2012 Delegate Count: Scoring the Scorecards

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Mitt Romney leads the delegate count by a large margin regardless of what source you trust, but voters likely have wondered who is correct.

To be clear, Romney captured the presumed-Republican-nominee title when Rick Santorum darted from the race, and it became especially clearer when Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that he would officially shut down his run on May 1. That leaves only Ron Paul, and he can't overcome Romney's delegate count.

Mitt Romney

A side-by-side comparison of TheGreenPapers.com, The Associated Press, CNN and RealClearPolitics.com show varying delegate counts that fluctuate generously for some candidates and appear identical with others.

But how does one parse through the tedious state conventions, caucuses, and primaries to determine a hard number of delegates that decide the true winner of a party's nomination?

"Very early on in the summer of 1999 , it became rather apparent that actually explaining how the voting in primaries or caucuses (and subsequent conventions), etc. translated into candidate X getting so many National Convention delegates might make the site that much more useful," Richard Berg-Andersson, TheGreenPapers.com staff member, wrote in an email.

TheGreenPapers.com, unlike its valuable delegate-counting counterparts, devotes an entire page to each U.S. state, district and territory to explain their particular delegate processes involved -- the sum of which ultimately decides the major party nominees.

In the above graphic you will note that TheGreenPapers.com allocates the least number of delegates to Romney in comparisons against the AP, CNN and RealClearPolitics.com. Part of the reason is that TheGreenPapers.com doesn't speculate about delegates in caucus states that have held straw polls, but haven't officially selected national delegates.

In Minnesota, for example, TheGreenPapers.com gives 20 delegates to Paul and two to Santorum (as formally chosen at the congressional district conventions held in the past month), but leaves three as uncommitted (the state party leaders) and 15 available (because the state convention doesn't select national delegates until May 18).

On the other hand, the AP gives 18 to Paul, 16 to Santorum, three to Romney and one to Gingrich.

"At the state convention, Minnesota will select 13 at-large delegates. We make that initial projection on Feb. 7 about what would happen at the state convention if everything stayed the same, and I just leave that as is until we get to the state convention," said Stephen Ohlemacher, an AP reporter who does the delegate counts most people are familiar with.

So Santroum still holds a lot of delegates for the AP's Minnesota caucus projection because the Feb. 7 straw poll projects Santorum to grab a lot of national delegates in the state convention. Santorum will likely lose those delegates as he is no longer in the race.

Based on the average of the four different outlets, here's how the candidates stack up (rounded): Romney 812, Paul 74, Santorum 254, Gingrich 138 and Unbound/Uncommitted 251.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>Contact by Email.

>Follow Joe Deaux on Twitter. Subscribe on Facebook.

If you liked this article you might like

Monster Beverage Stock Soars as Coca-Cola Opens Refreshing Partnership

Monster Beverage Stock Soars as Coca-Cola Opens Refreshing Partnership

Gold Pares Losses as Ukraine Says Its Troops Attack Russian Convoy

Gold Pares Losses as Ukraine Says Its Troops Attack Russian Convoy

Cisco Stock Biggest Dow Loser as Company Cuts 6,000 Jobs

Cisco Stock Biggest Dow Loser as Company Cuts 6,000 Jobs

Gold Demand Slumps as Increasing Prices Slow Asian Demand

Gold Demand Slumps as Increasing Prices Slow Asian Demand

Gold Demand Shrinks a Year After the Infamous Market Collapse

Gold Demand Shrinks a Year After the Infamous Market Collapse