- The Road to Cleveland « The Early Contests - Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada
The Early Contests - IA, NH, SC and NV
Summary: The warm up, pre-primary period is over; now the voters start having their say. To continue on to later contests, a candidate must do well in at least one of the early contests. ("Well" is subject to interpretation by the candidates/campaigns.) Ted Cruz started the 2016 Republican nominating process off with a win in the Iowa precinct caucuses. Donald Trump then went on to solid wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, shocking many observers and establishing himself as the frontrunner. After these four contests were finished, the Republican field had been trimmed by seven candidates, going from 12 to five.
By Caucus Day, February 1, eleven candidates were competing in Iowa.
Close to 187,000
Iowa Republicans participated in the precinct caucuses, breaking
the previous record of 121,503 set in 2012.
Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Marco Rubio won the first,
place tickets out of Iowa and the momentum that came with that.
The Cruz campaign by all accounts had a very strong ground game.
Trump had long been leading in the polls, a fact which he frequently
pointed out. His decision to skip the Jan. 28 FOX News Debate in
Des Moines may have cost him some support. Many observers think
that Rubio might have done better had he devoted more time and
resources to the state.
The caucuses trimmed the field by three candidates:
former Gov. Mike Huckabee, the 2008 caucus winner, Sen. Rick Santorum,
the 2012 caucus winner, and Sen. Rand Paul bowed out following poor
showings. Ironically Santorum (94 days) and Huckabee (79 days)
put the most time into the state, and the candidate who put in the
third highest number of days, then-Gov. Bobby Jindal (75 days),
30 Total Delegates: 15 At-Large, 12 Congressional District and 3 RNC.
Allocation is proportional based on the statewide vote with no threshold.
National delegate allocation: Cruz 8, Trump 7, Rubio 7, Carson 3, Paul 1, Bush 1, Fiorina 1, Kasich 1, Huckabee 1.
(99): March 12, 2016.
...selected a total of 2,500
District Conventions (4): April 9, 2016
State Convention: May 21, 2016 at the Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
Cullison 56, Cook 55, Jindal 53, Lynch 47, Robinson 44, Comley Sr. 32, Prag 16, Dyas Sr 15, McCarthy (12),
Iwachiw (9), Huey (8), Drozd (6), Mann (5), Messina (5)
By Primary Day, February 9, eight candidates were competing. In addition to the main narrative of how Donald Trump would fare, a major story line was the competition for support among the three governors, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie and Gov. John Kasich, all of whom had staked the future of their campaigns on achieving a credible showing here.
Turnout in the Republican primary was a record,
eclipsing the 248,475 who voted in 2012.
Donald Trump proved he is for real; he won
convincingly, carrying every county. His margin of 55,803 votes
(19.72 percentage points) over the next nearest candidate John Kasich
exceeded John McCain's memorable win over George Bush in the 2000
primary, although his share of the vote, 35.60%, was the lowest since
Pat Buchanan's 27.3% edged Bob Dole's 26.2% in 1996.
Kasich, as the top finishing of the three governors, achieved a boost. Sen. Ted Cruz did better than expected. Bush's fourth place finish was seen as good enought to continue, or, as his campaign put it, "New Hampshire reset the race. Jeb is the candidate coming out of the Granite State with momentum and a path forward." Sen. Marco Rubio's fifth place showing put a damper on his prospects and was in significant measure due to his performance at the Feb. 6 ABC News debate in Manchester, where he was rattled by sharp attacks from Christie. Christie, however, only managed a sixth place showing. He and Fiorina, along with former Gov. Jim Gilmore suspended their campaigns following the primary.
23 Total Delegates: 14 At-Large, 6 Congressional District and 3 RNC.
Allocation of the at-large and CD delegates is proportional based on the statewide vote with a 10% threshold; the three remaining delegates go to the statewide winner.
Republican candidates filed delegate slates with the NH Secretary of State by Dec. 11, 2015.
National delegate allocation: Trump 11, Kasich 4, Cruz 3, Bush 3, Rubio 2.
Delegates and Alternates
Source: New Hampshire Secretary of State
See also: Shane Goldmacher. "Trump delegates
blocked from key posts in New Hampshire." Politico, May 2, 2016.
By the time the primary arrived on Feb. 20, 2016 the Republican field had been pared to six candidates. Home state Sen. Lindsey Graham's campaign had put a wrinkle in the race, but he ended his effort on Dec. 21, 2015.
Donald Trump carried 44 of 46
counties, finishing with
a margin of 74,314 votes (10.03 percentage points) over the next
nearest candidate Sen. Marco Rubio. South Carolina Republican
Party chairman Matt Moore observed that, "Donald Trump put together the
most unique coalition to ever win a South Carolina primary."
Trump did well in the state's rural areas, and in Horry and Georgetown
counties. Overall his share of the vote was
a relatively low 32.5%.
Rubio had a some key South
Carolina operatives on his campaign team, and he gained the
of Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy. However,
he could not recover from his performance in the New Hampshire debate
and fifth-place showing in that primary, and finished second. He
counties, and he did regain some of his "Marcomentum" by finishing
ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz.
South Carolina, seen as ideal territory for Cruz's
strong social conservative message, provided a bit of a setback as he
finished third, well behind Trump and narrowly trailing Marco
Allegations of lying and dirty tricks likely hurt Cruz (+).
Former Gov. Jeb Bush had limited support in South
Carolina, but his campaign team put together a credible
organization. In mid-January Sen. Graham
endorsed Bush, and some observers thought Graham's organization could
provide a boost. However, Bush finished in single digits and
ended his campaign.
50 Total Delegates: 26 At-Large, 21 Congressional District and 3 RNC.
Allocation of at-large delegates is winner-take-all by statewide vote; allocation of CD delegates is winner take all by CD.
allocation: Trump 50.
"Twenty-six (26) statewide national
delegates will be elected at the S.C. Republican Party State Convention
2016. Twenty-one (21) Congressional district delegates will be elected
seven (7) Congressional district conventions in April 2016. No person
allowed to run for delegate or alternate to the National Convention who
is not elected
a state delegate or alternate to the state convention in the preceding
Congressional District Conventions: April 9-30,
State Convention: May 7, 2016 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, SC.
Five candidates were competing. The Nevada Republican Party organized caucuses at 139 sites around the state and there was a record turnout (+). Donald Trump achieved a margin of more than 20 percentage points (22.06%) over his nearest competitor, Marco Rubio. He carried all counties except for Elko and Lincoln, which Cruz won. Rubio had hoped for a strong showing here; again he had some notable endorsements, and again he fell short.
30 Total Delegates: 15 At-Large, 12 Congressional District and 3 RNC.
Allocation of both at-large and CD delegates is proportional based on the statewide vote with no threshold.
National delegate allocation: Trump 14, Rubio 7, Cruz 6, Carson 2, Kasich 1.
"the Nevada Republican Party chooses that its National Delegates and Alternates shall be allocated proportionally based on the final results of the Nevada Presidential Preference Poll or Presidential Primary Election, as appropriate, rounded to the nearest whole number. All allocated Delegates shall be elected at the Nevada Republican Convention on behalf of all candidates who receive the percentage of votes required for one or more delegates. Any candidate who receives less than the percentage required for one Delegate will receive no Delegates."