What Happens to the Delegates Once Their Candidates Drop Out? - The Missourian: More News

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What Happens to the Delegates Once Their Candidates Drop Out?

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Posted: Saturday, April 14, 2012 6:30 pm | Updated: 10:42 am, Mon Jul 21, 2014.

Now that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign for the White House, what happens to his delegates?

The answer depends on the states in which Santorum won them.

According to the Associated Press, Santorum had collected 285 delegates.

Of his total, 86 were won in six states that award their delegates in nonbinding contests. Those states were Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Washington, Wyoming and North Dakota.

While Missouri held a nonbinding primary in February, its delegates were selected by caucuses in March.

This means that those 86 delegates had already been free to vote for any candidate at the convention and remain free to do so.

There also are two Republican National Committee super delegates, who will attend the convention by virtue of their positions in the party, but are free to support any candidate.

Santorum won 10 delegates from Illinois, but those delegates are not required to vote for Santorum at the convention because he failed to file the proper paperwork.

The remaining 187 delegates are bound to vote for the former Pennsylvania senator in the first round of voting at the national convention in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 27-30, unless he releases them before.

These votes will be unbound in the second round of voting, if it goes that far.

It was noted that if Santorum had ended his campaign instead of simply suspending it, then his bound delegates would have become unbound. If Santorum decides to release his delegates, they will be able to support whichever candidate they choose.

Huntsman Delegates

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who dropped out of the GOP presidential race in January, won two delegates in New Hampshire’s primary.

In early April, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney was awarded one of Huntsman’s delegates. The other delegate for Huntsman remains unbound.

A total of 1,144 delegates are needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president.

The other three candidates still in the GOP race are Romney, with 661 delegates; Newt Gingrich, with 136; and Ron Paul, with 51.

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