In 2011, both Democrats and Republicans agreed on April 24th,2012 as the Presidential Primary – agreeing to hold the event on the same day for both parties. This set the Presidential Primary date almost two months later than it was held in 2008.
As Democrats already used a proportional system for allocating convention delegates and the Republicans in New York were changing to a proportional system for delegate allocation to replace its previous winner-take-all system, it was thought that a later date would allow New York to have more influence on the eventual outcome. There was also speculation that warmer weather would result in a higher turnout.
For the New York Democratic Committee, the date was of less
concern as they did not anticipate that there would be anyone challenging
President Obama. According to Democratic rules, if there is only one candidate who has qualified for the primary, then there would be no primary. In the absence of a Presidential primary, New York Democrats will send 384 delegates to their convention in Charlotte, NC in September, 2012 in support of Mr. Obama.
As it turns out for the New York Republicans, the results of their April 24 Presidential primary contest will likely be quite influential in the selection of a Republican Presidential nominee. Republicans will send a total of 95 delegates
to their convention in Tampa, Florida in late August – 92 to be selected as a
result of the primary. The national Republican Committee’s change to proportional primaries in the early months has led to a real contest among candidates to achieve the required number of delegates to achieve nomination. As of April 24, no one candidate will have the magic number of 1144 delegates, giving New York’s 95 delegates real influence in the final selection.
Along with several other Northeast states – Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware, on April 24th, New York Republicans will have an opportunity to make their presidential preference known. Depending on its outcome, the New York delegation to Tampa may have real influence on the outcome.