American Democratic primaries: how many delegates does each candidate have?

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American Democratic primaries: how many delegates does each candidate have?


The race for the Democratic presidential nomination against Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election continued on Saturday with the South Carolina primary. Joe Biden won a decisive victory which relaunched his presidential campaign before Super Tuesday on March 3.

In a process that will last until June 6, voters in each US state or territory will select the delegates who will choose the party’s candidate for the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in July.

The Financial Times will follow the state-by-state results on this page. Come back for our updated accounts. The next competition will take place in South Carolina on February 29.

How primaries work

The number of delegates representing each state or territory is determined by a formula based on its population and the levels of support for the Democratic candidate in the last three presidential elections.

Candidates get “promised” delegates, who are required to support them, roughly in proportion to their share of votes in primary elections or state caucuses.

Over 700 additional delegates are automatically recruited from party leaders and elected officials. These super-delegates are “non-binding”, which means that they can support any candidate. According to the new rules adopted by the Democrats in 2018, super-delegates will only vote at the convention if no candidate obtains the majority of the 3,979 promised delegates needed to obtain the nomination in the first round of the convention.

The first primary competitions in Iowa on February 3 and in New Hampshire on February 11 represent less than 2% of the delegates, but have traditionally outgrown importance as a forum for building momentum and clearing the field.

With the exception of 1992, no candidate has won the Democratic nomination in the past four decades without first winning in at least one of these first two states.

The next important step is “Super Tuesday”, March 3, when 14 states and 1 territory representing more than a third of the available delegates will hold their primaries.

Sources: Associated Press; National Democratic Committee

Additional works by Jane Pong, Fan Fei, Brooke Fox and Christine Zhang

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