No two major media outlets agree on GOP delegate counts, although almost all have the ranking the same: Rmoney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul. The exception being the most trusted name in news: CNN ranks the contenders Rmoney, Gingrich, Santorum, Paul.
Because the caucuses so far haven’t actually chosen national convention delegates, but instead delegates to intermediate-level conventions, awarded national delegates are difficult to tabulate. Caucuses aren’t really binding, and neither are primaries this early in the process. Because the GOP convention Rules Committee must decide about anomalies like Florida — stripped of half its delegates, but allowed to retain winner-take-all, unless the national convention itself rules otherwise — reaching an exact count is difficult.
Still, the range is quite astounding. To begin, no one agrees about Rmoney’s total:
The former Massachusetts governor – who placed first in the New Hampshire and Florida primaries and the Nevada caucuses – is reported to have a range of 112 delegates at the high end (Associated Press) to 84 delegates at the low end (MSNBC).
Falling somewhere in between these extremes are FOX (107), CNN (95), New York Times (94), CBS (92), The Hill (91), and Real Clear Politics (90).
The range of Rick Santorum’s delegate count, however, is even more severe, eclipsing 70 at the Associated Press (72) and New York Times (71), but falling short of 15 at MSNBC (14).
CNN is the only other outlet tabulating Santorum’s tally at less than 40 (34) with the remaining outlets settling on 44 (CBS, The Hill, Real Clear Politics) or 45 (FOX).
The spectrum for Gingrich’s delegate count is much narrower, with CNN at 35, AP, FOX, and Real Clear Politics at 32, The Hill, MSNBC, and New York Times at 29, and CBS at 28.
Ron Paul, meanwhile, who is hoping to win the Maine caucuses on Saturday (which will bring even more uncertainty to the delegate count), comes in at 20 delegates at CNN, 13 at Real Clear Politics, 11 at MSNBC, nine at AP and FOX, and eight at CBS, The Hill, and the New York Times.
When commentators try to convince you from their Legacy Media perches that this campaign is over, it’s fair to ask, By What Count?