The good folks at the Green Papers have projected the likely number of delegates from each state for the 2012 nominating process and GOP convention:
Republican delegate counts are based on the number of Republicans elected to the State Legislatures, Governors chairs, U.S. House seats, and U.S. Senators seats through 31 December 2011. Republican unpledged delegate counts are determined by state (or equivalent) party rules. We have assumed that the policies of 2008 will apply in 2012. The Republican district delegate count is based on the estimated number of U.S. House members each state will receive from the 2010 census.
The list is largely what you would expect; California is the largest with a projected 172 delegates and Texas is second with 149. The states at the bottom are Vermont and Delaware with 17 each, six fewer than Puerto Rico and two fewer than the District of Columbia.
Geography may play a smaller role in the 2012 nomination than it usually does; none of the big states appear to be near-certain for anyone (barring a sudden bid from, say, Texas governor Rick Perry or former Florida governor Jeb Bush).
Presuming each frequently mentioned likely candidate does well in their home state, Newt Gingrich starts with the biggest advantage, as Georgia is projected to send 75 delegates to the GOP convention. Of course, Gingrich hasn’t represented Georgia in Congress in more than a decade. Just behind him is Rick Santorum, as Pennsylvania is projected to have 72 delegates.
The rest of the contenders’ home states are generally bunched together.
We’ll have to see if either or both prominent Hoosiers, Gov. Mitch Daniels or Rep. Mike Pence, decide to run for president. If one can carry almost all of the state’s delegates, he’ll come away with a healthy total; Indiana is projected to have 46 delegates.
Despite its high population, Massachusetts has a modest 41 delegates. It’s possible Mitt Romney may do well again in Michigan, his second “home state,” and that state has 59 delegates.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s home state of Minnesota is projected to have 40 delegates, not too many more than Gov. Haley Barbour’s home state of Mississippi, which is projected to have 37 delegates.
Sen. John Thune and former governor Sarah Palin seem likely to do quite well in their home states, but they’re relatively small in the delegate race: Both South Dakota and Alaska are projected to have 28 delegates.