Delegate Race For February: Maine, Colo., Minn., Mo., Ariz., Mich.

Tuesday, 07 Feb 2012 04:00 PM

By Dan Weil

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Whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination will need 1,144 delegates. And the delegate contest is just getting under way.

Mitt Romney leads with 101 delegates, followed by Newt Gingrich with 32, Rick Santorum with 17, and Ron Paul with 9.

Here’s how Politico sees the delegate race shaping up this month.

Maine: Feb. 4-11
24 delegates


Paul is making a big play here to win his first state. But Romney has a big advantage as former governor of neighboring Massachusetts. The caucus results aren’t binding, because the party selects delegates afterward.

Colorado: Feb. 7
36 delegates

Romney has a comfortable lead here, and Santorum is making a strong charge for second place. The caucus is non-binding, and the state’s delegates will be awarded at a convention on April 14.

Minnesota: Feb. 7
40 delegates

Minnesota’s caucuses are non-binding, too, but it looks like Santorum may score a victory here. He hit Romney hard on healthcare Monday, and the Romney camp has pivoted its attention to the former Pennsylvania senator as he has soared in the latest polls for Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado. Die-hard conservatives are expected to vote in heavy numbers, helping Santorum.

Missouri: Feb. 7
0 delegates

This primary vote has nothing to do with selecting delegates, who will be chosen at March 17 caucuses. Santorum has a good chance to win here. A victory would obviously give him momentum, though it doesn’t guarantee him delegates.

Arizona: Feb. 28
29 delegates


This primary is winner-take-all, but with half its normal number of delegates, thanks to punishment from the GOP for an early primary date. Romney is heavily favored to win here.

Michigan: Feb. 28
30 delegates

Romney is a favorite in the state where he grew up and his father was governor. But the latest Detroit Free Press/WXYZ-TV poll last week showed Gingrich coming on strong, trailing Romney 31 percent to 26 percent.


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