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Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton
With Donald Trump being the last Republican standing, delegate math on the Republican side is almost meaningless. (Of course with early voting, some segments of votes have already been cast and some segment of voters tend to vote against the presumptive nominee.) On May 10, the Republicans will have primaries in Nebraska (thirty-six delegates on winner-take-all basis) and West Virginia (thirty-one directly elected delegates — three in each district and twenty-two state-wide. There are some weird restrictions on the twenty-two state-wide delegates that could distort the results if voters do not understand the rules). Trump still needs 223 more delegates to clinch the nomination. As such, he will probably not officially clinch the nomination until June 7, but it would take some very bizarre results between now and June 7 to stop Trump from getting the nomination. In the upcoming weeks, I am sure there will be several posts on this site on what the nomination of Trump means for this year’s elections and the future of the Republican Party.
On the Democratic side, counting superdelegates, Hillary Clinton is approximately 189 delegates short of clinching the nomination. The main event this week is the West Virginia Primary on May 10. The delegate breakdown in West Virginia is seven delegates in both the first and second districts, six delegates for both the third district and the at-large pool, and three pledged party leader delegates. Given votes in similar states, Bernie Sanders has a shot at getting to five delegates (64.3%) in the first and the second and four delegates in the third and at-large. With an almost certain 2-1 split for the pledged party leaders, that would give Sanders a 20-9 advantage.
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.
Yesterday, I took a look at the role of uncommitted delegates and the selection of delegates (particularly those pledged to withdrawn candidates) could influence the end game of the Republican nomination process — particularly in how many pledged delegates Donald Trump will need to win to have a shot at getting nominated. Today, I take a look at similar issues for the end game of the Democratic nomination. Because the Democratic party uniformly gives candidates a significant role in delegate selection, the issue for the Democratic party is uncommitted delegates (barring an upset in the remaining primaries, entirely automatic delegates) and the later stages of some caucus states. Again, the starting point will be the Green Papers count of hard versus soft delegates.
New York this past week was huge for the front runners in both parties. For both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the results in New York essentially offset everything that has happened over the past several weeks. On the Republican side, the race stands essentially where it stood on April 1 except for 223 more delegates allocated. On the Democratic side, the race stands essentially where it stood on March 14 except for 1197 more delegates allocated. In other words, the New York reset basically gave Trump a glimmer of hope that he can win enough delegates to get the nomination while it put Clinton back in control of the Democratic race. This week’s primaries feature five states that comprise the rest of the Mid-Atlantic (Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania) and the last two New England states (Connecticut and Rhode Island). For both Trump and Clinton, the hope is that this week will be mostly a repeat of New York. For Trump that hope is a necessity because he still is behind where he needs to be on the delegate count and May is a little less friendly than this week. Clinton also faces a potentially weaker performance in May, but she is fast approaching the point where it is mathematically impossible for Sanders to catchup on the pledged delegate count (much less the popular vote count).
Starting with the Republicans, the simplest state is Delaware — 16 delegates — winner-take-all. There has not been much (if any polling) In Delaware. Given the polls in neighboring states, Trump looks like the favorite to win in Delaware unless the supporters of Cruz and Kasich can unite to block him.
Maryland is only a little more complex — a winner-take-most state. Maryland has eight congressional districts and the winner in each of those districts will take three delegates while the state-wide winner will take fourteen delegates. Polling puts Trump near 40% with Cruz and Kasich tied for second. There are potentially some districts that Cruz or Kasich could take. Strategic voting would probably keep Trump from getting 12 or 15 delegates.
For the first time since February, there is only one state holding a primary during a week. It’s also one of the biggest states in the country — New York. It also comes at a surprisingly crucial time during the campaign. By mid-April, the norm is that the race is over. The lack of money for trailing candidates has typically forced them to suspend their campaign and party leaders are pressing for unity behind the likely nominee. This year, the race is different. Bernie Sanders has enough money to keep running through the convention. Republican leaders are definitely not pushing for unity behind Donald Trump.
On the Republican side, we have seen the rules that New York is using in earlier states. Delegates are awarded “proportionately” by congressional district (three in each of the twenty-seven districts or eighty-one total) and statewide (fourteen delegates). As in many states, it takes twenty percent to become eligible for delegates, and a district (or the statewide results) becomes winner-take-all at fifty percent. As in many states, the congressional district is a 2-1 split between first and second place if two or more candidates qualify. At the state level, the party rounds delegates to the nearest whole number. If there are any delegates remaining, they go to the winner. If there are too many delegates allocated, the additional delegates will be taken from the last-placed candidate. (At most, the math should lead to one or two delegates being added or subtracted.)
Heading into the primary, Donald Trump seems to be flirting with fifty percent state-wide. By mathematical necessity, if he gets over fifty percent state-wide, he will get over fifty percent in some districts. Additionally, Ted Cruz has the small problem of having attacked “New York” values while he was running in other states. He can probably convince upstate voters (and how you define upstate depends upon where in the state you live — for New York City, upstate includes Westchester and Rockland County, but for Albany and Syracuse voters, Westchester and Rockland County are part of the New York City area as is Long Island) that he meant New York City, not New York State. But only nine districts are wholly upstate (by the narrow definition). Perhaps, he can convince some New York City Republicans that he meant the values espoused by Democratic politicians, but Cruz is not likely to be competitive in the New York City districts.
The key contest for both sides during the week of April 4 is the Wisconsin Primary on April 5. Additionally, Colorado Republicans will hold their congressional district conventions on April 8 and their state convention on April 9. Democrats will hold county caucuses in Wyoming on April 9. The Republicans will hold the second part of their delegate selection in Wyoming at the state convention on April 16 in the only contest scheduled for the week of April 11.
After three weeks of multiple primaries in large and medium-large states, there is one last week of multiple events before the process takes a bit of a breather. After this week, there is a half contest during the week of March 28; one and a half contests during the week of April 4; one quarter contest during the week of April 11; and one contest during the week of April 18 (albeit the very big New York primary). The pace will only pick back up starting the week of April 25. In practical terms that means that the candidates will be spending the next month concentrating on a very few states and determining if it is worth continuing with the campaign.
Saturday were the county conventions in Iowa. On the Republican side, the national convention delegates were allocated by the preference vote in the precinct delegates; so the county convention is merely about who will go to the state and congressional district conventions to choose the actual delegates (which might matter if the Republicans end up with a deadlocked convention). On the Democratic side, the results of the precinct meetings (as reported to the media) are an estimate of what will happen at the county meeting, and the county meetings can change things. While there appear to have been some changes at the county level, it appears that the bottom line has not changed.
Last week, I looked at the results of the precinct conventions and identified fourteen counties in which (primarily due to O’Malley and uncommitted delegates), the final delegate count was ambiguous. Based on the results posted by the Iowa Democratic Party, in addition to these fourteen counties, there appear to have been nine other counties that gave a reminder on Saturday that delegates are technically free to change their preferences between each round of the process. (By my original estimate, a total of eighteen projected delegates changed hands, but it is possible that my counts of the delegates to the county convention included some mathematical errors.)The most interesting of these nine counties was Mills County.
In Mills County, after the precinct meetings, Clinton had twenty-three delegates to the county convention and Bernie Sanders had twenty-two delegates. With the county convention electing five delegates to the state convention, the projected split was three Clinton delegates to two Sanders delegates. However, after the county convention, Clinton emerged with two delegates, Sanders with one, and Martin O’Malley and uncommitted also got one delegate each. It would be interesting to hear news reports out of Mills County on how this happened. Given that it takes seven delegates to be viable, it is theoretically possible that the Sanders delegates decided to split up 8-7-7 to “steal” a state convention delegate. There is also the possibility that in some of the precincts, O’Malley or uncommitted voters “got” a county convention delegate in exchange for joining one of the other candidates when the O’Malley/uncommitted groups were too small to be viable. and reverted to their original preference (but it is hard seeing that many delegates having secret preferences).
Under current Republican rules, March 15 is the first day that a state or territory (other than the first four) can hold a winner-take-all or winner-take-most primary. Four of the five primaries scheduled for this week have some kind of winner-take component (at least for the state-wide delegates). This week also features the home states (and perhaps the last stand) of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Governor John Kasich of Ohio.
As discussed Friday night, Illinois is an unusual state — especially on the Republican side. In all likelihood, the results will resemble a winner-take-most primary with three delegates going to the candidate who finishes first in each of the eighteen congressional districts and fifteen delegates going to the candidate who finishes first state-wide. However, because in the congressional districts delegates are on the ballot and are directly elected, there is a chance that some delegates might be elected even if their presidential candidate loses the district. Such an “upset” is most likely to happen in close districts.
Missouri is a pure winner-take-most state. However, unlike most states, the winner of the congressional districts will get five delegates from each district (rather than the normal three) and the state-wide winner will only get twelve delegates.
When the Republicans re-wrote the rules for 2016, they shortened the proportionality window — from a full month to two weeks. That led to several states with Republican legislatures and Republican governors opting for a March 15 primary date — the first day on which Republican state parties can hold a primary that does not follow the proportionality rules. In particular, the Florida Republican Party (listening to suggestions from the Bush and Rubio campaigns) opted for a winner-take-all primary. What looked great in 2014 and early 2015, now looks quite differently after last night’s results.