Delegate Math: Week of May 2

As a month, May is mostly about delegate selection rather than delegate allocation.  Even on the Democratic side (where some caucus allocations will be finalized), there will be over twenty delegate selection events in various states but fewer than ten delegate allocation events.

On the Republican side, there is just one delegate allocation event — Indiana.  After a good showing this past Tuesday (Trump even apparently got 31 supporters elected as unpledged district delegates in Pennsylvania), Trump looks to have a shot at getting enough delegates to win on the first ballot.  He still needs to win fifty percent of the remaining delegates though (approximately 250).  Indiana is another winner-take-most state  — three delegates to the winner in each of the nine congressional districts and thirty to the state-wide winner.  Indiana is the last best chance for Cruz to prevent Trump from getting the nomination.   After trying to arrange a deal with Kasich and (shades of Ronald Reagan) announcing his VP candidate, Cruz has few angles left to play.  Trump is up by 6% which would likely give him 45+ delegates.  If Cruz can make a comeback (with the help of Kasich supporters), Trump is probably looking at 15 or fewer delegates.  With only around 450 delegates left after Indiana, a thirty delegate swing is a big deal.

On the Democratic side, the window is slowly closing on Bernie Sanders.  Depending on which count you use (i.e. do you count tentative delegates from Iowa, Nevada, Washington, etc.) Hillary Clinton is between 360 and 450 votes of a majority of pledged delegates.  If you include unpledged delegates, Hillary Clinton is within 240 of a majority at the convention.

In Indiana, the nine districts have between five and eight delegates each (fifty six total).  The third, fourth, and sixth districts, have five delegates each (almost guaranteed to be a 3-2 split).    The second, eighth, and ninth districts have six delegates each (probably a 3-3 split unless one candidate get to 58.4%).  The fifth district has seven delegates (probably a 4-3 split).  The first and seventh district have eight delegates each (a 4-4 split unless a candidate gets to 56.3%).  There are nine party leader delegates (5-4 unless one candidate gets to 61.2%) and eighteen at-large delegates (52.8% to get a 10-8 split) for a total of eighty-one delegates at stake on Tuesday.  If Sanders can pull out a win, he is probably looking at 44-48 delegates leaving Clinton to pick up 33+ delegates.  (Clinton is currently leading in polling.)   While a win is better than a loss, Sanders really needs to get in the mid-60s or better in Indiana to make any significant gains.  While the rest of May is probably better for Sanders than this week, he needs a surprisingly good week at some point.

Saturday is the second of three territorial conventions — this time in Guam.  Clinton won the first — American Samoa with 68% of the vote.  As Guam has seven delegates, a similar result would give Clintin a 5-2 split (it takes 64.3% to bump up from 4-3 to 5-2.)

Also on Saturday is the Maine state convention.  Back in early March, Sanders did well in Maine at the township/municipal mass meetings.  The big chance for a change on Saturday is at the congressional district level.  In the first district,  Clinton got the last delegate by 19 out of 1921 delegates.  In the second district, Sanders got the last delegate by 13 out of 1499 delegates.  Theoretically, the state-wide delegates could also change but Clinton got the last at-large delegate by 187 out of 3,420 delegates.  In short, Clinton will get 8-10 delegates out of Maine and Sanders will get 17-15 delegates out of Maine when things are finalized.

In a look ahead, the week of May 9 has West Virginia (primary) and the Nevada state convention (only impact the allocation of the state-wide delegates) on the Democratic side and Republican primaries in West Virginia (all delegates other than automatic delegates directly elected) and Nebraska.  The week of May 16 has the Oregon and Kentucky primaries on the Democratic side (along with the Nebraska county conventions) and Oregon on the Republican side.  The week of May 23 will have the Wyoming state convention (only impacting the allocation of the state-level delegates) on the Democratic side and the Washington Primary on the Republican side.

In short, May is mostly one state at a time with Indiana being the most significant.  On the Democratic side, the issue is not just how many of these contests that Sanders can win but rather by how much he can win them.  Any contest in which Sanders gets less than 60% of the delegates brings Clinton closer to the nomination.  On the Republican side, the issue is can Trump get 50% of the delegates (and how many over 50%.  Each state in which Trump beats 50% is one less district that he needs to win in California on June 7.  Each state in which Trump fails short is one more district that he needs to win in California.

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2 thoughts on “Delegate Math: Week of May 2

  1. TomC

    I am a retired ordinary working man 82 years old married 59 years to my wonderful wife of 80 years. Two children and three grandchildren. Did my time in the military and worked most of my life for an honest wage.
    My years’ experience motivated me to write the following:

    All Democratic Delegates and Superdelegates should be advised that in the event Bernie Sanders is not selected to be the Democratic nominee, it is very possible that Bernie will be obliged to run as an Independent nominee for President. It is likely that all of his donors will demand that he does this and also that every remaining dollar that we all donated will go with him. If there is no other choice because the Delegates and Superdelegates will not vote for Bernie, then all of us Bernie 2016 campaign donors may simply write in Bernie Sanders when we vote.

    Bernie Sanders campaign donors are not supporting him just so we could make America and the world aware that the vast majority of people eligible to vote in our US of A are fed up with our status quo. The only reason we support his campaign is because we want and need him to be our President, “not our messenger”! And certainly not just so Bernie could contribute to composing a better Democratic Program at the Democratic Convention which of course an elected Trump or Clinton would ignore.

    It is apparent to many that ending up with a Clinton will result in no real change to our corrupted government. Even Russia’s Putin, when told that Clinton would probably be our next President, he responded “So what’s changed?!”

    The vast majority of American voters are not happy with the thought of having to choose between an untrustworthy Clinton and a dangerous cavalier Trump (or Cruz that is disliked by all of his fellow members of Congress). In addition, it is very possible that Clinton will be indicted this summer following our FBI’s completion of their investigation.

    If it becomes necessary for Bernie to run for President as an Independent it would provide American voters a much more acceptable choice: That choice would be “If you want to continue our present government of the people by the lobbyists and for the rich and powerful vote for a Republican or Clinton; if you want to return to government of the people by the people and for the people, vote for Bernie!”

    Vice President Joe Biden said something very important about Bernie Sanders’ campaign and the New York Times reported it as follows: “He (Joe Biden) remains neutral in the battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but not between their campaign styles.’ Joe said ‘I’ll take Mr. Sanders’ aspirational approach over Mrs. Clinton’s caution any day.’

    “ Further, in an interview, Joe Biden said, “I like the idea of saying, ‘we can do much more because we can’ and, I don’t think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can’t think that big – we ought to really downsize here because it’s not realistic,’ he said in a mocking tone: ‘Common man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, ‘Well, we can’t do it.”

    The Vice President is exactly right. That is what Bernie Sanders’ campaign is about. It’s about having the courage to face the reality of American life today. We must understand that today’s reality is not a pleasant one. We must have the courage to take on the special interests that are preventing us from going forward.

    Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that truly has that courage and the will and knowhow to effectively take on the special interests. Millions of American voters including many Independents and some Republicans in addition to Democrats are ready and anxious to support him now and also later during his Presidency.

    This opportunity to elect a person like Bernie Sanders is a very rare one. None of us in our current life time will ever see another opportunity like this to rid ourselves of our currently corrupt oligarchy and to reinstate true democracy in our great country.

    Again, all of us millions of donors to the Bernie 2016 Campaign faithfully support Mr. Sanders because we want and need him to be our President; not merely to be our messenger and not merely at the Convention to contribute to a better Democratic Program that an elected Trump or Clinton would ignore.

  2. tmess2 Post author

    Ballot access is a matter of state law. In most states, there is a deadline for filing to run as an independent — fourteen states have deadlines before the convention and the deadline in another twenty-one states will expire on or before August 15. In all of these states, filing requires getting a significant number of signatures on a petition and is not something that can be organized on the fly. Additionally, some of the states have “sore loser” laws that preclude a candidate who ran in a primary from filing as an independent. Because the vote for President in the general election is actually a vote for a slate of electors, a write-in vote only counts if that candidate has filed to be a write-in candidate. In short, barring something unusual, Bernie Sanders will not be a candidate in the general election, and a write-in vote for Bernie Sanders will be considered a non-vote.

    While Bernie supporters might wish for Bernie to be president, the Democratic Party has effectively decided that the members of the Democratic Party would rather have Hillary. Currently, Hillary has approximately 12.5 million votes to 9.5 million votes for Bernie. Hillary also has a lead of 1,646 elected delegates to 1,296 elected delegates for Bernie. I remember similar posts in 2008 by Hillary supporters suggesting that they would walk if the party did not nominate Hillary. In forty years under the current system, the convention has never nominated the runner-up, and I do not see that changing this time. Votes matter and winning matters, and — barring a major change in the last four weeks — Hillary has won.

    Like Hillary supporters in 2008, Bernie supporters in the fall will have to choose rather they would rather support Hillary or Trump or some third party candidates or not vote. I would respectfully submit, that Bernie supporters are more likely to get more of what they want with Hillary in the White House than with Trump, just the same way that Hillary voters in 2008 were more likely to get more of what they wanted with President Obama than with John McCain. Given that every state uses a first past the post system, a non-vote or a vote for a third party candidate by a progressive effectively makes it easier for Trump to win. As such, I hope that Bernie supporters and donors — will devote their time, resources, and votes to giving Hillary a progressive Senate and a progressive House that will allow her to do more than seems possible today. Anything else helps the conservatives who want to turn back the clock.

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