The 2016 Presidential Primary Report

Mari Boyle, Staff Writer

We are well into the Presidential Primary race with about half of the states accounted for in some manner, some states hold their Democratic or Republican primary before the other. For example, Alaska has voted on their Republican delegates but has not yet voted on Democratic delegates. That being said, I wanted to give a brief report of what has happened thus far.

For anyone who does not know, the primary election has a very different process from the general election. For the primary, when you go to the polls, your vote essentially turns into a delegate. These delegates are people who are pledged to a certain candidate and place their vote at the Democratic or Republican National Convention. Each state sends a certain number of delegates to the convention and each state has different methods of how many delegates each candidate receives. For example, there is a proportional method. This means that if a candidate wins 60% of the votes, they receive 60% of the delegates. There is also the winner-take-all, meaning the winner of that state’s primary gets all of the delegates. Super delegates are something the Democratic Party has that the Republican Party does not. Super delegates are essentially party elites that support a particular candidate but may change their minds as they so choose. That is to say they are not bound to a particular candidate. The republican nominee will need at least 1,237 delegates and the democratic nominee needs at least 2,383 delegates.

So, how far is each candidate from claiming that nomination? Let’s start with the clear front-runners from each side, starting on the Republican side with Donald Trump. Despite the early loss, Trump has been dominating the race. On Feb. 1, Trump lost in Iowa, taking seven delegates. He won in New Hampshire on Feb. 9, taking 11 delegates, far more than any other Republican candidate. On Feb. 20, Trump won in South Carolina, a winner-take-all state, claiming all 50 delegates. On Feb. 23, Trump won in Nevada taking 14 delegates. On March 1, also known as Super Tuesday, Trump won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia, losing in only four states, Alaska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and Texas. That day, he amassed 252 delegates. Trump has gone on to win Kentucky, Louisiana, Hawaii, Michigan, and Mississippi, losing only in Kansas, Maine, and Idaho. This gives Trump a total of 458 delegates, leaving him with 779 delegates to go in order to become the Republican nominee.

The front-runner for the Democratic side is Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton won the first caucus, Iowa, awarding her 23 delegates, only two more than her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders. She predictably lost New Hampshire; taking only nine delegates but went on to win Nevada on Feb. 20, taking 20 delegates. On Feb. 27, Hillary Clinton saw a huge win in South Carolina taking 39 delegates. On Super Tuesday, Clinton won eight states and lost in four, taking a total of 517 delegates with a lot of help from Texas, Georgia, and Virginia. On March 5, Clinton won Louisiana but lost Kansas and Nebraska, while she won Mississippi and lost in Michigan on March 8. This leaves Clinton with a total of 750 pledged delegates and 461 Super delegates giving her a total of 1,221 delegates total. Remember, these Super delegates could possibly support Sanders on the day of the actual convention.

Coming in second on the Republican side is Ted Cruz, who has won seven states and amassed 359 delegates.

Marco Rubio has only won in Minnesota and Puerto Rico and only has 151 delegates. My prediction is that Rubio is waiting for the Florida primary to decide if he will continue his presidential run. Florida is a winner-take-all state offering 99 delegates. Florida is Rubio’s home state, which puts him at an advantage to gain a significant amount of delegates he needs to remain competitive. If he loses, there is a strong probability he may end his campaign.

John Kasich comes in last with only 54 delegates.

On the Democratic side, Sanders has won nine states and lost in thirteen with a surprise recent victory in Michigan. He has a total of 546 pledged delegates and only 25 Super delegates leaving him with a total of 571 total delegates.

Some delegate heavy state primaries that are coming up are Florida on March 15, which gives 99 delegates to the Republican winner and has a total of 246 democratic delegates. Illinois and Ohio also have a significant number of delegates and whose primaries also take place on March 15. Also, do not forget that Pennsylvania’s primary is on April 26, which has 71 possible Republican delegates and 210 possible Democratic delegates.