I’ve been wondering lately, “What happens to the delegates released by Romney?”
I found an answer from the Honolulu local news station KGMB 9:
Mitt Romney had suspended his campaign after Super Tuesday on Feb. 7 (click here for that story). Because he ‘suspended’ the campaign at that point, Romney still held on to his delegates. On Feb. 14, Romney officially endorsed John McCain and released his delegates, urging them to cast their votes for McCain. However, it is important to note that they are not bound to do so.
For the Republican party, the individual state parties reallocate their delegates. At this point in the election, John McCain has 815 delegates to Mike Huckabee’s 199 and Mitt Romney’s 166. The only other Republican candidate still in the race is Ron Paul with 10 delegates.
The Democratic party is very different. If the candidate suspends or withdraws from their campaign, they are still considered candidates and hold the delegates that they had won in previous elections. However, at this point the Democratic presidential race is between only two candidates, Hillary Clinton (1,198 delegates) and Barak Obama (1,281 delegates).