Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Maryland

This is the twenty-ninth in a multipart series of posts that will examine the Republican delegate allocation by state.1 The main goal of this exercise is to assess the rules for 2012 -- especially relative to 2008 -- in order to gauge the impact the changes to the rules along the winner-take-all/proportionality spectrum may have on the race for the Republican nomination. As FHQ has argued in the past, this has often been cast as a black and white change. That the RNC has winner-take-all rules and the Democrats have proportional rules. Beyond that, the changes have been wrongly interpreted in a great many cases as having made a 180º change from straight winner-take-all to straight proportional rules in all pre-April 1 primary and caucus states. That is not the case. 

The new requirement has been adopted in a number of different ways across the states. Some have moved to a conditional system where winner-take-all allocation is dependent upon one candidate receiving 50% or more of the vote and others have responded by making just the usually small sliver of a state's delegate apportionment from the national party -- at-large delegates -- proportional as mandated by the party. Those are just two examples. There are other variations in between that also allow state parties to comply with the rules. FHQ has long argued that the effect of this change would be to lengthen the process. However, the extent of the changes from four years ago is not as great as has been interpreted and points to the spacing of the 2012 primary calendar -- and how that interacts with the ongoing campaign -- being a much larger factor in the accumulation of delegates (Again, especially relative to the 2008 calendar).

For links to the other states' plans see the Republican Delegate Selection Plans by State section in the left sidebar under the calendar.


Read the Wisconsin delegate allocation memo? Well, in Maryland there is an almost carbon copy of the delegate allocation rules in the Badger state. The statewide winner receives all of the at-large delegates and the winner(s) in the congressional districts are awarded three delegates for each plurality win.2 Fair enough, right?

Maryland delegate breakdown:

  • 37 total delegates
  • 10 at-large delegates
  • 24 congressional district delegates
  • 3 automatic delegates

At-large allocation: Win the statewide vote (majority or plurality), win the 10 at-large delegates.

Congressional district allocation: Win the district (majority or plurality), win the 3 delegates from a district.

Automatic delegate allocation: As was the case in Wisconsin the Maryland Republican Party draws a distinction between congressional district delegates and everything else. Everything else -- statewide delegates and automatic delegates -- are considered at-large delegates and are, thus, allocated to the statewide victor. [See in particular Section 3 in the memo below.]

1 FHQ would say 50 part, but that doesn't count the territories and Washington, DC.

2 Maryland Republican Party memo on delegate selection in the Old Line state:
2012 MD Republican Delegate Selection Plan

Recent Posts:
2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Washington, DC

Americans Elect and the Electoral College

Romney Turns the Tables on Santorum/Paul at North Dakota Republican Convention

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