Wednesday, February 26, 2020

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: CALIFORNIA

CALIFORNIA

Election type: primary
Date: March 3
Number of delegates: 494 [90 at-large, 54 PLEOs, 271 congressional district, 79 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional primary
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

The biggest change in the Golden state since 2016 has been its position on the 2020 primary calendar. California's 2017 legislation to move the primary from its more traditional position on the first Tuesday in June to Super Tuesday in 2020 upended the presidential primary calendar. The change meant that an already delegate-rich date on any presidential primary calendar was getting an influx of more than 400 delegates, more than 10 percent of the total number of delegates and nearly a third of the pledged delegates available on Super Tuesday.

That is no small thing and more than anything was the catalyst for much of the early invisible primary chatter about how a potential crowded field of candidates combined with a more frontloaded calendar and proportional allocation rules could lead to an unresolved end to primary season in 2020. That may or may not come to pass, but definitely hinges on how many candidates crest above the 15 percent qualifying threshold and how consistently across not only the Super Tuesday states but through the contests on St. Patrick's Day as well.

The calendar change in California triggered one additional difference over 2016 for Democrats in the Golden state: a loss of bonus delegates. California Democrats lost their timing bonus (20 percent) by moving the primary from June to March. That translated to a loss of 46 district delegates and 15 at-large delegates. However, the 2020 California Democratic delegation gained one PLEO delegate and eight superdelegates compared to 2016.

[NOTE: PLEO delegates are a 15 percent add-on to the base delegation (at-large plus district delegates before any bonuses). California had more base delegates in the 2020 delegation than did the state in 2016. That accounts for the gain there.]


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies both statewide and on the congressional district level.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
California's 271 congressional district delegates are split across 53 congressional districts and have some muted variation across districts from the measure of Democratic strength California Democrats are using based on the results of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections in the state. That method apportions delegates as follows...
CD1 - 4 delegates
CD2 - 6 delegates
CD3 - 5 delegates*
CD4 - 5 delegates*
CD5 - 6 delegates
CD6 - 5 delegates*
CD7 - 5 delegates*
CD8 - 4 delegates
CD9 - 5 delegates*
CD10 - 4 delegates
CD11 - 6 delegates
CD12 - 7 delegates*
CD13 - 7 delegates*
CD14 - 6 delegates
CD15 - 6 delegates
CD16 - 4 delegates
CD17 - 5 delegates*
CD18 - 6 delegates
CD19 - 6 delegates
CD20 - 5 delegates*
CD21 - 4 delegates
CD22 - 4 delegates
CD23 - 4 delegates
CD24 - 5 delegates*
CD25 - 5 delegates*
CD26 - 5 delegates*
CD27 - 5 delegates*
CD28 - 6 delegates
CD29 - 5 delegates*
CD30 - 6 delegates
CD31 - 5 delegates*
CD32 - 5 delegates*
CD33 - 6 delegates
CD34 - 5 delegates*
CD35 - 4 delegates
CD36 - 4 delegates
CD37 - 6 delegates
CD38 - 5 delegates*
CD39 - 5 delegates*
CD40 - 5 delegates*
CD41 - 5 delegates*
CD42 - 5 delegates*
CD43 - 5 delegates*
CD44 - 5 delegates*
CD45 - 5 delegates*
CD46 - 4 delegates
CD47 - 5 delegates*
CD48 - 5 delegates*
CD49 - 5 delegates*
CD50 - 4 delegates
CD51 - 5 delegates*
CD52 - 6 delegates
CD53 - 6 delegates

*Bear in mind that districts with odd numbers of national convention delegates are potentially important to winners (and those above the qualifying threshold) within those districts. Rounding up for an extra delegate initially requires less in those districts than in districts with even numbers of delegates. California has a total of 29 districts with odd numbers of delegates -- more than half -- and the range is just three delegates from a low of four delegates in a district (10 districts) to a high of seven (two districts). That is minimal variation compared to a number of other states.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
The 271 district delegates in California are chosen in April 19 caucuses organized by the campaigns themselves, rather than the state party. Any district delegate slots allocated to a candidate in the March 3 primary will be filled in elections the campaigns are charged with organizing. This has been the standard method of selection of district delegates in the Golden state, but it does add an organizational wrinkle in the selection process that does not exist in many other states. Campaigns that have either done this before (Sanders) or have staff who have been through the rigors of the California district delegate selection would theoretically have an advantage.

PLEO and then at-large delegates are selected on May 17 by a quorum of the district delegates chosen at the aforementioned caucuses in April.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in mid-May when the California statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then any statewide delegates allocated to Candidate Y in the March primary would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: ARKANSAS

ARKANSAS

Election type: primary
Date: March 3
Number of delegates: 36 [7 at-large, 4 PLEOs, 20 congressional district, 5 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional primary
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

While Arkansas retained its Super Tuesday position on the 2020 primary calendar, the Natural state took a circuitous route getting [back] there. Following the 2016 cycle, the law passed in 2015 to shift the Arkansas presidential primary from May to March expired. That reverted the primary to the late May date on which it has been scheduled throughout much of the post-reform era. But in 2019, the Arkansas legislature once again moved to reposition the Arkansas presidential primary for the 2020 cycle and beyond. The difference was that the legislation was passed and signed into law with no sunset clause, and the primary is scheduled for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March until the state legislature acts to change that.

One additional difference over 2016 is also that Arkansas lost one district delegate as the other categories' totals remained constant. But outside of that, much remains the same in 2020 as it was in 2016 in the Natural state.


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies both statewide and on the congressional district level.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
Arkansas's 20 congressional district delegates are split across four congressional districts and have some muted variation across districts from the measure of Democratic strength Arkansas Democrats are using based on the results of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections in the state. That method apportions delegates as follows...
CD1 - 4 delegates [Jonesboro]
CD2 - 6 delegates [Little Rock]
CD3 - 5 delegates* [Hot Springs]
CD4 - 5 delegates* [Fayetteville]

*Bear in mind that districts with odd numbers of national convention delegates are potentially important to winners (and those above the qualifying threshold) within those districts. Rounding up for an extra delegate initially requires less in those districts than in districts with even numbers of delegates.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
All 31 pledged delegates in Arkansas will be selected at the state convention on May 30. District delegates will be chosen in district caucuses at the convention based on district results to the March primary while the full body will select both PLEO and then at-large delegates based on the statewide results.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in late May when the Arkansas statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then any statewide delegates allocated to Candidate Y in the March primary would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them.

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: AMERICAN SAMOA

AMERICAN SAMOA

Election type: territorial caucuses
Date: March 3
Number of delegates: 11 [6 at-large delegates, 5 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional territory-wide
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: territorial caucuses
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

Democrats in the American Samoa kept their Super Tuesday position on the 2020 primary calendar, keeping the territory on Super Tuesday for the fourth consecutive cycle. One difference over 2016 is that American Samoa gained one more superdelegate to bring the total delegation to 11. But the number of pledged delegates remained constant (under DNC rules for the territories), and outside of the additional superdelegate, much remains the same in 2020 as it was in 2016 in the Pacific territory.


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies territory-wide for the allocation of the six at-large delegates.


Delegate allocation (at-large)
To win any at-large delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the territory-wide vote in the caucuses. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the allocation of those delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
There are no congressional districts or other subdivisions within the American Samoa and as such there are no district delegates to allocate in the March 3 caucuses.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
The six at-large delegates to the national convention from American Samoa will be selected at the March 3 territory-wide caucuses. Delegate candidates are to have filed by March 3 and will be selected in proportion to the vote of qualifying candidates in the caucuses.

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: ALABAMA

ALABAMA

Election type: primary
Date: March 3
Number of delegates: 61 [11 at-large, 7 PLEOs, 34 congressional district, 9 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional primary
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

Alabama retained its Super Tuesday position on the 2020 primary calendar, keeping the state in March for the third straight cycle and on the first Tuesday in March for the second consecutive cycle. One difference over 2016 is that Alabama lost one district delegate but gained two more superdelegates. But outside of that, much remains the same in 2020 as it was in 2016 in the Yellowhammer state.


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies both statewide and on the congressional district level.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
Alabama's 34 congressional district delegates are split across seven congressional districts and have some variation across districts from the measure of Democratic strength Alabama Democrats are using based on the results of the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 gubernatorial election in the state. That method apportions delegates as follows...
CD1 - 5 delegates* [Mobile]
CD2 - 5 delegates* [Montgomery]
CD3 - 4 delegates [Auburn]
CD4 - 3 delegates* [Gadsden]
CD5 - 5 delegates* [Huntsville]
CD6 - 4 delegates [Hoover]
CD7 - 8 delegates [Birmingham, Tuscaloosa]

*Bear in mind that districts with odd numbers of national convention delegates are potentially important to winners (and those above the qualifying threshold) within those districts. Rounding up for an extra delegate initially requires less in those districts than in districts with even numbers of delegates.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
All 34 of the district delegates in Alabama will be elected on the March 3 primary ballot. Filing for ballot access closed on November 8, 2019. While a campaign's inability to file a full slate by then is often a signal of lack of organization, those same campaigns are not shut out of delegate positions if they are allocated them in the primary but do not have a full slate to fill them. In that case, the campaign would have an opportunity to fill those empty allocated slots at a scheduled March 28 meeting conducted by the state party. The PLEO and then at-large delegates will be selected on April 4 by the state executive committee based on the statewide results in the primary.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in early April when the Alabama statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then any statewide delegates allocated to Candidate Y in the March primary would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: SOUTH CAROLINA

SOUTH CAROLINA

Election type: primary
Date: February 29
Number of delegates: 63 [12 at-large, 7 PLEOs, 35 congressional district, 9 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional primary
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

South Carolina retained its protected position on the 2020 primary calendar among the earliest four states in February. One difference over 2016 is that South Carolina has an additional at-large delegate and three more superdelegates, raising the number of at-large delegates to 12 and automatic delegates from six to nine.


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies both statewide and on the congressional district level.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
South Carolina's 35 congressional district delegates are split across seven congressional districts and have more variation across districts than in the previous three states to vote. That variation comes from the measure of Democratic strength South Carolina Democrats are using based on the results of the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 gubernatorial election in the Palmetto state. That method apportions delegates as follows...
CD1 - 6 delegates [Charleston]
CD2 - 4 delegates [Aiken, Clemson]
CD3 - 3 delegates* [Anderson]
CD4 - 4 delegates [Greenville]
CD5 - 5 delegates* [Rock Hill]
CD6 - 8 delegates [Columbia, Orangeburg]
CD7 - 5 delegates* [Florence, Myrtle Beach]

*Bear in mind that districts with odd numbers of national convention delegates are potentially important to winners (and those above the qualifying threshold) within those districts. Rounding up for an extra delegate initially requires less in those districts than in districts with even numbers of delegates.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
All 54 pledged delegates in South Carolina will be selected at the state convention on May 30. District delegates will be chosen in district caucuses at the convention based on district results to the February primary while the full body will select both PLEO and then at-large delegates based on the statewide results.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in late May when the South Carolina statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then any statewide delegates allocated to Candidate Y in the February primary would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them.

Friday, February 21, 2020

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: NEVADA

Updated: 2/22/20

NEVADA

Election type: caucus
Date: February 22
Number of delegates: 48 [8 at-large, 5 PLEOs, 23 congressional district, 12 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional caucuses
Delegate selection plan


--
Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

Nevada retained its protected position on the 2020 primary calendar among the earliest four states in February. One difference over 2016 is that Nevada has an additional at-large delegate and four more superdelegates, raising the number of at-large delegates to eight and automatic delegates from eight to 12.

Additionally, the Nevada Democratic Party also added an early voting option in order to comply with some of the national party encouragements in Rule 2 to increase nomination contest participation. Silver state Democrats kept the caucuses, but added a layer. Unlike Iowa, where satellite caucus tallies were added to congressional district totals, the Nevada caucus early vote will feed directly in to the precinct in which the early voter would have cast his or her ballot (if they had shown up for the caucuses on February 22). Early voters are given a ranked choice voting preference card on which they select their top three preferences. That should reallocate most early caucus voters to a second or third preference if their first choice does not reach viability in the first round of caucusing.

[Theoretically, it is possible that an early caucusgoer's third option will also not be viable. There are 11 candidates listed but only seven are still active. Up to only six candidates can reach the 15 percent viability threshold. Any caucusgoer who has a top three of the odd candidate out and/or two to three candidates no longer active will not be counted in the final expression since they will not have any viable choices.]


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies in Nevada both statewide and on the congressional district level.

But that 15 percent is arrived at in a different manner than in primary states. As in Iowa, candidates either reach viability -- the 15 percent threshold -- in the first expression of preference or they do not. Those who do, are viable for the next round while supporters of those who do not qualify are free to realign to viable candidate groups in their precinct for the final expression of preference.

And although the Nevada Democratic Party delegate selection plan does not specify what the national delegate allocation is tethered to -- other than "final expression" -- those final expression data are filtered through the number of delegates each precinct will send to the county conventions. That is then mapped onto the national convention delegate totals both statewide (at-large and PLEO) and at the congressional district level. Again, as in Iowa, Nevada will have a sort of state delegate equivalent datapoint from which national delegate allocation will be calculated.

The interesting quirk here is that all county delegates -- that important intermediary datapoint that is the final number each precinct is calculating for each viable candidate -- are not created equally. The number of county delegates each county receives is based on the number of Democratic voters registered in that county. But the scale is not uniform.

And the rough dividing line is between the seven counties with more than 4000 Democratic registrants and the ten counties with fewer than 4000 Democratic registrants.

In the seven counties with more than 4000 Democratic registrants, precincts receive one county delegate for every 50 registered Democrats. But the scale is different for counties with fewer than 4000 Democratic registrants. In those counties -- again, depending on size of the registrant pool -- the ratio of county delegates apportioned to Democratic registrants ranges from one county delegate for every five registered Democrats on the smaller end to one county delegate for every 35 registered Democrats in the counties with registered Democratic voter totals approaching 4000.

This may seem like a small thing on the surface, but it potentially matters for delegate allocation. First of all, it means that the smaller 10 counties end up punching slightly above their weight. Their share of county delegates is roughly greater than their share of Democratic registrants. The opposite is true for the seven largest counties. Their ratio of county delegates to Democratic registrants actually penalizes them relative to the smaller counties.

Now, there are a couple of caveats to add to all of this. While this would seemingly advantage the smaller, more rural counties in the state -- those with fewer Democrats -- the two largest counties (Clark and Washoe) make up over 90 percent of the registered Democrats in Nevada and almost 90 percent of the county delegate total.

To exploit the smaller counties in the national convention delegate count, then means keeping things close in the largest counties and running up the score in the smaller counties.

This is exactly how Obama got the better of Clinton in Nevada despite losing the popular vote there in 2008. Things were razor close in the big counties while Obama juiced the rural counties, dominating the county delegates race and thus the national convention delegates.

That brings things to the second caveat. The relationship between smaller and larger counties in Nevada and delegate count is much more straightforward in a two candidate, one-on-one race. In a multi-candidate race, it could mean that a candidate attempting to duplicate Obama's strategy outside of the big counties could be the only one above the viability threshold and take all of the county delegates from a given small county precinct. And that could serve to augment any advantages said candidate has in other areas of the state. If Sanders, as the current polling seems to suggest, has a cushion across the state, then he could do well in the larger counties, but also use the enthusiasm of activist supporters in those rural counties to shut others out of the county delegates and in the end some share of the national convention delegates.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

See New Hampshire synopsis for an example of how the delegate allocation math works for all categories of delegates.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
Nevada's 23 congressional district delegates are split across four congressional districts and all four have roughly the same Democratic strength based on the results of the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections in the Silver state. That method apportions delegates as follows...
CD1 - 5 delegates*
CD2 - 6 delegates
CD3 - 6 delegates
CD4 - 6 delegates

*Bear in mind that districts with odd numbers of national convention delegates are potentially important to winners within those districts. Rounding up for an extra delegate requires less in those districts than in districts with even numbers of delegates.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
All 36 pledged delegates in Nevada will be selected at the state convention on May 30. District delegates will be chosen in district caucuses at the convention based on district results to the February precinct caucuses while the full body will select both PLEO and then at-large delegates based on the statewide results.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in late May when the Nevada statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then any statewide delegates allocated to Candidate Y would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

2020 Democratic Delegate Allocation: NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Election type: primary
Date: February 11
Number of delegates: 33 [5 at-large, 3 PLEOs, 16 congressional district, 9 automatic/superdelegates]
Allocation method: proportional statewide and at the congressional district level
Threshold to qualify for delegates: 15%
2016: proportional primary
Delegate selection plan


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Changes since 2016
If one followed the 2016 series on the Republican process here at FHQ, then you may end up somewhat disappointed. The two national parties manage the presidential nomination process differently. The Republican National Committee is much less hands-on in regulating state and state party activity in the delegate selection process than the Democratic National Committee is. That leads to a lot of variation from state to state and from cycle to cycle on the Republican side. Meanwhile, the DNC is much more top down in its approach. Thresholds stay the same. It is a 15 percent barrier that candidates must cross in order to qualify for delegates. That is standard across all states. The allocation of delegates is roughly proportional. Again, that is applied to every state.

That does not mean there are no changes. The calendar has changed as have other facets of the process such as whether a state has a primary or a caucus.

New Hampshire retained its protected position on the 2020 primary calendar as the first-in-the-nation primary and the second contest on the second Tuesday in February. The one difference over 2016 is that New Hampshire has an additional superdelegate, raising the number of automatic delegates from eight to nine. All the other delegate subgroupings are just the same as they were in 2016.


Thresholds
The standard 15 percent qualifying threshold applies in New Hampshire both statewide and on the congressional district level.


Delegate allocation (at-large and PLEO delegates)
To win any at-large or PLEO (pledged Party Leader and Elected Officials) delegates a candidate must win 15 percent of the statewide vote. Only the votes of those candidates above the threshold will count for the purposes of the separate allocation of these two pools of delegates.

If Candidate X receives 25 percent of the vote statewide and Candidate Y is the only other candidate above 15 percent with a 20 percent share of support then only that 45 percent total will apply to the allocation of the at-large and PLEO delegates. Those two candidates' total votes will be the denominator in the allocation formula. Candidate X would end up with 56 percent of the statewide delegates while Candidate Y would take the remaining 44 percent.

In New Hampshire under this scenario:
At-large (5 delegates)
Candidate X would be allocated 2.778 delegates [= 5 at-large delegates * .556] -- rounds to 3 delegates
Candidate Y would be allocated 2.222 delegates [= 5 at-large delegates * .444] -- rounds to 2 delegates

PLEO (3 delegates)
Candidate X would be allocated 1.667 delegates [= 3 PLEO delegates * .556] -- rounds to 2 delegates
Candidate Y would be allocated 1.333 delegates [= 5 PLEO delegates * .444] -- rounds to 1 delegate

Candidate X would be allocated 5 statewide delegates and Candidate Y would earn the remaining 3.

It is worth pointing out that this is uniform across the primary states. At-large and PLEO delegates are separate pools and allocated separately not together. However, both are based on the statewide vote. But because they are separated the rounding work out differently. That is especially true in smaller sized states. In the New Hampshire example above, had all of the statewide delegates been pooled and allocated together, then both candidates in the above scenario would have received four delegates each. The separated allocation led to Candidate X gaining an extra delegate. Yes, just one delegate, but depending on how close the delegate counts remain over time, then that difference multiplied across 57 contests may matter.


Delegate allocation (congressional district delegates)
New Hampshire has just two congressional districts and each of them has eight delegates that are allocated based on the results within the congressional district. Using the above scenario, one can assume that Candidate X won 27 percent in the first congressional district while Candidate Y took just 18 percent. Additionally, we can add a Candidate Z who finished statewide with 14 percent of the vote but 15 percent in the first congressional district.

CD1 (8 delegates)
Candidate X would be allocated 3.600 delegates [= 8 district delegates * .450] -- rounds to 4 delegates
Candidate Y would be allocated 2.400 delegates [= 8 district delegates * .300] -- rounds to 2 delegates
Candidate Z would be allocated 2.000 delegates [= 8 district delegates * .250] -- rounds to 2 delegates

In the event that too many delegates are allocated due to rounding, then candidate with the smallest remainder would lose a delegate. Should all of the delegates not be allocated, then the candidate with the largest remainder would receive any unallocated delegate.

In the second congressional district, one can assume (for simplicity) a tie between Candidate X and Candidate Y at 22.5 percent each.

CD2 (8 delegates)
Candidate X would be allocated 4.000 delegates [= 8 district delegates * .500] -- rounds to 4 delegates
Candidate Y would be allocated 4.000 delegates [= 8 district delegates * .500] -- rounds to 4 delegates

The point here across these two congressional district examples is to explore the different ways the allocation can go depending on how many candidates are above the threshold.


Delegate allocation (automatic delegates/superdelegates)
Superdelegates are free to align with a candidate of their choice at a time of their choosing. While their support may be a signal to voters in their state (if an endorsement is made before voting in that state), superdelegates will only vote on the first ballot at the national convention if half of the total number of delegates -- pledged plus superdelegates -- have been pledged to one candidate. Otherwise, superdelegates are locked out of the voting unless 1) the convention adopts rules that allow them to vote or 2) the voting process extends to a second ballot. But then all delegates, not just superdelegates will be free to vote for any candidate.

[NOTE: All Democratic delegates are pledged and not bound to their candidates. They are to vote in good conscience for the candidate to whom they have been pledged, but technically do not have to. But they tend to because the candidates and their campaigns are involved in vetting and selecting their delegates through the various selection processes on the state level. Well, the good campaigns are anyway.]


Selection
New Hampshire district delegates were slated and selected in a January 25, 2020 pre-primary caucus. Who fills those slots will be determined by the results in the congressional districts during the primary.

PLEO and then at-large delegates in that order will be selected at an April 25, 2020 post-primary caucus by the district delegates filled from the slates chosen in the pre-primary caucus. Those district delegates will be divided into groups based on presidential preference and those subgroups will choose any at-large and PLEO delegates allocated to the candidate to whom they are pledged. The district delegates for Candidate X would select the two PLEO and then 3 at-large delegates allocated to Candidate X based on the statewide result.

Importantly, if a candidate drops out of the race before the selection of statewide delegates, then any statewide delegates allocated to that candidate will be reallocated to the remaining candidates. If Candidate X is in the race in late April when the New Hampshire statewide delegate selection takes place but Candidate Y is not, then the three statewide delegates Candidate Y won would be reallocated to Candidate X. [This same feature is not something that applies to district delegates.] This reallocation only applies if a candidate has fully dropped out. Candidates with suspended campaigns are still candidates and can fill those slots allocated them.