How the National Delegates Will Be Awarded
From all the disparate reports about delegates tonight, I can see I'm not the only one who doesn't understand how the caucus and primary votes translate into delegates locally and then at the national level.
I just came across this article by L. Sandy Maisel, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby College. I have no idea if he's correct or not, but he sounds authoritative. He describes the process for Democrats as follows:
The Democrats allocate delegates in proportion to the vote a candidate receives in a primary or caucus. If Obama gets 60 percent of the votes in a state with 100 delegates, he would get 60 delegates, and the other candidates -- those who surpass a threshold of 15 percent -- will receive the rest, divided according to their vote totals. The strategic implication of this rule is that a candidate should not desert a state simply because he or she will not win it. That candidate still will pick up valuable delegates. Thus, Obama is campaigning in New York and New Jersey and Clinton in Illinois.
On Tsunami Tuesday and superdelegates: [More...]
On that day, Democrats will choose 1, 681 delegates in 23 separate primaries and caucuses, more than half of the total number of pledged delegates selected by rank-and-file voters in the entire process.
The Democratic nominee will need 2,025 delegates to win at the convention; however, about 850 delegates come from so-called Superdelegates, party leaders and elected officials seated as a result of their office and, unless they choose to state their preference, unpledged to any candidate.
On the potential significance of John Edwards:
Edwards remains in the race because if he can surpass the 15 percent threshold, he too will win delegates and how those delegates vote may say a good deal about when the Democratic nominee is determined -- and even who it will be.
On when it's over for the Dems:
The Democratic contest will end if either Clinton or Obama win five of the large state primaries and a spattering of the others, losing only their opponent's home state.
Then, though the elected delegate count differential will not be overwhelming, the Superdelegates, those elected and party officials who are convention delegates by virtue of their office, the vast majority of whom are still unpledged, will come together behind the candidate with the most momentum -- and the die will be cast. If Clinton and Obama split the large states, however, the Democratic contest could well go on.
Does anyone disagree with this? I'd like to believe he's right, if for no other reason than his article is in plain English and seems devoid of spin.
|< The Iowa/Nevada Caucus Systems Disenfranchises Voters | Nevada Vote on the Map >|