2020 Republican Delegate Allocation Rules by State

Convention/Other: State will bind delegates to the national convention at a state/territorial convention or by committee. Other conventions will leave the delegation unallocated.

Proportional: State will proportionally allocate delegates based either on the statewide primary/caucus vote or based on the combination of the statewide and congressional district votes.  

Proportional with Trigger: State will follow the above proportional rules but allow for a winner-take-all allocation if a candidate wins a majority of the vote statewide and/or at the congressional district level. 

Hybrid: States in this category will follow some form of winner-take-most plan. This includes states with winner-take-all by congressional district methods (unpooled, see below) as well as those that directly elect delegates on the primary ballot. 

This also includes states with other, more unique hybrid methods. Texas Republicans, for example, planned for their own spin on the old Texas Two-Step Lone Star state Democrats used to utilize. The majority of 2020 delegates were allocated via the presidential primary preference vote while a segment of the at-large delegates apportioned to the Texas Republican Party equaling 25 percent of the total number of delegates were allocated based on a vote at the state convention. 

Winner-take-all: State will award all delegates to the plurality winner of the primary or caucus. Unlike a proportional state with a winner-take-all trigger, a state with truly winner-take-all rules does not require a majority of the vote. States with truly winner-take-all rules are prohibited from holding contests before March 15.

State-by-state breakdown

Qualifying threshold: Some states require candidates receive a certain percentage of the vote either statewide or on the congressional district level to qualify for at-large (statewide) and/or congressional district delegates. By RNC rule, states can set that threshold no higher than 20%.

Winner-take-all threshold: In a number of states, there is also a percentage of the vote that a candidate can hit statewide and/or on the congressional district level and be allocated all of the at-large and/or congressional district delegates. That threshold can be set no lower than 50%, a simple majority.

Pooled delegates: Some states opt to pool and allocate all of their delegates as a block (in either a proportional or winner-take-all manner). The pooling of delegates is important because when combined with a winner-take-all threshold, it can turn a state into a potential winner-take-all state. A state can have separate winner-take-all thresholds on the sets of at-large and congressional district delegates (unpooled) and allocate those sets to the winner of the state (at-large delegates) or congressional district (congressional district delegates). A statewide winner would not win all of the state's delegates unless he or she won all of the congressional districts in addition to the statewide vote. That is no guarantee when the delegates are not pooled.


State-level changes since 2016
Alaska: Canceled the caucus preference vote and allocated all delegates to the incumbent at the state convention as in past such cycles.

Arizona: Opted out of the state-run presidential primary and bound delegates at the state convention based on delegate nomination forms.

California: Pooled delegates and added a winner-take-all trigger to previous winner-take-all by congressional district method.

Colorado: Shifted from caucuses with no preference vote to a primary with proportional allocation of pooled delegates.

Georgia: Dropped the previous proportional method in favor of a winner-take-all by congressional district plan.

Guam: Delegates were bound via resolution at the territorial convention. They were unbound in 2016.

Hawaii: Pooled all delegates and state committee awarded all to the only candidate who was eligible for caucus ballot (Trump). Previously unpooled with proportional allocation based on a caucus results statewide and at the congressional district level.

Kansas: Delegates allocated at state and congressional district conventions rather than via a preference vote in caucuses as in 2016.

Kentucky: Upped the qualifying threshold from 5 percent to 15 percent.

Louisiana: Adopted a truly winner-take-all plan (pooled), replacing an unpooled proportional method.

Maine: Switched from a caucus to a primary and upped the qualifying threshold from 10 percent to 20 percent.

Maryland: Traded a winner-take-all by congressional district allocation plan for a truly winner-take-all method.

Massachusetts: Increased the qualifying threshold from 5 percent to 20 percent and added a winner-take-all trigger (50 percent).

Michigan: Upped the qualifying threshold from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Minnesota: Switched from a caucus to a primary, pooled delegates, increased the qualifying threshold from 10 percent to 20 percent and lowered the winner-take-all threshold from 85 percent to 50 percent.

Mississippi: Added a pooling trigger (50 percent statewide) and upped the conditional qualifying threshold from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Nevada: Canceled caucuses and conducted an Alternative Presidential Preference Poll where a qualifying threshold (2.5 percent) was added.

New York: Adopted a truly winner-take-all plan, displacing a 2016 allocation method that was proportional with a winner-take-all trigger.

North Carolina: Unpooled at-large and congressional district delegates, added a qualifying threshold (20 percent, up from no threshold in 2016) to a proportional method and added a winner-take-all threshold (67 percent) for congressional district delegates. 

North Dakota: Added a preference vote (was none in 2016 with unbound delegates), qualifying threshold (20 percent) and winner-take-all threshold (60 percent).

Oregon: Replaced proportional allocation with a truly winner-take-all method.

Rhode Island: Pooled at-large and congressional district delegates, raised the qualifying threshold from 10 percent to 20 percent and lowered the winner-take-all threshold (previously only applied to congressional district delegates) to 50 percent from two-thirds.

South Carolina: Canceled primary and left all delegates unallocated. That process replaced the more traditional winner-take-all by congressional district method Palmetto state Republicans have typically used.

Texas: System remained the same as 2016 (proportional with 20 percent qualifying threshold and 50 percent winner-take-all threshold, unpooled) but added a state convention component where at-large delegates totaling 25 percent of the total number of delegates (39 of 44 at-large delegates) were allocated to the plurality winner of a state convention vote.

Virgin Islands: Switched to a winner-take-all system based on territory-wide preference vote. No preference vote in 2016.

Virginia: Dropped the primary in favor of a convention and moved to a truly winner-take-all process, replacing the proportional method (with no threshold) used in 2016.

Washington: Added a winner-take-all threshold (50 percent) to the allocation of at-large delegates. One already existed for congressional district delegates in 2016. 

Washington, DC: Used a primary with winner-take-all allocation instead of the convention the party used in 2016 to proportionally allocate delegates.

West Virginia: Shifted from a directly elected system for delegate candidates to a truly winner-take-all method. 

Wyoming: Replaced the caucus/convention system with no preference vote (and unbound delegates) to one where the method is winner-take-all based on a vote at the state convention.

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