Apologies for the obscure expression in the title, but it is an erudite way for me to justify being a political junkie. It is almost inevitable that those infected with Potomac Fever starts thinking about the next election the minute the polls close. I will avoid pre-mature Presidential prognostication, but sufficed to say that 2012 is a Presidential election year so there will be intense attention and presumably more participation than a midterm election.
The allocation of delegates is also an issue. The Republican Party has used a winner-takes-all methodology, which mirrors the proper application of the Electoral College, so there are rarely nomination fights that extend into the Party Convention. Democrats use proportional allocations, which meant that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton had officially clinched the 2008 nomination going into the convention due to the unpledged delegates and Super Delegates.
Since Republican rules usually result in a wave where the winner of the early primaries becomes an inevitability, making later primaries essentially meaningless. In 2008, this system had the result that a maverick candidate who peaked in late January and early February became the nominee about whom the party base was less than enthusiastic. Republicans changed the allocation in 2012 which will award delegates for March primaries proportionally. This may alleviate this anomaly.
The National Journal believes that the proportional awarding of delegates would favor Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)
“From my vantage point, it looks like it’s going to be a protracted battle, and both the Perry and Romney camps are showing that they are planning for something long term,” said Josh Putnam, a visiting assistant professor at Davidson College whose FrontloadingHQ blog is a leading authority on the primary calendar.