Jim O’Toole, the politics editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, raises the question in a recent story whether Pennsylvania will matter in the Republican presidential nomination battle when the state holds its primary on April 24. The six week battle here in 2008 between Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton marked the last time the state really mattered in the presidential sweep stakes.
The Democrats forbid winner-take-all primaries, requiring that state parties use proportional delegate selection which guaranteed that the race would continue to play out. So no matter what the size of a candidate’s popular vote in a state, the number of actual delegates won would be relatively evenly divided. That rule virtually ensured that the Obama/Clinton nomination struggle would continue for some period, especially after the underdog Obama swept the March Super Tuesday events. READ MORE »