As I scroll through my Facebook feed, it occurs to me that the minute by minute campaign status update and daily polls may have left some American’s with the impression that we will all wake up Tuesday morning to find out who has become the Republican Nominee for President.
Iowa is only one State and while it votes first, it does not choose the Republican Party nominee. In fact Iowa, in recent history, has rarely picked the Republican Nominee.
Winning in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina aren’t preludes to victory. Winning these States or finishing in the top 3 serve to have the biggest impact on a candidate’s fundraising and momentum. They matter, but they aren’t the ballgame.
March 1st, Super Tuesday, is when we really find out who has the best chance of winning the nomination. However, it is important to understand that every primary held before March 14th divides delegates up proportionally. Even if a candidate wins the majority of early States, if another one or two candidates have consistently placed in 2nd or 3rd, those candidates have been amassing a great number of delegates as well.
The real ballgame begins on March 15th, when the winner takes 100% of those States’ delegates. Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida all vote on the 15th and those States will be huge battlegrounds and if one candidate wins all three of those States, then we begin to have an idea who the Republican Nominee will be.
While your Facebook feed and the media will cover the life and death of these candidacies minute by minute, the candidates themselves understand that winning the nomination is a two or three month ordeal. It doesn’t happen in Iowa and New Hampshire. I would like to encourage Republican activists and volunteers of every campaign to keep some perspective during the month of February.