Santorum wins Ala., but others not empty handed - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Santorum wins Ala., but others not empty handed

Now that the polls have closed and Rick Santorum is being hailed the winner of Alabama's GOP Presidential primary, what does it all mean? Santorum may be the "winner" but other candidates won't walk away emptyhanded when it comes to getting delegates.

Here's how the Alabama GOP puts it:

Alabama has 50 delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, making the state tied for the 11th largest delegation. [Look at election results]

Here's how those delegates break down:

  • 3 delegates are unbound to a person. They are reserved for Chairman, Republican National Committeeman and Woman
  • 26 statewide, at-large delegates are bound by the March 13th primary results
  • 21 Congressional District level delegates are bound by March 13th primary results 

Statewide, At-Large Delegates

Alabama is a proportional state with regards to the 26 statewide, At-Large delegates with a threshold and a kicker. For any candidate to receive a proportional amount of the statewide, At-Large delegates, they must meet a 20% threshold in the statewide Presidential Primary. If any candidate receives 50% plus 1 vote of the statewide Presidential Primary, that candidate would then carry all 26 of the statewide, At-Large delegates.

Had Santorum won a majority of the state, he would have walked away with all delegates. He pulled just 35%. Both Gingrich and Romney carried 29% making them eligible for some delegates. Ron Paul pulled just 5% of the vote.

Congressional District Level Delegates

Each of Alabama's seven congressional districts allocates 3 delegates for a total of 21 delegates from Congressional District results. The Congressional Level Delegates have the same threshold and kicker that statewide, At-Large Delegates have. However, the 3 delegates will not be allocated proportionally in each congressional district. The candidate with the most votes in the district, as long as it is not a majority or 50% plus 1 vote, is awarded 2 delegates.

The candidate with the second highest number of votes, provided it is above the 20% threshold, is awarded 1 delegate.

Allocating Delegates

For purposes of determining the proportional allocation for both at-large and congressional district delegates, the state party calculates using only the vote tally taken from the first item on the ballot titled, "Candidate of the Republican Party for President of the United States."

The specific delegates to fill those allocations will be chosen by vote taken on the next two items:

1) For Delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention, State at Large and

2) For Delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention by Congressional District. 

Although members of the media and other interested parties will be able to calculate delegate allocation for the statewide, At-Large delegates upon the conclusion of the March 13th Presidential Primary, it is important to note that the Alabama Republican Party will not officially allocate delegates to the candidates or make a determination as to which individual candidates for delegate have secured their delegate place until after a March 17th meeting of the Steering Committee of the Alabama Republican Party.

Further, it is important to note that Congressional District Level Delegates will not be able to be reported until the Alabama Republican Party has received precinct by precinct results from across the state due to several counties being split between multiple Congressional Districts.

Any results released prior to March 17th, 2012 is considered unofficial and preliminary.

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