• Republican Convention’s Delegate Math Explained
    A round-by-round look at the battle for 1,237

    By Reid J. Epstein, Brian McGill and Max Rust
    Published April 27, 2016 at 7:09 a.m. ET

    Delegates by candidate
    Donald Trump
    Ted Cruz
    Marco Rubio
    John Kasich
    171
    953
    550
    153
    Withdrawn
    N.H.
    Other withdrawn candidate’s delegate
    Not yet allocated delegate
    Vt.
    Maine
    Unbound delegate
    Future contest delegate
    Mass.
    Minn.
    Mich.
    One block equals one delegate
    N.Y.
    Wash.
    Wis.
    Idaho
    Conn.
    N.D.
    Mont.
    Ohio
    R.I.
    Ore.
    Pa.
    Iowa
    Ind.
    Ill.
    S.D.
    Wyo.
    N.J.
    Md.
    W.Va.
    Neb.
    Mo.
    Utah
    Nev.
    Ky.
    Colo.
    Del.
    Va.
    Kan.
    Calif.
    Tenn.
    Okla.
    Ark.
    N.C.
    D.C.
    N.M.
    S.C.
    Ariz.
    Miss.
    Ala.
    Texas
    Ga.
    Puerto Rico
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Guam
    Alaska
    La.
    Fla.
    Hawaii
    Virgin Islands
    American Samoa
    Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is the only candidate who can win the party’s nomination on the convention’s first ballot. If he stumbles in enough of the remaining primary states and falls short of the 1,237 delegates required to be the nominee, the delegates to the Republican National Convention will choose the party’s standard bearer.

    The process that would then play out is governed by dozens of byzantine party rules that determine if, how and when delegates from each state, territory and Washington, D.C., become free to back a candidate other than the one to whom their voters have assigned them.

    Before getting into the round-by-round rules of the convention, let’s look at who those delegates are supporting. Mr. Trump currently has around a 400 delegate lead on Sen. Ted Cruz with about 500 delegates remaining.
    ROUND ONE
    Trump Has the Advantage
    When the 2,472 delegates to the Republican National Convention gather in Cleveland July 18, almost all of them will be bound to one of the presidential candidates.

    RULESDELEGATES

    Bound
    to candidate
    Bound
    to candidate unless…
    (see notes below)
    Unbound
    delegates free to choose whomever they want
    D.C.
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Puerto Rico
    Guam
    Hawaii
    Alaska
    Virgin Islands
    American Samoa

    Bound
    with special rules
    Unbound
    delegates
    Bound
    delegates
    2,108
    85.3%
    246
    10.0%
    118
    4.8%
    At this point, Mr. Trump is almost certain to head to Cleveland with the most delegates. If he’s unable to clinch the nomination on the first ballot, the rival campaigns and GOP operatives devoted to blocking him believe his support will diminish on a second ballot, giving hope to rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich that they could pass him on subsequent balloting.

    The Republican Party hasn’t required more than one ballot to pick a nominee since 1948, when New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey won the nomination on the third ballot. But unlike the likely case for Messrs. Cruz and Kasich, Mr. Dewey had the most delegates on the 1948 first ballot.
    Special State Rules For Round One
    Bound delegates become unbound if:
    Two-thirds of delegates bound to candidate vote to unpledge
    Released by candidate*
    Alabama
    Kansas
    Mississippi
    New Hampshire
    Oklahoma
    Wisconsin
    ROUND TWO
    Hundreds of Trump Delegates
    Are Released
    For a second ballot, delegates from 36 states, territories and Washington, D.C., become fully unbound. Here’s where the jockeying at a convention would truly start.

    RULESDELEGATES

    Bound
    to candidate
    Bound
    to candidate unless…
    (see notes below)
    Unbound
    delegates free to choose whomever they want
    D.C.
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Puerto Rico
    Guam
    Hawaii
    Alaska
    Virgin Islands
    American Samoa

    Delegates bound to candidate in round two:
    Trump
    Cruz
    Kasich
    401
    306
    61
    Bound
    with special rules
    Unbound
    delegates
    Bound
    delegates
    251
    10.2%
    768
    31.1%
    1,453
    58.8%
    The second ballot would see the first evidence of reshuffling at the convention. Potentially hundreds of delegates who go to the convention bound to Mr. Trump could switch to one of his remaining rivals—or even vote for someone else entirely.

    This is where situations envisioned by Mr. Cruz’s supporters and aides would begin to take place, if Mr. Cruz would have to show significantly more strength and convince wavering delegates that he has enough momentum to reach 1,237 delegates.

    For Mr. Cruz, the path to victory lies in showing he has more support from delegates than Mr. Trump and is headed toward a third-ballot victory. If he is unable to do so and Mr. Trump’s support appears to be fading, the convention would be thrown open to a chaos unseen for a century.
    Special State Rules For Round Two
    Bound delegates become unbound if:

    Candidate receives fewest votes
    Two-thirds of delegates bound to candidate vote to unpledge
    Candidate receives less
    than a percentage of the vote
    Released by candidate*
    Alabama
    Alaska
    California
    Georgia
    Kansas
    Maryland
    Mississippi
    Nebraska
    New Hampshire
    Oklahoma
    Oregon
    Texas
    Wisconsin
    10%
    35%
    35%
    35%
    35%
    20%
    One-third
    ROUND THREE
    Kasich Could Be in Play
    Eight more states unbind their delegates, leaving just 431 delegates that can still be bound, though about half that number could be released.

    RULESDELEGATES

    Bound
    to candidate
    Bound
    to candidate unless…
    (see notes below)
    Unbound
    delegates free to choose whomever they want
    D.C.
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Puerto Rico
    Guam
    Hawaii
    Alaska
    Virgin Islands
    American Samoa

    Delegates bound to candidate in round three:
    Trump
    Cruz
    Kasich
    229
    156
    14
    Bound
    with special rules
    Unbound
    delegates
    Bound
    delegates
    196
    7.9%
    235
    9.5%
    2,041
    82.6%
    If Mr. Cruz hasn’t won the nomination by now, the expectation is that his support would begin to flag. Mr. Kasich’s supporters envision this as his moment—the Ohio governor has for months been positioning himself as the Republican who can best compete in the general election. If the convention requires four or more ballots, Mr. Kasich will be making his electability argument to delegates who by then could become disillusioned with Messrs. Trump and Cruz.

    But that requires several leaps of faith for Mr. Kasich—the least of which is an arena of conservative Republican activists choosing someone who has built his campaign on a moderate tolerance unpopular with the GOP base.

    This is also where a mystical white knight candidate could emerge—a contender drafted by delegates to lead the party who hasn’t been beaten up during 18 months of campaigning. Of course that kind of candidate also wouldn’t have been vetted by voters and press nationwide, possibly leaving the party vulnerable to unpleasant surprises for its standard bearer.
    Special State Rules For Round Three
    Bound delegates become unbound if:
    Two-thirds of delegates bound to candidate vote to unpledge
    Candidate receives less than a percentage of the vote
    Released by candidate*
    Alabama
    Kansas
    Mississippi
    New Hampshire
    Oklahoma
    Wisconsin
    One-third
    Future Rounds
    The only difference between round three and the subsequent rounds are that Florida releases their 99 delegates. That isn’t an insignificant number. That brings the percentage of unbound delegates to 86.6%. This also brings Mr. Trump’s total number of bound delegates to only 130, 26 less than Mr. Cruz’s.

    Theoretically, the rounds could go in perpetuity until a candidate wins the necessary 1,237 delegates or a candidate or two eventually drops out. We’ll find out in July.

    *States that allow delegates to be released by a candidate are only shown if they do not release delegates at any point during the process or if there are other special rules applied.
    Sources: Associated Press; the Republican Party; thegreenpapers.com; Frontloading HQ

    Posted by Dana West @ 4:56 pm for Denver area politics |

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