If you were thinking the Florida primary was a remarkably orderly process, compared to the usual mad chaos associated with the Sunshine State… well, it might not be over yet.
According to a Fox News report, the Gingrich campaign is challenging the results of the Florida primary, based on party rules that state winner-take-all primaries cannot be held before April 1st, 2012. Florida already sacrificed half of its delegates by moving its primary to February.
Now the Gingrich campaign is saying it cannot award all 50 of the remaining delegates to Romney, who had the highest vote total. Instead, delegates would have to be awarded proportionally. That would give Romney 23 delegates, Gingrich 16, Rick Santorum 7, and Ron Paul 4.
Judging by a memo sent by RNC chairman Reince Preibus to Florida Republican Party Chairman Larry Curry in December 2011, the Gingrich claim appears to be valid. In the memo, which discussed the penalties Florida would suffer for bumping up its primary, Preibus reminds Curry that party rules created three categories of states:
The first category is the “carve-out” states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. These states are authorized to hold their primaries or caucuses any time on or after February 1, 2012. The second category is “proportional” states. States that allocate their delegates proportionally are allowed to conduct their process on March 6, 2012 or later. Finally, “winner take all” states cannot hold a primary or caucus before April 1, 2012.
If Gingrich prevails, the current delegate totals for the GOP nomination would become: Romney 58, Gingrich 43, Santorum 15, Paul 14.