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Now that's what I call a Christmas bonus

// Published January 9, 2008
So, we happen to have an extremely contested primary race on both sides, but you wouldn't know it from the delegate counts coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, Huckabee ran away with 30 delegates, and only 7 for Romney. This despite the fact that they were separated about about 9% of the vote. In New Hampshire, McCain didn't exactly get a landslide. He edged out Romney by 5 points, but got 7 delegates to Romney's 4. What gives here? In these races, complicated formulas determine the delegates. In New Hampshire, you have to meet a threshold of 10%, and then get your share of the 12 delegates up for grabs this year. But the candidate with the most votes gets a bonus, whatever votes are left over for everyone else who didn't make the threshold. In Iowa, candidates get bonuses for everything. First, the first place finisher gets a whopping 12 delegate bonus, even if he or she wins by 1 single vote. Three delegates go to the winner of each congressional district. It's really amazing how little this matters to the media and most people generally. Obama was said to have destroyed Clinton in Iowa, even though their delegate counts weren't that much apart, and when Clinton "came back" in New Hampshire, nobody noted that both front runners won the exact same number of delegates - nine.