Pennsylvania’s presidential primary is a bit more than a month away.
But the April 24 results may have no bearing on which candidate the state’s delegates support.
Pennsylvania has 72 delegates. They’re the people — sometimes die-hard conventioneers, sometimes political neophytes — who will cast votes at the Republican nominating convention in Tampa.
Most of those delegates are elected by voters in the primary, but all 72 delegates are unbound, meaning they don’t have to vote to nominate the candidate who wins in Pennsylvania.
Valerie Caras, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, says that gives those delegates the flexibility they need to make their nomination depending on how the race unfolds.
“How about … all the guys in, the delegates that say Jon Huntsman won, say in New Hampshire or elsewhere?” she said. “You know, those voters went to the polls saying, I’m going to vote, because I believe in Gov. Huntsman, which is great, but, what happens to those delegates?
In Pennsylvania, one candidate could win the statewide majority vote, stay in the race, and not get the support of Pennsylvania’s delegates during the convention.
The commonwealth’s primary is also closed — so the only voters casting votes for a Republican presidential candidate are registered Republicans.