Breaking Down the Delegate Dance

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Accumulating delegates is all the rage as the Republican nomination race leaves behind Super Tuesday.

Mitt Romney has grabbed 419 total delegates to take a decent lead, while Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul each have received 178 delegates, 107 delegates and 47 delegates, respectively.

With a few more than 1,500 delegates up for grabs from 28 states, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, the underdogs will be scrambling to pick up as many delegates as possible to prevent Romney from reaching the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination.

"The reality is, if you have a proven ability to win states, anything can happen after April 1," said a Santorum campaign source.

Five more primary contests will take place through March 13, and there's widespread confusion as to how, exactly, each state appoints its delegates. Here's a breakdown of what to expect in the near term. Rules are all according to thegreenpapers.com.

Kansas, March 10

Kansas has 40 delegates at stake on Saturday as the state's delegate allocation is broken into three categories.

First, the state awards delegates based on congressional districts. Voters will attend precinct caucuses and cast one ballot for the candidate of his or her choice. Each precinct will submit its totals to its congressional district. There are four congressional districts. Each congressional district will tally the total number of votes for each candidate. The winner of the most votes in a specific congressional district receives all the delegates in that district. Each congressional district is worth three delegates. Three delegates per the four congressional districts equals 12 delegates awarded in this category.

Second, Kansas' popular vote will be totaled and delegates will be proportioned based on the statewide total. In order to receive a slice of these delegates, a candidate must receive at least 20% of the total vote. There are 25 delegates proportioned to the different candidates in this category.

Finally, there are three party leader delegates, who must submit their vote in the national convention to the candidate who receives the most votes in Kansas.

Wyoming, March 10

Wyoming has 29 delegates at stake on Saturday as the state's delegate allocation is a non-binding caucus.

In other words, Wyoming has 23 counties grouped into 12 delegate-districts. Twenty-two of the counties are paired together to appoint one delegate. Laramie County, since it cast the most votes for the 2010 Republican for Congress, selects by itself the final of these delegates. All would-be delegates must disclose their preference before the caucuses begin.

Wyoming then meets again between April 12 and April 14 at its state convention to select its remaining 17 delegates. There is no formal system on how to choose state convention delegates, and the March 10 caucuses have no bearing on this step. Again, each would-be delegate at this step must reveal who their preference will be for the nomination. Three of these 17 delegates are unpledged Wyoming party leaders.

Alabama, March 13

Alabama has 50 delegates at stake as the state's allocation is a two-step primary process.

First, Alabama awards three delegates per congressional district. There are seven districts. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes in a district, he receives all three votes there. If multiple candidates receive more than 20% of the vote, but 50% or less of votes in the district, then the first-place vote-getter receives two delegates while second-place receives one delegate. Alabama awards 21 total district delegates.

Second, the state allocates 26 delegates based on the statewide primary vote total. If a candidate receives more than 50% of Alabama's vote, he wins all 26 of these delegates. If multiple candidates receive 20% or more but 50% or less of the statewide vote, then these delegates are allocated proportionally.

Three Alabama party leaders attend the national convention as unpledged delegates.

Hawaii, March 13

Hawaii has 20 delegates up for grabs as the state has a two-step caucus process.

First, precincts tally the number of votes for each candidate and send the total to the congressional district. There are two congressional districts in Hawaii that each award three delegates. Each district tallies the total number of votes for each candidate and allocates its delegates proportionally based on the district total. There are six delegates awarded at this step.

Second, the state tallies up all votes from the precinct caucuses and proportions out 11 delegates based on the percentage of votes each candidate received.

Three Hawaii party leaders attend the national convention as unpledged delegates.

Mississippi, March 13

Mississippi has 40 delegates at stake as the state takes part in a two-step primary process.

First, the state selects 12 delegates based on results from its congressional districts. Mississippi has four districts, and each district appoints three delegates. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes in a district, he wins all three of that district's delegates. If no one receives a majority, then all delegates who receive 15% or more of a congressional district's votes gets delegates based on their percentage of the total votes of all candidates.

Second, there are 25 delegates awarded based on the statewide primary results. If one candidate receives 50% or more of the statewide vote, he receives all 25 of these delegates. Otherwise, each candidate that gets 15% or more of the statewide vote receives delegates based on proportionality of the total votes cast.

Three Mississippi party leaders attend the national convention as unpledged delegates.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>Contact by Email.

>Follow Joe Deaux on Twitter. Subscribe on Facebook.