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Tuesday | July 29, 2003

Delegate counts, super delegates

I have seen periodic questions about the delegate allotments for the Democratic National Convention. Here they are.

"Pledged Delegates" are selected 75% from district results, 25% at-large, plus a 15% "add-on" consisting of local party leaders and elected officials pledged to specific candidates.

Super Delegates are considered "Unpledged Delegates", and consist of Democratic National Committee Members, Democratic Members of Congress, Democratic Governors, Distinguished Party Leaders, and "Add-on Unpledged votes based on DNC member votes" (whatever that means).

Note that these numbers are slightly off -- as mentioned, super delegates include all members of Congress, and these totals are pre-2002 elections.

State: Pledged Delegates | Super Delegates >> Total

AL: 54 | 9 >> 63
AK: 13 | 6 >> 19
American Somoa: 3 | 3 >> 6
AZ: 55 | 6 >> 61
AR: 36 | 10 | >> 46
CA: 370 | 69 >> 439
CO: 53 | 11 >> 64
CT: 49 | 14 >> 63
DE: 15 | 8 >> 23
Dems Abroad: 7 | 2 >> 9
DC: 16 | 22 >> 38
FL: 177 | 26 >> 203
GA: 86 | 18 >> 104
Guam: 3 | 3 >> 6
HI: 20 | 10 >> 30
ID: 18 | 5 >> 23
IL: 156 | 31 >> 187
IN: 67 | 14 >> 81
IA: 45 | 9 >> 54
KS: 33 | 6 >> 39
KY: 49 | 8 >> 67
LA: 60 | 10 >> 70
ME: 24 | 10 >> 34
MD: 69 | 30 >> 99
MA: 93 | 27 >> 120
MI: 128 | 26 >> 154
MN: 72 | 17 >> 89
MS: 33 | 10 >> 43
MO: 74 | 14 >> 88
MT: 15 | 6 >> 21
NE: 24 | 7 >> 31
NV: 24 | 8 >> 32
NH: 22 | 6 >> 28
NJ: 107 | 19 >> 126
NM: 26 | 9 >> 35
NY: 236 | 51 >> 287
NC: 90 | 17 >> 107
ND: 14 | 8 >> 22
OH: 140 | 20 >> 160
OK: 40 | 6 >> 46
OR: 46 | 12 >> 58
PA: 151 | 30 >> 181
PR: 51 | 8 >> 59
RI: 21 | 11 >> 32
SC: 45 | 11 >> 56
SD: 14 | 7 >> 21
TN: 69 | 13 >> 82
TX: 195 | 37 >> 232
UT: 23 | 6 >> 29
VT: 15 | 7 >> 22
Virgin Islands: 3 | 3 >> 6
VA: 82 | 16 >> 98
WA: 76 | 19 >> 95
WV: 28 | 11 >> 39
WI: 72 | 15 >> 87
WY: 13 | 5 >> 18
Unassigned: 0 | 3 >> 3

Total: 4,325
3,520 pledged delegates
805 unpledged delegates (super delegates)

The allocation of each state's delegates to each candidate is a bit murky, but in general it's apportioned by a complex series of formulas that kick in once a candidate crosses the 15% threshhold.

For example, this is how North Dakota allocates its delegates:

Here's how we compute the delegate count:
  1. A candidate must receive 15% or more of the total popular vote to qualify for delegates. Discard those votes cast for candidates who do not qualify.
  2. Allocate Congressional District delegates from the qualified vote in each district. Allocate Pledged PLEO and At-Large delegates using the statewide qualified vote.
  3. In each jurisdiction:
    1. Total qualified vote = total votes cast for the qualifying candidates in the jurisdiction.
    2. Allocation = (delegates for the jurisdiction) x (candidate's popular vote) (total qualified vote).
    3. Assign each candidate the WHOLE NUMBER of delegates.
    4. If delegates remain, allocate each of the remaining delegates to those candidates with the LARGEST REMAINDERS.
If you can figure out what that formula means then you're a smarter person than me.

Super Delegates can vote for whomever they want, but they generally vote with the winner of the popular vote. It would be highly undemocratic and a breach of faith to subvert the will of the voters and push an alternate candidate itself. Now if we were to face a brokered convention, then all bets would obviously be off. But the chances of that happening, as exciting as it would be for political junkies like us, is practically nill.

Disclaimer: I took these numbers from a DNC handout at the California Democratic Party Convention. I didn't check the math or otherwise verify the accuracy of the information.

Posted July 29, 2003 02:27 AM





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