I would like to offer a proposal for scoring Feb. 5th picks and ask for your consideration and amendments. Here's my idea:
First, we assess a point total for each party's picks that is roughly equal to the standings leader's total pre-Feb. 5th. So, if the leader has 146 points, then each party's picks will be worth a total of 150 points for 300 total points decided on Feb. 5th. I think that achieves a good balance between the need to weight Feb. 5th super-heavily and the need to keep the previous state's results relevant to the final standings.
For each party, 30% of the total points will be based on picking the candidate that wins the most delegates (on the GOP side, we might split those points between picking the winner and picking the runner-up, depending on how close the race is at that point).
The other 70% of the points for each party will be allocated among some of the following 12 states:
Each of those states has a large delegation to both conventions. Some of the states will have to be removed from the list if it looks like their outcomes are predetermined (i.e., I don't anticipate New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut will stay on the list and Illinois will likely be a GOP-only pick).
Let's say, hypothetically, that our final list for the Democratic picks is as follows:
The percentages are the share of those states' delegates held by each state. Those percentages will be used in allocating points to each state. Here's how that will work:
Let's say that the state-based portion of the Democratic picks is worth 100 points. I'll give approximately half of those points evenly to each state. In this case, I'd give each state 6 points, for 54 of the total 100 points. The other 46 points would be divided up according to the percentages above. The following would be the point valuations for each state:
To summarize, the point total would be approximately double the points held by the leader in the standings. Let's say that's 400 points. Each party would be worth 200 points. Of that 200, 30% (or 60 points) would be for simply picking the candidate that wins lion's share of the delegates. The other 70% (or 140 points) would be distributed semi-proportionally among a list of states, none of which have natural proclivities for any of the remaining candidates. All points in each state would go simply for picking the winner.