Texas is the crown jewel of the Super Tuesday Republican presidential primary now underway in eleven states. 155 delegates will be awarded through an elaborate process of statewide and congressional district allocations.
The process begins by awarding 47 delegates based on the outcome of the statewide race between the candidates. The remaining 108 delegates are split between Texas 36 congressional districts with each district awarding three delegates.
How the delegates are split proportionally is where the process gets complicated. Despite the fact that only five candidates remain actively involved in campaigning for the nomination, there are thirteen names on the ballot plus a place for voters to select uncommitted. It is possible, and quite likely that voters will either intentionally or accidentally vote for people who are no longer running for the office.
According to the rules of the Republican Party of Texas (attached below), If any candidate gets a majority of the votes statewide (50 percent plus one vote) that candidate will be awarded all 47 of the statewide delegates. Currently polling data suggests this is not a likely scenario.
In a second scenario where no candidate gets a majority of the vote but at least two candidates get at least 20 percent of the vote, the 47 statewide delegates will be split among all of the candidates that receive more than 20 percent of the total vote. Candidates receiving less than 20 percent of the vote would not receive any statewide delegates.
Should only one candidate pull more than 20 percent of the total vote, the 47 statewide delegates are split proportionally between the first and second place finishers. No other candidates would receive delegates under this scenario.
If no candidate receives 20 percent or more of the total statewide vote (highly unlikely according to polling data), the delegates are split proportionally among all candidates receiving votes until all of the delegates are awarded.
The remaining 108 delegates are split three per congressional district. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in that congressional district, that candidate receives all three delegates.
If at least one candidate gets 20 percent of the vote within a particular district, the candidate finishing in first place gets two delegates. The second place candidate gets one delegate.
Finally, if no candidate in a congressional district gets 20 percent of the vote within that district, the three delegates are split equally between the first three most popular candidates in that district.
The greater Houston metropolitan area is home to 10 of Texas’ 36 districts. Being the hometown of Ted Cruz, it is possible the Texas senator could walk away with up to 30 delegates from the Houston area alone.
An additional 33 delegates will be awarded in districts representing the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and surrounding counties.
These two highly populated regions account for 21 of the 36 Texas congressional districts.
University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus told the Dallas Morning News the complicated process emphasizes the importance of the local voter. “One thing for voters to think about is that even if your candidate is not winning statewide, they might win in the area where you live — so there is still a strong reason to vote,” Rottinghaus told the Dallas news outlet.
The Office of the Texas Secretary of State’s website will be reporting election returns of both the statewide and congressional district voting results.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. He is also a Life Member of the NRA. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.