The History of Presidential Primaries

This is a fairly interesting document.  It takes a look back at each of the primary battles since 1972, as well as the delegate strength score after each primary date.  The delegate strength score is an indication of the likelihood that the leading candidate is going to secure the nomination.  It’s a formula based on the number of delegates won, the number of delegates needed to win the nomination, and the number of remaining delegates.

Right now Mitt Romney’s delegate strength score is 15, which is fairly weak for this point in the process.  In the previous four seriously contested Republican presidential primaries, things were all wrapped up after Super Tuesday – technically McCain needed another week, but it was basically over after Super Tuesday.  We’re nowhere close to wrapping this thing up.

It’s also interesting to look at some of those vote totals.  Bob Dole was basically a juggernaut.  That’s right, Bob Dole. He rolled over his competition, winning almost every single contest by double digits, securing majorities or near-majorities in most states and in a fairly crowded field (albeit a field of mediocre candidates).  Even John McCain’s victory totals were fairly impressive.  While Romney’s had a few substantial wins, his pattern looks nothing like previous Republican nominees.