How are delegates awarded in a Presidential primary or caucus?

Ella M. writes...

"In a Presidential primary, how are delegates allocated to candidates? I'm told there is more than one way."


Good question Ella.

This can be confusing as each state and party awards delegates differently.

WINNER TAKE ALL. All the delegates are awarded to the winner of the primary. Example: 50 Delegates can be awarded in State X's primary. Candidate A wins and is awarded all 50 delegates. All other candidates are awarded 0 delegates.

PROPORTIONAL. Delegates are awarded to candidates based on the percentage of the vote they each received (or via some formula of dividing up delegates). Example: 50 Delegates can be awarded in State X's primary/caucus. Candidate A wins and is awarded 35 delegates, while Candidate B is awarded 15 delegates.

WINNER TAKE MOST. Some delegates are awarded to the winner, while other delegates may be divided proportionally.

UNBOUND. Delegates are not bound to any candidate and delegates can support the candidate of their choosing.

~ ~ ~

DEMOCRATIC primary/caucus delegates. Delegates are proportionally allocated to candidates based on their percentage share of a state's primary or caucus vote.

REPUBLICAN primary/caucus delegates. Varies by state: Proportional, Winner-Take-All, or Winner-Take-Most.

~ ~ ~

Check your state and/or party for details.

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