Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Delegate Allocation Won't Match Vote Percentages

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

Remember that pledged delegates are allocated in two ways: Statewide, about 1/3 of the pledged delegates, and by Congressional District, about 2/3 of the pledged delegates. The statewide delegates will be allocated fairly close to the statewide vote percentages, since there will not be a 3rd candidate breaking the 15% threshold.

But the Congressional District allocation is very different:

If, in many congressional districts in California, a Democrat does not receive more than 62% of the vote, he or she will receive the same number of delegates from that CD as the he or she who finishes second. (Only Clinton and Obama will earn viability -- above 15% in those CDs.) Hence Hillary Clinton could win California by, say, 20 points... and take a sliver of a delegate advantage there.
Bob Mullholland, a very smart Democratic Party adviser in California, has calculated the exact percentages needed for one candidate to take an extra delegate from an even delegate congressional district.

"In the 26 congressional districts that are allocated four delegates, one candidate would have to get more than 62.500% of the vote, otherwise, both candidates will get two delegates each. In the six congressional districts that are allocated six delegates, one candidate would have to get more than 58.330% of the vote to get four delegates, otherwise each gets three delegates."

This is true, of course, in every other state voting today. Unlike the GOP, which has a number of winner-take-all states, the Democratic process will not allow either candidate to win a commanding percentage of the delegates today, regardless of the overall vote numbers.

One other thing:
So much for having a hard delegate count on Super Tuesday, we're hearing that CA Dems won't have final delegate tally ready until Friday.
This race will not be over tonight.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explaining this...

On a separate note, the Delegate Trackers (on the left side of the screen) don't get displayed properly on Firefox. (they are cut off). Please fix this. Thanks.

Oreo said...

You may need to increase your screen resolution or make your browser window bigger. I also use Firefox and the trackers show up fine. If I make my windows smaller they do start to get covered. Not really any way to resolve this with our current format.