The cumulative votes cast in Republican nominating contests so far, now that Florida’s primary is complete:
pct. votes, candidate
On delegates, if we trust CNN’s count of those allocated in the states that have had contests thus far, the addition of Florida’s delegates gives McCain half (88), Romney 48, Huckabee 25, Thompson 8, Paul 6, Giuliani 1.
So John McCain can now be called the front-runner, having now narrowly passed Romney in votes, and far surpassed him in delegates. In the delegate count, McCain was really helped by the change in the rules after the RNC cut the state’s delegate total in half for holding the primary “too early.” Of the originally allocated 114, just 36 were to have been allocated to the statewide plurality winner and 75 would have gone to the winners of congressional districts. With the statewide result having been relatively close (36.0 – 31.0), and with McCain having been somewhat stronger in the south of the state than elsewhere, Romney would have won some delegates (though presumably not more than 20-25 of the 114).
In any event, now that Rudy Giuliani is out, Huckabee seeming to be fading, and Romney coming up short, McCain is looking close to unstoppable. Even on 1/3 of the votes cast so far!
Obviously it will be important how Giuliani’s voters go; the candidate himself has endorsed McCain, but the Florida exit poll showed his supporters about evenly split between McCain and Romney “If the candidate you voted for today had not been on the ballot.”1 That was, of course, before the endorsement. But if McCain were to get even just half of Giuliani’s votes in the several upcoming states where he has been polling about what he got in Florida (14.7%), it would probably push McCain over 40%, given that he is already leading in most of the ‘Super Tuesday’ states (or so it appears). Breaking 40% (finally!),2 combined with the party’s use of mostly winner-take-all allocation,3 just about seals it for the man whose campaign seemed on life support just a few months ago.
- That question is near the bottom of the linked page. [↩]
- Not counting the three caucuses, which were all mostly ignored by McCain–itself an interesting side note!–no one has won 40% in any single contest yet. Romney came the closest, with 38.9% in Michigan. McCain had 37.8% in New Hampshire. [↩]
- The NYT recently had a very handy chart of the rules by state. [↩]