The end’s in sight!

Of primary season, at least (lest you forgot – we still have six more months of general election mayhem in front of us).

Only six states are still in line to participate in the exhausting presidential nominating process. All of them, including California, the biggest fish in the pond, vote June 7. The final Democratic primary is in Washington D.C. on June 14.

No candidate from either party has yet to win the magic number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination, but there’s little doubt as to who will emerge victorious. Donald Trump is the last Republican candidate standing, and therefore the all-but-imminent party nominee. And although Senator Bernie Sanders has continued to perform strongly in recent Democratic primaries, it’s very unlikely he’ll be able to overcome Hillary Clinton’s significantly lead in the delegate count (largely because of her concentration of superdelegates).


Scroll over the map below for details on each state’s primary or caucus. Click each state to see which candidates won. Note that for the handful of states with Democratic and Republican contests on different days, the color key corresponds to the date of the first contest.


Quick civics lesson:

The number of delegates up for grabs in each state generally reflects its population size. In most states, delegates are allocated proportionately based on the results of the primary or caucus (although in a handful of Republican contests, including Florida and Delaware, the Republican primary is winner-take-all).

This means, unless the race remains incredibly close into the late spring — which was a possibility this year –each party’s nomination is generally secured long before a  decent number of states get to vote. The staggered nature of this system affords candidates the luxury of focusing resources on specific areas of the country rather than trying to be everywhere at once.

However, the system is also somewhat controversial, in that millions of voters in late-primary states — including California  — often miss out on the opportunity to directly impact the outcome of their party’s nomination. Opponents of the process argue that this gives undue influence to small, largely white, rural early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which they say, can result in nominees who don’t necessarily represent the preferences of the larger U.S. electorate.

Note that most delegates are “pledged,” meaning they are mandated to support a particular candidate at their party’s national convention in July.  However, each party also has a certain number of unpledged delegates, and these guys can support whoever they want. In the Republican Party they’re called “unbound delegates” and make up about 7 percent of the total delegate count. In the Democratic Party, they’re known as “superdelegates” and make up 15 percent of the delegate count.  As mentioned earlier, Clinton is ahead of Sanders in the pledged delegate count. But what makes her overall lead so formidable is the overwhelming portion of party superdelegates, who have committed to supporting her (a process that Sanders and his supporters call blatantly unfair).

Last technical thing to keep in mind (for now) in this incredibly complicated process: a primary or caucus is considered “closed” when participation is limited to only registered members of that party, “open” when participation is open to all registered voters and “mixed” when independent voters are allowed to participate.

MAP: Primary Results, Delegate Counts and Remaining Contests 13 October,2016Matthew Green
  • Daniel Passer

    Why do different media news sources list different total delegate counts for the primary candidates? For example, right now, when I search “2016 presidential election results,” in Google, the AP, and FOX News, shows Trump at 987, Cruz at 562, and Kasich at 153. However, at the same time, the New York Times shows Trump at 953, Cruz at 546, and Kasich at 153; while CNN provides delegate estimates, with Trump at 991 – all 991 pledged, Cruz at 567 pledged and 1 unpledged, and Kasich at 154 – all pledged.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Good question! Thanks for bringing this up. It’s definitely a confusing issue. I can’t speak for all the media sources you mention. I use the AP’s delegate tracking system, which counts the number of pledged delegates each candidate has one in each state PLUS the estimated number of superdelegates that have committed to supporting each candidate. The latter figure is not as set in stone as the former, and may be the cause of the discrepancy you’ve noticed. The NY Times count, I believe, only includes pledged delegates. Hope that helps!

Author

Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email: mgreen@kqed.org; Twitter: @KQEDlowdown

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