RNC: Gingrich Leads Santorum in Primary Delegates

Thursday, 08 Mar 2012 11:31 PM

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A new official delegate count being kept by the Republican National Committee reveals that Newt Gingrich has won more "bound" delegates in the presidential primary than Rick Santorum.

Gingrich has won 107 delegates compared to Santorum's 95, according to the RNC's count, which was made after Super Tuesday. That effectively puts him in second place behind front-runner Mitt Romney.

But the RNC does not count delegates from states like Iowa in its total, according to the Huffington Post, which first reported the story. The Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses did not officially allocate any of the state's 28 delegates to the national convention.

Many state caucuses are held in a similar manner.

Even though Gingrich has only won two primary contests, in South Carolina and Georgia, and former Sen. Santorum has won seven -- in Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Misssouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Tennessee -- Gingrich has the lead in delegates that are solidly in his column, the Huffington Post reported.

That's because Santorum's wins have come mostly in caucus states, where for the most part delegates are not bound to a candidate in the first round of voting. Delegates to the national convention are usually allocated at the state conventions instead, and even then, they have fairly wide latitude to shift allegiances at the national convention.

Romney's delegate total is 339 in the RNC count, down from 421 in the Associated Press’s regular estimate. And Ron Paul has just 22 bound delegates, according to the RNC, compared to a total of 47 in the AP estimate.

The role of delegates is to go to the party's national convention and cast their ballot for a presidential candidate. A candidate needs a certain amount of delegates to win the nomination. This year, the magic number is 1,144.

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