DemDaily: The Election Calendar & Delegate Math

May 25, 2016
Despite the onslaught of media coverage given the presidential contest, the rules for choosing the nominees remain confusing - to experts, reporters and watchers.
Ultimately, the candidates who secures a simple majority of their parties' delegates in the primaries win the nomination, but the process for getting there is different for each party.
  Caucuses vs. Primaries. Delegates vs. Superdelegates. Democratic vs. Republican Convention
How it Works
A candidate becomes the nominee when he or she secures a majority (50%) of their party's potential delegates. For the Democrats the magic # is 2,383 of 4,762. For the Republicans it is 1,237 of 2472 convention delegates.
Each party allocates a number of "pledged"(Democrats) or "bound" (Republicans) delegate slots to each state, usually in proportion to the state's population.
In most cases, for Democrats, the candidates win delegates based on the % of the vote they secure in a primary or caucus, but factors vary in some states.
Republicans, however, have a hybrid state/congressional district allocation that generally awards delegates on a winner-take-all basis on the statewide and district levels.
In addition, Democrats have "Superdelegates," who are party leaders and elected officials who are free to support any candidate, regardless of the popular vote.
Superdelegates are a serious factor in the democratic primary, accounting for 712 of the total convention delegates.
Republicans "unbound" version of Superdelegates account for approximately 7%, so do not hold the same sway and are usually not separated out in reported delegate counts.
At the Republican convention delegates are bound for the first ballot but are then released after the second or third ballot (depending on the state) and then may vote for whichever candidate they prefer.
At the Democratic convention, delegates are bound to the candidate throughout the convention but superdelegates are allowed to change their vote at any point.
The Count
Democrats Delegates Super Delegates Total Delegates
Total Needed to
 Win Nomination
Hillary Clinton 1,768 537 2,305 2,383
Bernie Sanders 1,497 42 1,539
Republicans Delegates Total Delegates
Donald Trump 1,209 1,209
There are nine primaries or caucuses remaining for Democrats and five for Republicans before their respective nominating conventions in July.
As of today, Clinton is 78 delegates short of clinching the Democratic nomination and Sanders 844.
Trump is within a 28 delegates of becoming the GOP nominee.
Month Day Primary/ Caucus Democratic Delegates Republican
4 Saturday Virgin Islands Democratic Caucus 12 n/a
5 Sunday Puerto Rico Democratic Caucus 67 n/a
7 Tuesday California Primary
Montana Primary 27 27
New Jersey Primary 142
New Mexico Primary 43
North Dakota Democratic Caucus 23 n/a
South Dakota Primary 25 29
14 Tuesday District of Columbia Democratic Primary 46 n/a
18-21 Monday -Thursday
Republican National Convention
Cleveland, Ohio
25-28 Monday - Thursday
Democratic National Convention
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Next Up: June 4th Virgin Island Democratic Caucus.
Connecting you to The Party
Connecting you to Each Other
Kimberly Scott
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