Romney adds to lead in race for GOP delegates

AP News
Posted: Jan 11, 2012 12:08 AM
Romney adds to lead in race for GOP delegates

Republican Mitt Romney won most of the delegates in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, adding to his overall lead in the race for delegates to the party's national convention this summer.

The former Massachusetts governor won seven of New Hampshire's 12 delegates. Ron Paul came in second with three delegates and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman came in third with two.

There were only 12 delegates at stake in the primary because New Hampshire was penalized half its delegates for holding the contest before February. Romney won 13 delegates in last week's Iowa caucuses, giving him a total of 20 for the race.

It will take 1,144 delegates to win the Republican nomination.

New Hampshire Republicans award delegates in proportion to the statewide vote to candidates who get at least 10 percent of the vote. Any leftover delegates are awarded to the overall winner. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum were shut out because they fell just short of reaching the 10 percent threshold.

Santorum, who lost to Romney by a scant eight votes in the Iowa caucuses, won 12 delegates in Iowa, and remains in second place in the overall race for delegates.

With few delegates at stake, the contests in New Hampshire and Iowa were more about gaining momentum and winnowing the field than racking up delegate totals. Upcoming contests in South Carolina Jan. 21 and Florida Jan. 31 offer candidates better opportunities to win delegates.

South Carolina has 25 delegates at stake and Florida has 50, and both states are winner take all.

The Associated Press calculates the number of national convention delegates won by candidates in each presidential primary or caucus, based on state and national party rules. The New Hampshire primary is binding, meaning delegates won by the candidates are pledged to support that candidate at the Republican national convention this summer.

Political parties in some states, including Iowa, use local caucuses to elect delegates to state or congressional district conventions, where national delegates are selected. In Iowa and other caucus states, the AP uses the results from local caucuses to calculate the number of national delegates each candidate will win if the candidates maintain the same level of support throughout the process.

The AP will update delegate totals if support for the candidates changes.