Courtesy of Citybizlist – The Republican presidential primary has become a dog fight for delegates to the August convention, putting Maryland in an unfamiliar situation — it actually matters.
“Probably the last time it was relevant was 35, 40 years ago,” said professor of history at American University and author of “The Keys to the White House,” Allan Lichtman, referring to the 1976 primary between Ronald Reagan and then-President Gerald Ford.
Maryland’s primary on April 3 is exactly three months after the first primary caucus in Iowa. Usually candidates have been selected by the time the primary comes to Maryland, but not this year.
The Republican primary has become a race to the magic number of 1,144 delegates that would give a candidate the nomination. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has the lead with 558 delegates, former Sen. Rick Santorum has 273, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has 133 and Rep. Ron Paul has 50.
“This is a contest for delegates and every delegate counts. And Maryland’s 37 delegates count,” said Lichtman.
Maryland’s delegates are allocated through a combination of a winner-take-all system and a proportion distribution. The primary is also closed, meaning only registered Republicans can vote.