AP Decision Notes: What to expect in Hawaii's Republican caucuses

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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Super Tuesday election night party, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

WASHINGTON – Hawaii Republicans will hold caucuses Tuesday to cast votes in a presidential nomination contest in which former incumbent Donald Trump is the only remaining major candidate competing. Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley ended her campaign this week.

Trump won 14 of 15 contests held on Super Tuesday, putting him near the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination. But he’ll need to win the bulk of delegates at stake Tuesday in Hawaii, Georgia, Mississippi and Washington to close the deal.

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In 2016, Trump won the caucuses against a much more competitive field. He received 43% of the vote, ahead of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who had 32% of the vote. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich were a distant third and fourth.

Hawaii Democrats held their caucuses, which President Joe Biden won with 66% of the vote, this week. “Uncommitted” won 29% of the vote and picked up 7 of the state's 22 Democratic delegates. He could also clinch on March 12.

The Associated Press allocated delegates from Delaware and Florida to Biden on Friday, as both states have canceled their Democratic presidential primaries, with all their delegates going to the sitting president. With that allocation, Biden’s first possible date to clinch moves up to March 12, when he needs to win just 40% of the available delegates to do so.

Here’s a look at what to expect on election night:


The Hawaii Republican presidential caucuses will be held Tuesday. Caucus hours are from 6-8 p.m. local time, which is 12-2 a.m. ET.


The Associated Press will provide coverage for the Republican presidential caucuses. The candidates are Trump, Haley, Florida businessman David Stuckenberg and former candidates Ryan Binkley, Doug Burgum, Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy. Write-in votes are allowed for any candidate who has filed with the Federal Election Commission.


Caucusgoers must be registered voters in Hawaii and members of the Hawaiian Republican Party. Hawaii doesn’t register voters by party, but all participants must sign paperwork with the state party confirming their membership before they vote. Same-day voter registration will be permitted on caucus day.


Hawaii has 19 Republican delegates at stake in the caucuses. These delegates fall into four subgroups that are each awarded to candidates separately but using the same method. The 10 at-large delegates are awarded to candidates in proportion to the statewide vote. Three additional delegates, the state party chair and the Republican National Committeeman and Committeewoman, are also awarded to candidates in proportion to the statewide vote. Finally, three delegates in each congressional district are awarded to candidates in proportion to the vote results in that district. Candidates are not required to meet a minimum vote percentage to qualify for delegates.


Tuesday’s caucuses in Hawaii are unlikely to be competitive, as Trump faces no major opposition in his campaign for renomination. The first indication that Trump is winning statewide on a level consistent with the overwhelming margins seen in most other contests held so far this year may be sufficient to determine the statewide winner.

The AP does not make projections and will declare a winner only when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. If a race has not been called, the AP will continue to cover any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. In doing so, the AP will make clear that it has not yet declared a winner and explain why.


The total number of votes cast in the last competitive GOP caucuses in 2016 was 15,672, which was about 2% of registered voters at the time. In the 2012 caucuses, 10,228 votes were cast, which was about 1% of registered voters. The caucuses do not allow early voting or absentee voting.


A breakdown of the vote-reporting timeline is not available for the 2012 or 2016 caucuses. But the party expects to begin to release votes at about 8:30 p.m. local time, which is 2:30 a.m. ET.


As of Tuesday, there will be 125 days until the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee and 238 until the November general election.


Follow the AP's coverage of the 2024 election at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2024.

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