AK Caucus 2012: Ron Paul Visited State, But Mitt Romney Has Crucial Endorsements

March 6 (Reuters) - The race to win the Republican Party's presidential nomination to challenge President Barack Obama moves on to "Super Tuesday" when 10 states, including Alaska, hold primaries and caucuses.

Here are a few facts about the Alaska Republican caucuses.

* Alaska sends 27 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Florida in August. Most delegates will be awarded proportionally.

* The only Republican presidential candidate to trek north to campaign in Alaska has been Texas Representative Ron Paul. Former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney sent one of his five sons to campaign for him, and the other candidates have made radio or television town hall performances.

* Romney has gained the endorsement of Alaska's Republican U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Alaskan Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, also a Republican.

* Former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a Republican Party trendsetter, has not endorsed any of the candidates but has said she would support Gingrich if only to keep the race going. Her husband Todd Palin has endorsed Gingrich.

* Alaska is a solidly Republican state and has not chosen a Democratic candidate for the presidency since 1964. In the 2008 general election, John McCain trounced Obama with 59 percent of the vote against Obama's 38 percent.

* In 2008, 14,000 Republicans voted in the 2008 caucuses, the Alaska Republican Party said on its website.

* About 67 percent of Alaska were Caucasian, 14.8 percent were American Indian or Alaska natives, 3.3 percent were African-American, and 5.5 percent Hispanic in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Census.

* The state's unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in December 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said, below the national average. Oil and gas are the state's major industries and topics Alaska voters care about.

(Reporting By Lily Kuo; Editing by Ros Krasny and Eric Walsh)

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