PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With Mitt Romney hundreds of delegates short of winning the nomination, Pennsylvania Republicans now get a chance to help Romney — or boost his main challenger former Senator Rick Santorum.
But Pennsylvania’s Republican delegate rules won’t make it easy.
The April 24th ballot has a beauty contest with Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum running against each other. The winner gets bragging rights but absolutely no delegates.
All Republican delegates run in congressional districts uncommitted to any candidate even if they publicly or privately support someone.
“They are not bound to vote for any particular presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention,” says Mark Wolosik, Allegheny County elections director.
While Democratic voters see the name of the presidential candidate backed by a particular delegate, the same is not true for Republicans.
“Each party has its own rules in terms of selecting their delegates,” adds Wolosik.
While Republican voters will not be able to tell from the ballot which delegate candidate supports which candidate for president, the best that a Republican voter can do is call those campaigns or those delegate candidates to find out now which one supports which presidential candidate.
But that’s not easy and party officials say there is no website to help Republican voters know who is a Romney, Santorum, Paul, or Gingrich delegate.
This is going to be very confusing to Republican voters who want to help their favorite presidential candidate. Instead of telling you who the Romney or Santorum delegates are, voters are left guessing.
Party officials defend this practice by saying Pennsylvania will have the largest unpledged delegation — meaning the state can be a kingmaker in a deadlocked convention.