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28 February 2012

Gingrich on Track to Win Most of Georgia's Super Tuesday Delegates

There are now seven days left until Georgia Republicans allocate 76 National Convention delegates based on the presidential preference primary results.

Polling data strongly suggests Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum will all win delegates in the Peach State's primary. The question though is how many delegates might each candidate be awarded. Using public opinion polls as well as the Georgia GOP delegate selection rules, that can now be reasonably estimated.

Newt Gingrich, who finished first in each of the four polls conducted in Georgia, is averaging 34% support from likely Republican primary voters. If Newt Gingrich wins first place in the Georgia primary, Gingrich will receive the votes of Georgia's 3 GOP "superdelegates" [Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, 7.3.B(4)]. Additionally, with 34% of the vote in the primary, Newt will be awarded 34% of this state's 31 at-large delegates. 34% of 31 is equal to 10.54, or 11 rounded to the next highest number [Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, 7.3.B(4)].

Georgia Republican rules award the 42 district-level delegates proportionally. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes in a congressional district wins two delegates [Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, 7.3.B(3)]. The candidate receiving the second-highest number of votes in a congressional district wins one delegate [Rules of the Georgia Republican Party, 7.3.B(3)].

The SurveyUSA poll released late Monday night is one of few polls that measures a candidate's support in each region of Georgia; metro Atlanta, northwest Georgia, and south Georgia. In each region, Gingrich leads with an average of 38%. It can be assumed that Newt might win 2 delegates in each of Georgia's 14 congressional districts. That equates to 28 district-level delegates total that Newt might win if the actual vote totals mirror the polling results.

28 delegates at the district-level and 14 delegates at-large means a total of 42 National Convention delegates awarded to Newt Gingrich. That leaves 34 delegates on the table for Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum to fight over.

These calculations are all estimations using polling data and Georgia Republican Party rules. One week from now, we'll see how well these numbers hold up.