It is that time of year. When folks have way too much leftover turkey and too many leftover visiting in-laws that seems like it will take forever to get rid of. Both of which call to mind the Republican presidential candidates — still fourteen strong with two months to go to Iowa. I have been playing around the last week with the Real Clear Politics tool on the race for delegates on the Republican side. One big caveat on the tool, it is not too good on the states that allocate congressional district delegates by congressional districts. In proportional states that allocate by congressional district (thirteen states), it tends to assume that the statewide allocation of congressional district delegates will mirror state-wide results. It will not. Depending on the state, either the top three candidates will get approximately one-third each (a close enough fourth placed candidate may steal some delegates on a district-by-district basis) or the top candidate will get approximately two-thirds of the delegates with the second-placed candidate getting one-third. In winner-take-most states (six states), the tool assumes that the number of districts won will be proportional to the state-wide results. Again, it will not. The state-wide winner should win most of the congressional districts (unless there is a good reason to think that the state-wide winner will win their districts by a large margin and narrowly lose a lot of districts). Having tried to adjust for the individual state rules, I still came to the conclusion that the Republican outcome will depend on the answer to a series of (not-quite twenty) questions.
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