So, as we approach the voting in South Carolina, a few delegate shuffles. Perry’s 3 projected delegates from Iowa get put back into the undetermined category, Gingrich gains one super delegate, and Romney gains one superdelegate. All in all this improves everybody’s position except Rick Perry, although it is best for Romney. So here we are. We’ll see what South Carolina does to all this. In the mean time though, lets do a quick look using a different view:
This is the percentage of delegates each candidate has so far. Our Top 4 are: 58.8% Romney, 17.6% Paul, 13.7% Santorum, 9.8% Gingrich. But I wanted to compare, by looking at where we were four years ago.
My most recent update post four years ago is here: Delegate Graphs with Preliminary Results from Nevada and South Carolina Republicans. Now, the primary schedule was a bit different, so there were already some results from South Carolina and Nevada, but where were we?
What were the Top 4 back then? 46.2% Romney, 24.4% McCain, 18.6% Huckabee, 5.1% Thompson.
That’s right, at this time in 2008, Romney was ahead in the delegate race. Romney. Not McCain. McCain had just had a big success in South Carolina, which was enough to pass Huckabee and start talk about him being the front runner and how Romney was vulnerable. McCain wouldn’t pass Romney in delegates until January 30th after Florida voted (and then he didn’t look back). So where we are on January 21st isn’t necessarily predictive of the final result.
The dynamics are of course very different this time around. I just mention all this to point out that it is indeed still early. If Gingrich DOES pull out a major victory in South Carolina, taking the lion’s share of the delegates there, then that DOES change the dynamics of the race quite a bit. Romney still has a variety of systematic advantage even in that scenario, but it could make things more interesting for awhile longer!