From John Hill’s article in the Sacramento Bee:
The two parties’ complex systems for allocating delegates will shape strategy in the last days of the election and may well influence the outcome, experts say.
The statewide vote totals, of course, will play a part in the results â€“ both in terms of the delegate count, and the bragging rights of bagging the biggest state in the union.
“Are you looking for the psychological boost of the statewide win or the mathematical boost of the delegate total?” said Jack Pitney, a professor of American politics at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California.
The Republican candidates must deal with a different dynamic. Democrats make up the majority in 34 of the state’s 53 congressional districts, Cain said. And yet, each of these Democratic districts offers the Republican candidates the same number of delegates â€“ three â€“ as the heavily GOP districts do.
That makes it possible for Republican candidates to reap as many delegates in areas with few Republicans.
“You might be able to win delegates for a very modest expenditure on mail and telephone,” Pitney said.
The way the Republican race is shaping up, Pitney said, Romney may need to score an overall victory in the statewide count.
“He may need that psychological boost to be viable,” he said.
But in both races, the way the delegates are counted will take on added importance if the Super Tuesday results are muddled and produce no clear winners.
“That’s where these elements of the battle come into play,” Pitney said.