Republican Presidential Preference Poll Puts Romney On Top
Updated with projected earned Republican delegates from Alaska
UPDATED Wednesday 3/7/12, 9:34 a.m. - According to the Alaska Republican Party, the projected earned delegates from Alaska were apportioned as follows: Romney 8; Santorum 7; Paul 6; Gingrich 3.
ANCHORAGE - Just two hours after the polls closed on Super Tuesday, Alaska Republican Party officials made the announcement.
With more than 75 percent of districts reporting, Mitt Romney remained in first place with 3,377 votes. Rick Santorum held second place with 3,030 votes, followed by Ron Paul with 2,200 and Newt Gingrich in fourth with 1,505 votes.
Marlene Dean, 71, was first in line to cast her vote at her polling place in East Anchorage.
“Just don’t ask me who I’m going to vote for, because that’s none of your business,” she said, laughing.
She wore a blue and red flowered corduroy hat and was one of the roughly 130,000 people registered with the Alaska Republican Party and eligible to vote in the 2012 Presidential Preference Poll.
“I didn't get to vote last time like I wanted to because I went all over and everybody told me it wasn't that important, what was going on, so they wouldn't tell me where to go,” said Dean.
“This year I made a point, I called the Republican headquarters to find out where to go.”
The polls opened at 4 p.m., and Dean arrived nearly half-an-hour early to secure her place in the rapidly growing line. Statewide, Republican Party officials said more than 10,131 votes had been counted by 10 p.m., a number on par with 2008, when roughly 14,000 Alaskans cast their ballots.
Ten states and more than 400 delegates were up for grabs on Super Tuesday, with 27 of them hailing from the Last Frontier. Of those, 24 are tied to preference poll results, while three remain free to cast their votes as they choose.
Unlike other states, Alaska Republican organizers say delegates are assigned based on the percentage of votes each candidate garners.
“It's not whoever wins takes all,” said Edgar Lytle, the Alaska Republican Party’s preference poll representative for five Anchorage districts. “Our delegates go by, if someone gets ten percent, they get ten percent of the delegates and so forth, and so that makes the difference here.”
Lytle said the statistics give Alaska voters extra clout when it comes to selecting their party’s nominee. Waiting in line to sign her ballot, Dean said she wouldn’t miss it.
“I've worked as a poll watcher, and I've carried the votes to the headquarters so they can be counted and all that sort of stuff, so I think it's an important thing,” she said. “I think every citizen should get out and vote.”