Is it 1976 all over again?

The possibility of a contested 2016 Republican presidential nominee convention has been inviting comparisons to the contested 1976 convention between Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.

But at this point in the 1976 race, a very different story was shaping up.

To date, there have been 24 state/territory contests, of which Donald Trump has won 15 (63%), Ted Cruz has won 7 (29%), and Marco Rubio has captured just two (8%).

After an equal number of contests during the 1976 campaign, the number of wins stood at 13 (54%) for Ford and 11 (46%) for Reagan, making it much closer than what we are currently witnessing.

Of the 39 states and territories (plus D.C.) that had committed to one of the presidential candidates during the first phase of the nominating process in 1976, 22 (56%) had been won by Ford and 17 (44%) by Reagan.  A further 15 states and territories had uncommitted or no apparent presidential preference prior to the convention.

As well, there was no significant change in the percentage of states won by Ford and Reagan over the latter portion of the campaign.

Twenty-six individual contests remain in the 2016 race prior to the convention.  Assuming either Trump or Cruz wins each of them, Cruz would need to win 14 more states in order to reach the same win percentage as Reagan had going into the contested convention of 1976.

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