Tracking 2020 Democratic primary delegates
Joe Biden is the party’s presumptive nominee, while Sen. Bernie Sanders is still working to pick up delegates.
Former vice president Joe Biden has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, according to Edison Media Research.
Democrats divide their 3,979 pledged delegates among the states, the District of Columbia, territories and other jurisdictions without electoral votes. That is based on a formula that takes into account both population and the Democratic Party’s strength in particular jurisdictions. (While Massachusetts and Tennessee have similar populations and 11 votes each in the electoral college, more people vote for Democrats in the former than the latter, so Massachusetts has 91 pledged delegates and Tennessee has 64.)
Those delegates are then pledged to candidates on the basis of results in primaries and caucuses.
With Sen. Bernie Sanders’s departure from the race April 8, Biden became the party’s presumptive nominee, though he has not yet won the 1,991 unpledged delegates needed. While Sanders is no longer running, he’s working to get 25 percent of the party’s delegates so that he can affect the party’s platform at the convention. Biden and Sanders struck a deal allowing Sanders to keep statewide delegates he would have lost as a consequence of dropping out.
A number of factors make the delegate story more complicated:
Not all delegates are directly assigned by popular vote
A quarter of each state’s delegates are awarded on the basis of the statewide vote, and three-quarters are usually awarded on the basis of results by congressional district. (Sometimes, particularly in states with just one congressional district, they’re awarded on the basis of results from a smaller jurisdiction, such as state legislative district.)
The 15 percent threshold
A candidate must hit 15 percent support to win delegates, either statewide or in a congressional district or smaller district. That can be difficult to achieve in a field as large as this year’s Democratic class. For example, if one candidate gets 40 percent support statewide, another gets 15 percent support, two others get 14 percent and others get less, only the first two will split the statewide delegates, proportionately.
A reduced role for “superdelegates”
There are still “superdelegates” — party officials and leaders and establishment figures — but as part of changes the Democratic National Committee made after the 2016 primaries, they don’t get a say unless the nomination isn’t settled going into the convention.
The pandemic has shuffled the election calendar. The Post uses Edison Media Research’s delegate allotment figures. Additional delegates will be allocated as vote totals are finalized.
Pledged delegates by state
Monday, Feb. 3
Tuesday, Feb. 11
Saturday, Feb. 22
Saturday, Feb. 29
Saturday, March 14
Northern Mariana Islands (6)
Tuesday, April 7
Friday, April 10
Friday, April 17
Tuesday, April 28
Saturday, May 2
Tuesday, May 12
Tuesday, May 19
Friday, May 22
Hawaii (24) *
Saturday, June 6
Virgin Islands (7)
Tuesday, June 9
Georgia (105) *
West Virginia (28)
Tuesday, June 23
New York (274) *
Kentucky (54) *
Saturday, July 11
Sunday, July 12
Puerto Rico (51)
Tuesday, Aug. 11
Some states have delayed their primaries because of the coronavirus outbreak. So far, Ohio, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Wyoming, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Indiana and Kentucky have rescheduled their primaries for a later date.
Republican primaries have been canceled in some states, and the state parties have endorsed President Trump. While he has primary opponents, no polls have found levels of support that would challenge his nomination.