be adjusted:

Romney: 339 (+1 Wyoming, -2 Georgia) = 338
Gingrich: 107 (+2 Georgia) = 109
Santorum: 95
Paul: 22 

I know what you're saying. C'mon FHQ! We're talking about three delegates here. True, but if we're all going to attempt to be accurate with this, then we need to be accurate.

...not partially accurate. 

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1 And then there is the AP's contention that the Santorum win in Minnesota was enough to warrant a winner-take-all allocation of its 37 delegates. Don't get me started on the logic of that decision. Suffice it to say, there is nothing in Minnesota Republican Party rules that indicates any such allocation based on the precinct caucuses.

2 The remaining six county delegates will be chosen on March 10 in Wyoming

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Revenge of Santorum Can't Get to 1144

There were a couple of fairly consistent complaints about the model FHQ put together for ABC News to project candidate delegate totals through the end of primary season:
  1. What if Gingrich/Santorum drops out and helps Santorum/Gingrich consolidate the conservative vote against Romney?
  2. Sure, Gingrich/Santorum can't get to 1144, but FHQ still hasn't really shown how Romney can get there. 
First of all, I think these are fair assessments/concerns of/about the model, and as is the case with anything like this, it always [always] helps to add extra eyes to process. But let me try to flesh out the explanation of the model a bit as a means of addressing the above issues and then have a look at what the terrain is like now that Super Tuesday is out of the way.

Issue #1: A Gingrich/Santorum Drop Out
FHQ will have to admit right off the bat that I thought the folks who responded to the numbers in the Santorum Can't Get to 1144 post by calling the model a fantasy were right on. It is a fantasy. It is a complete fantasy that one candidate will receive exactly one half of the vote across all the remaining states and by virtue of having that same level of support applied to each and every congressional district (where states allocate based on that subunit vote), win all the delegates from those districts. Again, that is not going to happen. But what I tried to do with the second model was to account for the number of candidates who got over the various thresholds in the states to get any delegates at all. That number was set to its lowest possible number: three in states with 15% thresholds and two in states with 20% thresholds. It seems reasonable that if one candidate -- as the model already assumes -- has 50% support that one additional candidate will break that 20% barrier and that two candidates would break the 15% mark in states with such a threshold. 
The model built in the reallocation of delegates not allocated to candidates because they did not meet the threshold. And because that was set to the lowest reasonable number, the model already -- in an indirect way -- assumes that Gingrich or Santorum is getting votes but not a proportionate share of at-large/all delegates. Those are reallocated to the candidates above the threshold. 
Let me illustrate this with an example. We'll call it Kansas. First of all, we'll assume that Rick Santorum receives 50% of the vote in Saturday's caucuses. Furthermore, we'll assume that Mitt Romney only just clears the 20% mark to get any delegates. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both split the remaining 30% with neither clearing the 20% mark (We'll assume an even 15%/15% split). The way the model treats this, Santorum would get a majority in each of the four Kansas congressional districts and wins all 12 delegates (3 delegates in each of the four congressional districts). By winning the statewide vote Santorum would also win the three automatic delegates. 
But where the fun comes in is with the 25 at-large delegates. Since only Santorum and Romney cleared 20%, the allocation will not be truly proportional. If it was, Santorum would receive 12 delegates, Romney 5, Gingrich 4 and Paul 4. That is not how it works though. The eight Gingrich/Paul delegates have to be reallocated to the candidate who cleared the 20% threshold. Reallocating those delegates pushes Santorum's total to 18 and Romney's to 7. The final allocation of the Kansas delegates, then is Santorum 33, Romney 7. 
What happens if Newt Gingrich drops out?1  
I think we can all agree that no matter what, Ron Paul is not going anywhere. He will continue on and likely get anywhere from 10-15% of the vote. That means that Santorum and Romney are splitting roughly 85-90% of the vote (not accounting for uncommitted votes/voters). What happens if, as the model's initial detractors so adamantly claimed, Santorum receives all of the Gingrich support and Romney stays right at that 20% level? Again, we assume that Santorum is already starting out with a base of 15 delegates (12 congressional district delegates and 3 automatic delegates). What we are concerned with are the 25 at-large delegates. Ron Paul performs fairly well in caucuses so let's say he gets 15% of the vote, meaning that Santorum and Romney split the other 85% (Santorum 65%, Romney 20%). In that instance, Santorum claims 19 of the 25 at-large delegates and Romney, the other 6.2 
All that -- a 15% gain in the vote share -- and Santorum just gained one delegate. So the model already kinda sorta assumed a two person race, but even with Gingrich out of the way AND capturing all of his votes does not translate into all that many delegates. That won't make up the difference to get Santorum to 1144. 
In fact, if we plug the new post-Super Tuesday delegate count (97 delegates: 95 from the RNC and 2 additional automatic delegate endorsement) into the model it only gets Santorum to 959. And that's 959 with all the advantages described above. If we, in turn, grant Santorum all of the unbound delegates to this point in the race (198 delegates), he just barely cracks 1144.3

I think we can all concede that that is beyond generous and approaching the "act of God" that the Romney teams was discussing in the context of Santorum's delegate math.

Issue #2: How does Romney get there?
Speaking of Romney, what does his number look like in the same, again, fantasy model? Once we plug in his current RNC delegate count (339) plus his automatic delegate endorsements (19), Romney reaches 1236 delegates. And that's winning half of the vote and claiming winner-take-all delegates in states that allocate winner-take-all based on reaching that plateau either statewide and/or in the congressional districts. But not counting any additional automatic delegate endorsements or any endorsements from caucus states actually allocating unbound delegates somewhere down the line, Romney still has a cushion of about 100 delegates to work with to get to 1144. In other words, we could assume that Romney likely won't get 50% of the vote in Alabama this next week, but expect that if things continue on as is -- with the former Massachusetts governor as a "weak" frontrunner -- that he would/could make up for "losing" those delegates (relative to the model) by gaining automatic delegates and/or delegates from unbound caucus states. Of course, the time in between the former and the latter happening means that it would be later in the process before Romney actually got to 1144. 
Is that a shoo-in? No, but Romney has some cushion with which to work that his counterparts in the race do not.
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1 No, Gingrich will not drop out prior to Kansas but bear with me here for the purposes of this exercise.

2 Bumping Paul down to the 10% level does not change the allocation. Santorum still receives 19 of the at-large delegates to Romney's 6.

3 With the number of caucus states waning, we quickly are approaching the point at which the unbound total is not going to grow anymore than the three automatic delegates per state (for those that don't bound them). That 198 is and will be a sizable majority of those unbound delegates.


Recent Posts:
2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: North Dakota

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Massachusetts

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Idaho


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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Santorum Can't Get to 1144

[NOTE: Please see FHQ's post-Super Tuesday discussion of the delegate math here.]

...and neither can Gingrich.

FHQ has been saying since our Very Rough Estimate of the delegate counts a couple of weeks ago that Romney is the only candidate who has a chance to get there. But, of course, I have not yet shown my work. No, it isn't mathematically impossible, but it would take either Gingrich or Santorum over-performing their established level of support in the contests already in the history books to such an extent that it is all but mathematically impossible. Santorum, for instance, has averaged 24.2% of the vote in all the contests. Since (and including) his February 7 sweep, he is averaging 34.7% of the vote. That is an improvement, but it is not nearly enough to get the former Pennsylvania senator within range of the 1144 delegates necessary to win the Republican nomination.

FHQ has modified that original model and put together a spreadsheet that not only better captures the rules in each state, but also allows for a constant level of support across all upcoming contests to be to be plugged in. Let's begin by assuming that Santorum enters with 19 delegates and project a 50% level of support across all the remaining contests with bound delegates. This 50% would apply to not only the statewide vote but the congressional district votes as well. In other words, this would trigger a winner-take-all allocation of delegates in most states that have the conditional winner-take-all/proportional rules hinging on a candidate receiving a majority of the vote.

This is extremely generous. It assumes that candidate X would win nearly all the delegates in states that were not already directly proportional. Less generously, this does not count, like the previous version of this exercise, caucus states with unbound delegates (see Iowa, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, etc.) nor automatic delegates who have yet to endorse.

Where does that leave Santorum? 1075 delegates.

But hold on. What if we add another layer to this by accounting for the thresholds for receiving delegates in the various states (typically 15% or 20%)? This would have the impact of reallocating delegates of those under the threshold in proportional environments to those candidates over the threshold. That would mean more delegates. If we set the number of candidates over the threshold to its lowest value -- 2 candidates in 20% threshold states and 3 in 15% threshold states1 -- that maximizes the number of reallocated delegates.

Where does that leave Santorum? Again, this is assuming winner-take-all rules have been triggered in all the conditional states. It assumes that the likely bare minimum of candidates has crossed the thresholds to receive reallocated delegates. This is very generous.

1162 delegates. That's cutting it awfully close.

Surely the automatic delegates or the unbound caucus delegates would keep Santorum over 1144. Yeah, they could potentially serve as kingmaker until you remember that we just very unrealistically gave Santorum winner-take-all allocation where is was conditionally possible. We gave him a consistent 50% of the vote -- over 15% better than he has performed during his best stretch. Also, Santorum -- given the polls we have access to for today's races -- is very unlikely to reach that level of support across all of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses. That means that after today -- a day with over 400 delegates at stake -- Santorum will not be able to get to 1144.

...and neither will Newt Gingrich.

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Well just a darn minute there, FHQ. You're cooking the books, right? What if you put Mitt Romney in the same model(s) under the same circumstances? Ah, I'm glad you asked.
  • In the first model where Romney would be at 50% support statewide and in each congressional district, the former Massachusetts governor would net 1254 delegates. 
  • In the second model that accounts for a likely bare minimum of candidates over the threshold, Romney would surpass 1300 delegates at 1341. 
Even if we simulate a scenario where Romney continues to only win half of the congressional districts, he still gets to 1152 delegates in the second more realistic model and .2

--
The bottom line here is that Romney has enough of a delegate advantage right now and especially coming out of today's contests that it is very unlikely that anyone will catch him, much less catch him and get to 1144. The latter seems particularly far-fetched given the above scenarios. And that is a problem in this race. Well, a problem for Gingrich and Santorum anyway. If all either of them can take to voters is an argument that all they can do is prevent Romney from getting to 1144, then neither has a winning strategy. That sort of strategy has a half life; one that will grow less effective as, in this case, Romney approaches 1144. Complicating this scenario even further for Gingrich and Santorum is the fact that if neither can get to 1144 or even close to it, neither is all that likely to be the candidate to emerge as the nominee at any -- unlikely though it may be -- contested convention.

These contests today may not be decisive in terms of settling the nomination, but they very much represent a mental hurdle in this race. That Santorum and Gingrich cannot get to 1144 without vastly over-performing in the remaining contests (relative to how well they have done in the contests thus far) ushers in a new phase in the race.

But how long will the "keep Romney from 1144 plan" last? With southern contests scattered throughout the rest of March, Gingrich and Santorum will have legitimate chances at wins. However, that means Illinois on March 20 and the bulk of April end up being rather tough terrain. Wins on Romney's turf become imperative to stay alive at that point for Gingrich and Santorum. By that point, though, Romney will still hold the delegate advantage and favorable contests in front of him. That is not a good combination for anyone hoping to catch him in the delegate count.

...or even keep him under 1144.

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1 Remember that one candidate is already at the 50% level and it has been rare to see more than two candidates over 20% or 3 over 15% with the top candidate approaching 50%.

2 In states with an odd number of congressional districts, the delegate total was rounded down to the nearest whole district. A five district state would have Romney winning only two districts. This does not apply in states where there is an attempt to allocate congressional district delegates proportionally. In those states, Romney is given the partial total across all congressional districts. Look, if we are going to be generous to Santorum/Gingrich then it is equally as helpful in this exercise to be stingy with Romney. We want to poke holes in his ability to get to 1144. If we poke enough, Romney can be pulled under 1144, but it becomes more and more complicated and less and less realistic.

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NOTE: The delegate scenarios above were constructed as part of a request from ABC News. 

Recent Posts:
The (Delegate) Keys to Super Tuesday

Race to 1144: Washington Caucuses

Fantasy Delegates


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Monday, March 5, 2012

The (Delegate) Keys to Super Tuesday

FHQ had the honor of giving a brief talk on the 2012 presidential primary process at the Microsoft campus in Charlotte this afternoon. Even though I didn't really follow my notes -- yielding to the more fun Q&A session -- I thought I would share.1

Here are the things FHQ will be looking for tomorrow night:
  1. Ohio, meh. After talking up the importance of the Ohio primary in the wake of Michigan last week, it has become apparent to me that Ohio is no longer the "new hotness". FHQ can't get all that jazzed up about a non-fight. Look, Romney can't lose. If he wins the statewide race, Romney wins the most delegates. Unless Romney gets blown out there -- something the polls are not showing -- he will likely win or fairly evenly split the delegates. Again, meh. I know, I know. If he loses the statewide vote it looks bad. Eh, big deal. The Romney campaign will point toward the fact that it is a delegate race and that they have more delegates. As they said in their Saturday conference call chiding -- fairly or not -- the Santorum campaign for not being organized enough to fully get on the ballot, they -- the Romney campaign -- are more organized.  
  2. Delegate margins. I know Ohio is a unique contest tomorrow; the only state without regional company or contest-type camaraderie, but it just will not offer much in the way of a delegate margin for any of the candidates. You know which states will? Virginia and maybe Idaho. Virginia is a no-brainer. That Gingrich and Santorum on the ballot there means that Romney will be able to emerge from the Old Dominion with, as I've said previously, a delegate margin that likely offsets the likely losses in the South. And if -- big IF -- Romney is able to get over 50% in the madhouse that is the new Idaho caucuses (more on that later today), then Idaho is likely going to provide the former Massachusetts governor with even more relief. So the next time Newt Gingrich says that Georgia is the biggest delegate prize on Super Tuesday, shout back that delegate margins are more important and Virginia and again, maybe, Idaho are much bigger on that score than a diluted Georgia primary that will likely allocate delegates to three candidates tomorrow. 
  3. Tennessee, now there's the new hotness. Way back after the South Carolina primary (I know. Doesn't that seem like a hundred years ago?), I said that the fundamental question that had emerged was "Can Romney win in the South?" FHQ said then that Romney's ability to answer the "Southern question"would go a long way toward determining how long this fight for the Republican nomination would be. More importantly, I emphasized that it would determine how able Gingrich was to stay in the race. Well, Romney has not had another chance to revisit his loss in South Carolina -- or at least return to similar ground to quell any doubts. Tomorrow is the first chance and Tennessee looks to be Romney's best bet of answering the "Southern question". Romney will get delegates out of Tennessee but a symbolic win in the South would be a backbreaker in a lot of respects for the Gingrich and Santorum causes.
  4. Thresholds, thresholds, thresholds. These 15% and 20% thresholds for receiving delegates in many of the states tomorrow is a big deal. Let me repeat that: It is a big deal. No, I don't think it affects anything other than at the margins, but if we are moving into the delegate counting terrain -- even if for a short period of time -- then the ways in which the delegate leader can use those rules to his advantage are noteworthy. The greater the number of candidates over that threshold, the smaller the delegate margins/piece of the delegate pie will be. If, for example, Romney is first or second but no worse, but it is only him and another candidate over 15% or 20% then Romney is only padding his delegate total. And while the margins may not increase greatly, it pushes the former Massachusetts governor closer to 1144.
  5. Will it end tomorrow? No. But we are likely to surpass a significant hurdle tomorrow night and into Wednesday. FHQ will have more on that later. 
Ooh, cliffhanger.

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1 Yeah, I know. These primers are a dime a dozen the day before any primary day.

Recent Posts:
Race to 1144: Washington Caucuses

Fantasy Delegates

Texas Primary Set for May 29


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Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Very Rough Estimate of the Republican Delegate Math Ahead, Part Two

This morning, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell on Meet the Press brought up FHQ's delegate numbers from yesterday's Wall Street Journal. Al Hunt of Bloomberg News responded that the conclusion that Romney could wrap up the nomination -- surpassing the necessary 1144 delegate -- on either June 5 or June 26 (depending upon the date on which the Texas primary is ultimately scheduled) was misleading. Hunt is right. Those numbers -- based on an FHQ scenario analysis [see part one here] -- likely are misleading when taken out of context. However, the premise of the exercise was not to project when Romney or any other Republican candidate would or could amass the requisite 1144 delegates, but rather to assemble a reasonable baseline to which the actual and ever-changing delegate count can be compared. [...and, you know, actually utilizes the real Republican delegate allocation rules state-by-state.]

Is Mitt Romney likely to receive 49% of the vote in all the upcoming primaries? FHQ would contend that that is not all that probable. Yet, that scenario sets up a delegate accumulation that projects the current delegate count leader racking up wins, but wins at a level that will keep the growth of the delegate advantage at its slowest given the Republican delegate selection rules on the state level. In other words, Romney would win but would not win at levels (a majority of the vote in most states) that would trigger the winner-take-all allocation of either all of certain states' delegates or all of certain states' at-large delegates. Again, that is a level of victory that would give us a true sense of not only the contours of a stretched-out calendar but the nature of the delegate allocation rules changes in 2012 as compared to 2008.

Let's review the assumptions:
1) This includes the caucus states with defined binding or delegate selection rules (Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas) and primary states through the end of the primary calendar. [The Puerto Rico primary has undefined delegate selection rules at this time and it and the 20 non-automatic delegates are suppressed from the analysis.]
2) Romney wins 49% statewide and in the congressional districts. This is more likely in some states than in others, but recall that this is a baseline sort of scenario for comparison's sake only. 
3) Related to #2, it is probably out of reach for anyone to get to the 66% threshold in Tennessee, so I'll treat it like the rest: Romney gets 49% statewide and on the congressional district level.
4) This may be a shortcut and kind of undermine the "best case scenario" argument, but I'll assume that the remaining vote and delegate allocation centers around one candidate (Santorum) instead of it being split among Santorum, Gingrich and Paul.
5) Romney wins Virginia and all 11 districts outright (+50%).

Delegate count (given those assumptions -- Click link to see full breakdown):
Due to the inclusion of Alaska and Kansas in the count (a slight difference from the numbers reported in the Wall Street Journal), Romney, by gaining 49% of the vote in all the remaining states through the end of the calendar, would cross over the 1144 delegate barrier on June 5 -- with Texas on either May 29 or June 26. 

Notes:
Given that this extends to the end of the calendar, the scenario analysis above is chock full of caveats. Let FHQ mention a few:
1) Again, this all follows the delegate allocation rules state by state. In some states, the automatic delegates are bound delegates. Where that is the case those delegates are included in the at-large total in the linked spreadsheet above. So, if you are studious enough to check my math against the rules, that is why there are a handful of states with at-large delegate totals for Romney that seem to have three too many delegates.
2) Illinois and Pennsylvania are loophole primaries in which delegates are directly elected on the ballot.  Even though both states send delegates to the convention unbound, FHQ has treated those delegates as if they have been allocated proportionally. There is a clearer transference of presidential preference in those two states -- under those rules -- than in non-binding caucus states. But, that is a point on which FHQ will admit that there is some room for debate.
3) As Al Hunt alluded to on Meet the Press -- well, in a sloppy sort of way1 -- this model does not account for momentum. It does not. A candidate could reel off a series of wins at some point on the calendar that would place upon the other candidates some undefined level of pressure to drop out of the race. This is as good a time as any to reiterate a point FHQ raised in part one: The math is not necessarily about getting to 1144 so much as it is about gathering enough delegates -- enough of a lead -- that makes it mathematically impossible for another candidate to overtake the leader (see Norrander, 2000). The decision-making calculus at that point will hinge not only on the pressure to drop out but the desire stay in and prevent the delegate leader from reaching 1144.
4) This model also does not account for the possibility that, unbound though they may be, delegates may [repeat: MAY] emerge in the intervening time from caucus state conventions who have expressed a preference for a particular candidate. As any of that information comes to light, it obviously impacts the calculations in the model above.
5) Similarly, another thing that is lacking above is any consideration of the unbound automatic delegates. If further endorsements are made by automatic delegates that also shifts the delegate count upward in a manner that may push the point at which the delegate leader surpasses 1144 to an earlier point.

Admittedly, that is a long list both of assumptions and caveats. Does that negatively affect the accuracy of the 49% model? Yeah, it probably does in some ways. But this was never going to be the way the delegate count was going to progress anyway. What this exercise does provide us with is something akin to a regression line through the delegate count across the remaining contests on the calendar (using the rules). Romney will overperform that level in some states -- though in only one thus far (Nevada) -- and underperform in others. The balance of those performances along with the addition of known unbound caucus state delegates, unbound automatic delegates and momentum affecting the dynamics of the race will determine when and if a candidate -- most likely Romney -- crosses the 1144 barrier earlier or later than in the above scenario.

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1 Hunt constructed a scenario in which a candidate gains momentum by winning the upcoming Michigan primary and then sweeping the Super Tuesday contests. There aren't enough delegates there, but that could exert some pressure on the other candidates to drop out nonetheless. It ultimately comes back to the Southern Question FHQ proposed in the aftermath of the South Carolina primary.

Recent Posts:
Race to 1144: Maine Republican Caucuses (Updated Count)

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A Very Rough Estimate of the Republican Delegate Math Ahead, Part One


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