Showing posts with label unbound delegates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label unbound delegates. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2019

North Dakota Republicans to Hold State Convention and Select Delegates in Late March

It looks like business as usual for North Dakota Republicans in 2020.

The delegate allocation formula that Peace Garden state Republicans will use mirrors what the party did in 2016. District conventions will be held between January 1 and March 1 to select delegates to the state convention. Those delegates to the March 27-29 state convention in Bismarck will then select delegates to represent the state at the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte.

The elected national convention delegation then has the option of binding itself on the first ballot at the national convention in whole in or part to a particular candidate or candidates. Binding to an incumbent president would have a higher likelihood than not in 2020. But even if the delegation opts to bind itself to a candidate or candidates, the binding is completely voluntary and delegates remain able to vote their conscience if another candidate is more appealing (and has made the convention roll call nomination ballot via Rule 40).

So while it is likely that the 2020 delegation from North Dakota will be just as unbound as it was at the Cleveland convention in 2016, there is at least some chance that a group of Trump-aligned delegates are chosen and will vote for the president at the convention in Charlotte.

The dates of the North Dakota Republican state convention have been added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

2016 vs. 2012 and the Republican Delegate Count

Now that the Republican presidential primary process has entered March and hit hyperdrive, many are beginning to more closely examine the rules changes the Republican National Committee (and the Republican National Convention in Tampa) made for the 2016 cycle. At the core of that is a simple question: How have the rules impacted the progress of the race?

The answer to that simple question, however, is not so simple. Some have blamed the proportionality requirement at the beginning of the March part of the primary calendar. Others have pointed the finger at the newly compressed 2016 primary calendar for the results in the contests to date. The problem is that both of those explanations miss the mark by failing to take a deeper look at what has really changed with the rules for 2016 and how that has affected the actual delegate count. Both arguments basically hide behind the complexity of both changes without really offering an adequate answer to the original question.

There are at least two other explanations that better explain the differences in the delegate counts at similar points in the 2012 and 2016 cycles.

1) Texas
The Texas primary -- and its 155 delegates -- were in May in 2012. Think about that. That is 155 delegates that were virtually at the end of the 2012 process. In fact, it was those Texas delegates that pushed Mitt Romney past the 1144 delegates he needed to clinch the Republican nomination four years ago.

But the Texas primary was only scheduled for May because a redistricting dispute in the courts forced its delay. Originally, it was planned -- by state law -- for the first Tuesday in March. Just like this cycle (and every other one from 2008 back to 1988).1

With Texas back to normal in March for the 2016 cycle, those 155 delegates -- 12.5% of the number of delegates required to clinch the nomination -- ended up at a considerably earlier point on the calendar than had been the case since the 1988 Southern Super Tuesday. Not only was the Texas primary earlier for 2016, but the Lone Star state had a favorite son vying for the nomination. Without those 104 delegates, that favorite son -- Ted Cruz -- would not be in nearly the favorable position in the delegate count as he is at this point in early March on the calendar.

Cruz would lose 56 delegates to Donald Trump. That is the surplus he had over the real estate tycoon in the Texas delegate count. Furthermore, he would lose the 101 delegate advantage he had over Marco Rubio leaving Texas. Without an early Texas primary win, Cruz would not be as close to Trump in the delegate count and would be closer to Rubio and third place in the delegate count than Trump in first. In other words, Cruz would look a lot more like Gingrich and Santorum did relative to Romney in 2012.

It just cannot be understated how important that Texas win was for Cruz. And no, the position of the Texas primary on the 2016 calendar had nothing to do with the Republican rules changes in Tampa and thereafter.

2) Unbound delegates
While the Texas factor is not a rules-based change, there is one rules change that to this point has taken a back seat to other explanations; those arguing that the course of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination race is a function of proportional rules and/or a compressed calendar. The focus on those two changes is mostly misguided as the national party rules changes -- particularly with regard to proportional delegate allocation -- did not really yield that much change in the state-level rules. It has not to this point anyway.

The one thing that many are missing that has actually more directly affected (made things appear more competitive) the current delegate count relative to the one four years ago, is the new binding requirement the RNC instituted for the 2016 cycle. Gone is the fraction of automatic delegates who were more like superdelegates four years ago. Gone are the fantasy delegates from all those non-binding caucuses. Those delegates are mostly bound or will be bound in 2016. Iowa, Minnesota and Maine (and eventually Washington and Missouri) were all non-binding in 2012. Not in 2016. In the case of those first three, the delegates were allocated proportionally with either no or a very low threshold. That is making the delegate count more competitive. Delegates were allocated to a larger number of candidates in 2016 rather than being unbound as they were in 2012.

That is not necessarily affecting the gap between candidates in the current delegate count, but it is providing more delegates to more candidates instead of no candidates.

What effect have those two changes had on the delegate count cycle over cycle from 2012 to 2016?

If one backs out the Texas delegates and the unbound delegates (based on the formerly non-binding caucus state that have conducted caucuses at this time) from the 2016 count, 2016 looks even more like 2012. Cruz is, perhaps, a stronger version of Santorum (each won/has won multiple states) and Rubio is a weaker Gingrich (still each has/had two wins). Kasich stands in as Ron Paul; not winning contests, but winning delegates. Here is what that comparison looks like:

2016 (25 states)
Trump: 391
Cruz: 221
Rubio: 126
Kasich: 51
Unbound: 17

2012 (26 binding states, 32 total)
Romney: 454 R
Santorum: 172 S
Gingrich: 138 G
Paul: 27 P
Unbound/Unpledged: 2922

Again, there has been no accounting for the calendar changes -- other than a non-rules-based shift of the Texas primary -- or proportionality rules in this. In this exercise, the Texas delegates have been removed from the 2016 total as have the formerly unbound delegates in now-binding Iowa, Maine and Minnesota. The picture that leaves is one where the delegate leaders are within about 50 delegates of each other. Perhaps that is attributable to a newly compressed calendar and/or (an admittedly smaller) proportionality window in 2016. But a strong argument could also be made that the differences in the leaders' totals at similar points on the calendars in 2012 and 2016 is explained by a weaker frontrunner in 2016 than in 2012. That seems to be demonstrated by what looks like a basically 50 delegate shift between first and second place in 2012 versus 2016.

This is a surface level exercise, but it is quite suggestive.

Blame the rules?

Not really. The rules in 2016 -- as has been the case for the rules of the Republican process in the past -- are still designed to aid frontrunners/winners; to ease the way to a presumptive nominee. That is still happening.

The bottom line is that the rules changes have had an effect, but not in the way that many think. Maybe the finger should be pointed not at the compressed calendar and the proportional rules, but somewhere else instead.

1 Texas did shift from the second week in March to the first week in March in its law ahead of the 2004 cycle, but that change was delayed until 2008. From 1988-2004, then, Texas was on the second week in March on the calendar.

2 That this number is so much higher is a function of there being six more contests in 2012 than in 2016. Those non-binding contests drove up the total number of delegates.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another Weekend, Another Mixed Bag for Romney in Caucus State Delegate Allocation

Not to completely beat this into the ground, but FHQ has attempted since Iowa on January 3 to point out that there are likely to be differences -- some significant, some small -- between non-binding precinct caucus results and the ultimate allocation of delegates across the handful of states with these caucus/conventions systems. With Rick Santorum having suspended his campaign, the balance will tip toward more significant differences rather than smaller ones (ie: Romney, as presumptive nominee, overperforming his straw poll showings at the precinct level), but with some variation. Hypothetically speaking, then, the baseline expectation is that the worse Romney did in the initial straw poll, the greater the turnaround will be for him when the delegates are actually allocated.

Now, FHQ is not going to formally test this -- not yet anyway -- but in eyeballing it, there is some evidence of this in the small group of caucus states to have finalized or partially finalized their delegate allocation.1 In North Dakota, for instance, Romney turned a third place finish in the March 6 straw poll into an overall victory as measured in national convention delegates coming out of the state convention in the Peace Garden state. Stated differently, Romney received just a shade under 24% of the vote in the North Dakota straw poll, but won over 43% of the delegates at the state convention.

This is a small group of states, though, and there is evidence that the opposite has occurred as well: Romney not improving on an earlier (weak) performance. In a similar circumstance to North Dakota, Minnesota also saw Romney finish third in the February 7 straw poll vote. Unlike North Dakota, however, the congressional district delegate allocation has continued to go (overwhelmingly) against Romney. Instead of consolidating behind the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, nearly 85% of the delegates have gone to Texas congressman Ron Paul.  That is a more than tripling of the level of support Paul garnered in the precinct caucuses.2

As compared to that baseline expectation above, we get less a picture of some sort of systematic, generalizable pattern and more of a sense that much of this variation -- the movement to and from candidates from the initial step of the process to the delegate allocation step -- is based on state-level quirks. And I don't know that that is all that unexpected. It speaks to the decentralized nature of the Republican nomination process, and by extension the differences across states in allocating delegates. That is why we have instances where Romney placed third in straw polls with under a quarter of the vote but ended up with 0% of the delegates in Minnesota and 43% in North Dakota.3

If those are the two extremes in the precinct caucus performance to convention allocation range, then there are a couple of states that fit somewhere in between; states where Romney crested above the 25% mark in the straw poll, but where the former Massachusetts governor has improved upon that in the allocation of delegates. Despite some mixed results in Colorado a week ago, Romney was still able to increase his 35% share of the straw poll vote to a nearly 45% share of the delegates allocated. In Missouri, Romney's doubled his 25% showing in the February 7 non-binding primary in the congressional district convention delegate allocation.4 Of the 24 delegates on the line across the Show Me state in eight congressional district conventions on Saturday, Romney supporters filled twelve slots.

Again, much of the variation is attributable to state-level factors. These are factors like the North Dakota Republican Party putting forth a delegate slate at their state convention that was heavily weighted toward Romney. Moving in the opposite direction, the fact that Paul-Santorum unity slates won 16 out of 21 congressional district delegate positions and 20 of the 33 total spots represents evidence of a lack of consolidation behind Romney in some of these states. And heading into the rest of the contests, what should we expect?

Continued variation.
  • Will state parties attempt to ram through Romney-centric slates as in North Dakota?
  • Will they have to or will there be any discernible consolidation behind Romney with or without such efforts?
  • Will Paul slates of delegates continue to work with Santorum leftovers like in Colorado?
  • Will those Santorum remainders take the seemingly pragmatic route and work with Romney unity slates as in several Missouri congressional district conventions?
There are still state conventions to be held in Minnesota and Missouri and state/district conventions to be held in Iowa, Maine and Washington (and Louisiana). With the exception of Missouri (see footnote #4), Ron Paul received anywhere from 21% of the vote at the precinct level (Iowa) to 34% (Maine). In tandem with the Santorum share of the vote, that creates a Paul-Santorum range of 46% (Iowa) collectively to 72% (Minnesota) where those Santorum folks are fairly consequential in determining the ultimate allocation. Siding with Romney is a vote for consolidation and party unity whereas a vote for Paul is a vote against Romney.

...just like what the Romney folks did to John McCain in siding with Paul delegates in Nevada in 2008.

1 At this point, that list includes Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Wyoming. Iowa, Maine and Washington have yet to reach either the state or district convention stages of their processes. The district conventions are held in conjunction with the state conventions in either May or June in each of those three states.

2 Paul's delegate haul in the four congressional district conventions in Minnesota on Saturday (April 21) mirrored his performance in the four prior district conventions: ten Paul delegates, two non-Paul delegates. The Minnesota count as of now stands at Paul: 20, Santorum: 2, Gingrich: 1 and Unknown: 2 with 13 delegates to be selected at the state convention and two automatic delegates.

3 The process is complete in North Dakota, but the Minnesota process has just gotten through the district convention allocation stage. In other words, the process is not complete there. The 0% number should also bear some caveats. Two of the remaining four delegates that have been allocated in Minnesota are Santorum delegates allocated prior to this weekend. The final two are unknown in terms of their affiliation. They could be Romney supporters, but could be unaligned or aligned with another candidate. That 0% is based on what we know now: Romney has no clear delegates from Minnesota.

4 Missouri is slightly different from the other states in that the non-binding primary held there was not held in conjunction with the selection of delegates to move on to a subsequent step in a caucus/convention process. The Missouri Republican Party did not report results from the March 17 precinct caucuses where the delegate selection process began. If anything there is less of a link between the primary results in Missouri and the delegate selection than there is in the other non-binding caucus states without a primary. But without precinct-level caucus data, the primary results in Missouri are all we have in the way of comparison in terms of where the process began there.

Recent Posts:
In Missouri, A Bill to Bind Delegates Based on the Presidential Primary; Not the Caucus

Race to 1144: CO, MN & ND Conventions

Mixed Results for Romney in First Contests Since Becoming Presumptive Nominee

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Mixed Results for Romney in First Contests Since Becoming Presumptive Nominee

If you were expecting a repeat of North Dakota in Colorado or Minnesota over the weekend in state and/or congressional district conventions, you were dealt a bit of a surprise.

Unlike what transpired in the Peace Garden state two weeks ago, presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, was unable to dominate the proceedings in either Colorado's state and congressional district conventions or in the three congressional district conventions in Minnesota's 3rd, 5th and 6th districts. Instead Romney was shut out in the North Star state, overperformed his statewide straw poll showing in the Colorado state convention, and broke even or was bested in the seven congressional district conventions in the Centennial state.

In Minnesota:
According to Minnesota Republican National Committeewoman Pat Anderson, Ron Paul swept all three congressional district conventions in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Remember on February 7 when the twitterverse collectively scoffed at the the notion that Paul would get the "maximum number of delegates out of Minnesota"? FHQ filed that memory away. As of now, four congressional districts have held conventions. Paul adds nine from the past weekend's three conventions to the one delegate he received in the 7th district at the end of March.1 Half way through the congressional district delegate allocation, 83% of the delegates so far selected support Ron Paul. FHQ has been saying it since January, and we'll say it again: Ron Paul will get his delegates. Will he win the Republican nomination? No, but he will likely overshoot his delegate total from four years ago in St. Paul this summer in Tampa.

In Colorado:
In winning eight delegate spots out of 12 total at-large delegates, Mitt Romney outperformed his 35% straw poll share of the vote by almost 100%.2 In other words, had Colorado proportionally allocated its at-large delegates, Romney would have received just four delegates. On this particular weekend, this statewide (state convention) vote was the closest thing to North Dakota that was witnessed across two other (mostly) non-binding caucus states.

Congressional Districts:
Of all the candidates, Mitt Romney had the most delegates at five of the seven Colorado congressional district conventions. Of course, that overlooks the fact that there was a fairly significant cache of unpledged delegates across all seven districts. It also turns a blind eye to the reality that Santorum's and Paul's collective delegate strength was greater than Romney's in five of the seven districts. In those two districts where Romney outmatched the Paul/Santorum "team"3 -- the 3rd and 6th districts -- Romney won one and two delegates respectively. Unpledged delegates won the other two delegate positions in the 3rd and the other one in the 6th. It may, then, have been less about a collective effort between Paul and Santorum supporters than the majority of unpledged delegates in both of those districts.

What was truly strange was that Santorum won any of the congressional district delegates. He placed fourth in the number of congressional district convention delegates in the 1st (one delegate won) and 2nd (one delegate won), and third in the 4th (one delegate won), 5th (two delegates won), and 7th (one delegate won). No candidate received all three delegates from any of the seven congressional districts, but Santorum winning two delegates in a district where he finished behind "Unpledged" and Paul -- in that order -- was noteworthy the weekend after the former Pennsylvania senator suspended his campaign.

Meanwhile, it was perhaps even stranger that Ron Paul emerged from the Colorado district conventions with no pledged delegates. Many Paul supporters celebrated the overall unpledged victory, claiming that those are Ron Paul delegates. And with Santorum out, that may not necessarily be untrue, though Santorum delegates comprise six of the 20 total slots that were not either Romney delegates or automatic delegates in the Colorado delegation.

2012 Colorado Republican Party Congressional District Delegate Breakdown 
(National Convention Delegates Won in Parentheses)
#120 (2)317 (1)365
#251 (2)147 (1)131
#389 (2)27 (1)1962
#478 (2)2823 (1)130
#5359 (1)14 (2)170
#648 (1)31 (2)1140
#756 (1)21 (1)16 (1)100

What, then, can we take away from the weekend?

For starters, this provides us with perhaps the polar opposite to what happened in North Dakota, where the state party put forth a delegate slate for vote before the entire state convention that was weighted toward Mitt Romney. Romney may or may not do well among the Minnesota at-large delegate slate, the Paul, Santorum and Gingrich supporters aren't rolling over and playing dead.

...even if Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee.

And again, this further fills out the picture of the connection between the straw poll results and the actual delegate allocation in the non-binding/unbound delegate caucus states. It may be that at some point everyone rallies behind Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee, but that is not happening yet as the state conventions for these caucus states roll around. North Dakota was evidence that the party (state or national) was willing that to be the case, but Colorado and Minnesota have given the counterargument: That the straw poll, or more to the point, the precinct caucuses are not entirely meaningless. There is no binding mechanism, but that does not mean that the delegates chosen to move from one round of the caucus/convention process are not devoid of presidential candidate preferences. The fallout from North Dakota and the results in Colorado and (so far in) Minnesota should speak to that. None of these allocations have been proportional to the straw poll results, nor have they been winner-take-all. They are the organic byproduct of the caucus/convention system; unbound by direct allocation rules.

The expectation is that Romney will likely move toward a consolidation of the vote in the remaining primary states, but these caucus states -- finishing up a process that was borne out of an earlier and competitive portion of this race -- will be worth watching. Delegates committed to the non-Romney candidates may continue to be for their candidates.

...or at least against the presumptive nominee as these processes run their course. Want a signal that the not-Romney voters and delegates have given up? Watch these delegate allocating state conventions as primaries continue to tip toward Romney.

1 Delegates supporting Rick Santorum took the other two slots.

2 Colorado Republican Party National Delegate Results:
Colorado Republican Party National Delegate Results

3 This was something that FHQ brought up last week in setting the stage for the Colorado delegate allocation.

Recent Posts:
Hey Hey, Ho Ho. This Romney Protest's Got to Go?

Santorum Suspends: A Nomination Race in Context

Cart Before the Horse: Pennsylvania/Colorado Edition

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Santorum's Delegate Math Isn't So Bad But the Explanation Is

The Santorum campaign held a twisting and turning conference call on the delegate math as the campaign sees it today. FHQ does not mean twisting and turning as in "twisting the math" so much as I mean seemingly making a rather easy argument more difficult than it needs to be. Here is the Santorum campaign delegate estimation:
Romney: 435
Santorum: 311
Gingrich: 158
Paul: 91
Forgive me Gingrich and Paul supporters, but FHQ will focus on how the Romney and Santorum numbers got to where they are in the Santorum estimation. Let's assume the baseline for the Romney number is his current allocation according to the FHQ (454 delegates1). To get to 435, then, we would have to subtract the delegates that would be lost if Florida and Arizona were reallocated under proportional rules (-42 delegates -- -27 in Florida and -15 in Arizona) plus the Santorum campaign estimation of the how many delegates Romney has won in the congressional district conventions held thus far (+23 delegates, approximately) in non-binding/unbound caucus states.

The Santorum number is trickier and for similar reasons. We don't know the baseline number of delegates from which they are starting. FHQ has that number pegged at 172 (170 bound delegates plus 2 automatic delegates). That means that we have to find 139 additional delegates somewhere. 15 come from the reallocation of delegates from Florida and Arizona. That leaves us with a surplus of 124 delegates.

Now, the Santorum math is predicated on overperforming in the steps of the caucus/convention process beyond the precinct phase in the non-binding/unbound caucus states. In those states -- Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, Washington and North Dakota -- there are 230 delegates at stake.2 One way of thinking about this is that Santorum would need to receive about 54% of those delegates for 124.

That may not be that far-fetched. If we take the AP delegate projections in these states -- a projection that is proportionally based with the exception of Minnesota -- then Santorum is already starting out with 85 delegates in those states. That would mean that to get to that magic 124 number, Santorum would either have to win 39 of the 49 delegates in Missouri or scale down that Missouri number and add in numbers that overperform Santorum's showings in the various precinct caucus straw polls. Again, it isn't all that far-fetched.

Of course, none of this comes problem-free. And what I mean by that is that this is all based on the perspective of the Santorum campaign. If they are adding in delegates as they come in from congressional district caucuses, then the above analysis can be thrown out the window. Their count, in that instance, would be a count and not a projection (outside of the whole Florida/Arizona thing). That implies that they have some room to grow -- to gain on Romney. If, however, they are using a combination of projection and counting as they go along, then the Santorum campaign has a lot less wiggle room. They are in essence already accounting for the discrepancy in the various delegate projections and the RNC delegate count. And that was a discrepancy driven by how various outlets ar dealing with the unbound caucus state delegates.

FHQ has pushed those delegates to the side in our models for the most part. Our estimates of future delegate allocation based on our 50% model get Romney over 1144 without those delegates.

...but with very few delegates to spare.

Basically, all of this delegate talk from the Santorum campaign amounts to nothing. Their plan may help them to gain a little on Romney, but doesn't really affect the bottom line that Romney is likely to get to 1144. Certainly, if Romney does not get to that majority threshold, then if things go according to the Santorum plan, the former Pennsylvania senator heads into a contested convention with a very slightly larger delegation (but one that would still need assistance from either or both of the Gingrich and Paul campaigns).

1 That is 423 bound delegates and 31 pledged delegates. The alternative is to take the curious RNC view that the 12 automatic delegates from the territories (not counting Puerto Rico) are bound, which would in the Santorum calculation move the Romney number to 435, thus making the remaining 19 automatic delegates free agents that the Santorum campaign can attempt to woo. I think I just convinced myself that the latter is the Santorum view.

2 That total does not include the three automatic delegates from each state.

Recent Posts:
On the Binding of Missouri Republican Delegates

Disputed Wyoming County Delegate Awarded to Romney

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Illinois

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Unbound vs. Unpledged Delegates

FHQ has recently received a fair number of requests from a variety folks to explain the subtle differences between unbound and unpledged delegates in the current Republican nomination race. The short answer is that the two distinctions are often one and the same. FHQ is fond of saying that the delegates emerging from most of the non-binding (straw poll) caucus states are unbound at the end of the process (post-state convention). Similarly, the majority of automatic delegates are unbound.

But some from each group are both unbound and unpledged.

What separates the two?

The first layer of this is to define an unbound delegate relative to a bound delegate. This is pretty easy. Either a delegate selected is bound according to the results of any given primary or caucus or they are not. Now, FHQ has gone into the variety of rules regarding how delegates can be bound, but let's shunt that to the side for this exercise. If a state or state party binds its delegates through a written or verbal oath, then that delegate is locked into a particular candidate through -- in most cases -- the first ballot at the convention based on the results of the primary or caucus.1 Unbound delegates, though, are free to choose -- to pledge their support to -- any candidate they prefer.

The best examples to illustrate this are the automatic delegates. Those three RNC delegates that each state has are unbound according to the RNC rules unless the state party rules bind them. Most states leave the automatic delegates unbound, but some, like Georgia, for instance, bind the automatic delegates to, in their case, the winner of the statewide vote. For our purposes, let's focus on those automatic delegates who are left unbound based on the combination of national and state party rules. If any of those unbound delegates endorse a candidate -- as over 30 automatic delegates have done in endorsing Mitt Romney -- then they are pledging but not necessarily binding themselves to that candidate. There is nothing binding about the action, but the automatic delegate has come out in support of a particular candidate and, truth be told, can change his or her mind at any time before the convention vote(s).

That leaves us with a couple of possible categories of delegates:
  1. Unbound, unpledged delegates: These are the automatic delegates who are not bound as described above and who have not endorsed a candidate. They don't have to be automatic delegates, but these are the only delegates who have qualified for this distinction at this time. The congressional district and at-large delegates in non-binding caucus states have yet to actually be selected yet. Their slots are, I suppose, unbound and unpledged if we are doing the proper accounting here, but the selected/elected delegates at the end of the process will only definitely come out of said process officially unbound, but not necessarily unpledged. There is a reason the Santorum strategy memo emphasized his ability to win over -- the pledges of -- unbound delegates.
  2. Pledged, unbound delegates: These are the automatic delegates who are not bound as described above, but who have endorsed a candidate in the race for the Republican nomination. [See the above caveat on not-yet-selected delegates in non-binding caucus states.]
It is impossible for a delegate to be both bound and unpledged because a bound delegate is by the rules a pledged delegate.

...pledged whether they like or not.

That's why we hear so much about making it through that first ballot from the not-Romney campaigns. If no candidate has the 1144 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination at the convention on the first ballot then a great many of those bound delegates become unbound but not necessarily unpledged delegates.

1 In some states the threshold for releasing delegates from the binding mechanism is greater than one ballot. The majority of states/state parties set the threshold at just one ballot though.

Recent Posts:
On the State of the Republican Nomination Race, Post-AL/MS

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Puerto Rico

2012 Republican Delegate Allocation: Hawaii

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