Delegate Rule Change
Spurs Speculation about Republican Nomination Process
January 11, 2012
Political analysts are watching to see if a new Republican Party rule
regarding the distribution of party delegates will affect the outcome of
the nomination process in the 2012 presidential election.
Each state has a certain number of delegates to send to the Republican
Party's National Convention in August. Their votes will officially
nominate the candidate. But who they vote for is dictated by the primary
or caucus results in their state.
New this year, the Republican Party says none of the early contests may
allocate their delegates in a “winner-take-all” system.
Instead, the states may choose, like New Hampshire does, to allocate the
delegates proportionally, some to each candidate based on the percentage
of the vote they have earned.
means that, if you place a close second in a primary, you could end up
with a sizeable number of delegates behind you.
But some analysts say this rule change may not amount to much. Contests
after April will not be affected at all.
Furthermore, the analysts note the rule allows many different variations
of proportional allocation. Few of the early states will therefore need
to change anything, since most already had some proportional system in
Perhaps most importantly, by the time the National Convention comes
around in August, there will likely be only one candidate remaining.
Most years, candidates begin dropping out of the race if they do not do
well in the early contests — as Michelle Bachmann chose to do recently
after after placing sixth in Iowa.