2008 Republican Primary

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The 2008 Republican primary schedule starts January 3, 2008. Note that caucuses and conventions tend to favor party regulars and conservatives, while open primaries allow independent voters to choose more liberal candidates. In parentheses are the primary system plus the delegate count, after adjustment for penalties assessed by the RNC for moving their primaries too early.

Candidates and Delegates

Delegates needed to win the nomination: roughly 1200 out of about 2400 (after adjustment to the original total of 2488 for state penalties assessed shifting their primaries early).

Rudy Giuliani is expected to win New Jersey and New York on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, and those states award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis.[1] That will give Giuliani 153 delegates towards the roughly 1000 needed to win the nomination.

John McCain will likely win Arizona, which is another winner-take-all state, giving him 53 delegates on Super Tuesday.

Mike Huckabee should win the winner-take-all state of Georgia, to earn him 72 points on Super Tuesday.

Mitt Romney is strong in the winner-take-all states of Massachusetts, Vermont and Utah, which yield a total of 96 delegates.

Ron Paul should do well in New Hampshire, with its independent streak and proportional assignment of delegates, and in his home state of Texas, which has a late primary (March 4) but 140 delegates.

Fred Thompson can be expected to win the winner-take-all state of Tennessee, assuming he wins a majority of the votes, for a total of 55 delegates.

Duncan Hunter should do well in California, which has 173 delegates on a district-based winner-take-all system.

Tom Tancredo should do well in Colorado, which has 46 delegates in a proportional system.

Rough total of delegates already locked up by the analysis above: nearly 600. That means for a candidate to win a majority he must win about 100 he won above, plus a tremendous 1100 out of the 1800 remaining delegates, which is over 60% of Republican votes cast. Is this even plausible?

Voting Schedule

Total number of delegates in January: 225, out of __ total (after correction for penalties for early primaries)

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, Delaware and West Virginia (which will nominate a candidate at a state nominating convention) - __ delegates

Primary winners


  1. http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P08/R-DSVE.phtml
  2. Pennsylvania GOP