McCain gains at least 50 delegates

From the Associated Press

Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, picked up at least 50 GOP national convention delegates from Michigan and Louisiana combined Saturday.

Republicans met in both states to resolve how to split up delegates to the national convention in September.

Thirty-two of Louisiana's 47 delegates told the Associated Press they intended to vote for McCain, and three others also were expected to back him.

Likewise, a majority -- 18 -- of Michigan's presidential delegates say they'll back the Arizona senator now that primary winner Mitt Romney is out of the race, although it's still unclear how many will go to the national convention.

McCain has 903 total delegates, according to an Associated Press tally. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has 245, while Romney's total drops to 253. To secure the nomination, 1,191 are needed.

The McCain campaign said 43 of Louisiana's delegates have signed pledges to vote for McCain.

The Republican National Committee stripped Michigan of half of its 60 delegates for defying party rules by moving its presidential primary to Jan. 15.

Counting just those 30 Michigan delegates allowed so far, 23 were supposed to go to Romney, who won Michigan's primary. Although those delegates technically will go the Sept. 1-4 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul uncommitted to any candidate, 18 now say they'll back McCain.

With the Romney delegates divided up, McCain has the backing of 24 in Michigan, while Huckabee has four. It was unclear which candidate two of them would back.

But the state's GOP activists are sure they'll get 57 pledged delegates and three unpledged delegates seated in Minneapolis-St. Paul, so they filled all of those spots -- plus 57 for alternates -- during their state convention Friday and Saturday.

In Louisiana, Republicans meeting Saturday selected 44 of the state's 47 national delegates. Of the 44 selected, 32 said they would back McCain.

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