Monday, March 7, 2016

A Delegate Count Reconciliation Quickie

FHQ saw Eric Ostermeier's post on the varying delegate counts this morning, and since I have looked at these numbers until I ended up cross-eyed each night for the last week, I will make a few comments about what is driving the differences across the major trackers.

First, it should be said that the combination of simpler rules and clearer results drove the agreement across all outlets. In most of those states -- six out of nine -- the delegates were pooled rather than split across congressional districts. Where they were not -- South Carolina, Alabama and Minnesota -- the results were clear. That clarity means that the rounding rules were never all that consequential or at the very least were easier to decipher in allocating delegates.

That suggests that in the states where there is disagreement among the various delegate trackers partially boils down to the results on the congressional district level. But there are some tricky rounding and other rules that are likely the culprits for the differences.

Let's look at the problem states one by one.

New Hampshire
Look, this one is a done deal for now. It may come back up at the convention, but the New Hampshire Republican Party has already certified the results and the delegate count. There is some question about whether the NHGOP or the secretary of state got the rounding wrong, but again this is a settled issue until the convention. CBS needs to catch up with everyone else. It will eventually go the other way if Rubio is still in the race because the rounding rules were not followed properly.

Again, CBS is wrong on this one. It looks as if they are treating Nevada as a state with a qualifying threshold that it does not have. Nobody under 20% was allocated any delegates by CBS. That includes Ben Carson, who won two delegates also.

The Natural state is the first to demonstrate the congressional district discrepancy problem. AR-3 is a district that looks too close to call. Some of these outlets are granting Cruz the runner-up congressional district there. Others are not. The fight for second place there is really close between Cruz and Rubio. Some have called it. Others have not. FHQ is in the latter category.

Here is another congressional district issue. Second place is close between Cruz and Rubio in both GA-4 and GA-13. Some have called that Cruz while other outlets have not. The Trump issue, given the range in the various counts, has to include some issues with whether or not some outlets are granting the winner all three automatic delegates -- as called for Georgia Republican Party rules -- or if they are allocating them as part of the at-large pool of delegates.

This is an easy one. The congressional district results clearly gave one delegate to Cruz, Rubio and Trump in each of the five districts. That means the issue was with the at-large delegate allocation. Some outlets picked up on the fact that the allocation equation divides by the total number of votes instead of the qualifying candidates' share of the vote. The former leaves three uncommitted delegates  that some have missed out on. Any outlet that has Cruz over 15 delegates missed this. Period.

TN-9 is the issue here. Some have called this one for Trump (2 delegates) with Rubio second (1 delegate). Others are still waiting on results to clarify in that district.

This one is not that hard. The Texas Secretary of State has both the results -- with 100% of precincts reporting -- statewide and by congressional district. There really should not be any issues in the Lone Star state. As FHQ has pointed out, there does seem to be a big difference between the TXSoS count and the AP count in TX-33. Either Cruz got two delegates and Trump one (TXSoS) or Rubio won all three (AP). FHQ has deferred to the state of Texas on this one. But that one district accounts for most of the differences. in the counts.

The AP has updated their count and is consistent with the others with an 8 to 8 divide between Trump and Kasich. CBS probably needs to just update because 100% of returns are in and Rubio is still under the 20% threshold. He would have claimed four delegates had he risen above that level, but that does not look to be on the horizon.

This is another easy one. The outlets that do not have Cruz at 24 delegates missed that all fractional delegates round up sequentially from top of the voting order to the last qualifier in Kansas; even fractions below .5. Cruz rounded up to 24. That left one less delegate for Kasich when the rounding process got to him as the last qualifier.

In Kentucky, the differences are based on how one reads the rounding rules. Under Kentucky Republican Party rules, if there is an overallocation of delegates -- as there was Saturday night -- then the candidate furthest from the rounding threshold loses a delegate. Normally, that threshold would be .5, but all four qualifying candidates had remainders above .5. They all rounded up triggering an overallocation. To take one delegate away from the candidate furthest from a .5 threshold would mean Trump would lose a delegate as he was more than .3 above .5. However, since all four candidates were over .5, that made .00 the threshold for any of the candidates to round up. That took the delegate from Rubio. Those taking Kasich down from seven to six made the mistake of doing the allocation sequentially and leaving Kasich with the leftovers. That is wrong.

The results in the Pelican state seem to settled. The LAGOP released the delegate count there late Sunday night. Trump edged Cruz in the at-large count, but Cruz equalized by winning a majority in LA-4. In the remaining five districts, Trump, Cruz and Rubio all received one delegate apiece. That leaves Trump 18, Cruz 18 and Rubio 5 in Louisiana. That Rubio received no delegates in some counts for Louisiana was entirely due to unclear rules regarding the allocation of congressional district delegates. It was unclear if Rubio needed 16.67% of the vote to round up to one delegate or whether it was enough for him to simply place third there.

The FHQ delegate count can be found here.

Happy counting, everyone.

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