Maybe N.J. will have a second prez primary in June

Could New Jersey Republicans have two presidential primaries in 2008? In a very outside the box way, the answer is yes — although not likely.

Remember, when the state GOP approved the winner-take-all primary, they agreed to wait until June to elect the delegates – who would be bound (under party rules) to vote for the winner of the February 5 New Jersey primary on the first ballot. That means party bigwigs could still get to the convention as delegates, even if they picked the wrong horse early on.

So here’s how it would play out: let’s say, hypothetically, that Rudy Giuliani wins the New Jersey primary, but drops out of the race before April. That would effectively release his delegates to vote for the candidate of their choice. But remember, the delegates have still not been elected.

Now, let’s say, its spring and the Republicans still have not picked a presidential candidate — hypothetically, Mike Huckabee and John McCain are still battling it out. Candidates could still have another shot at winning delegates in New Jersey by running slates in the June primary.