Showing posts with label reallocation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reallocation. Show all posts

Thursday, April 30, 2020

What's to Know About the Statewide Delegate Reallocation Process So Far? There's not much to go on, but...

Earlier on Thursday, April 30, both the Biden campaign and the suspended Sanders campaign jointly announced that both had struck a deal to allow Sanders to keep his statewide delegates. Under the Democratic National Committee delegate selection rules, any candidate no longer running for the nomination is to lose any statewide delegates -- at-large and PLEO delegates allocated based on statewide results -- to any candidates who are still in the race and originally received at least 15 percent of the vote statewide.

The agreement made between the two campaigns would continue to follow the letter of the rule. Delegates will still be allocated -- or reallocated as the case may be -- to Biden after a primary's or caucus's results come in. However, at the time of selection statewide delegate slots in a proportion corresponding to any qualified share of the vote Sanders received (presumably over 15 percent) would be filled by Sanders-aligned delegate candidates. That has the effect of keeping the overarching reallocation rule intact for this and future cycles, but places the onus on state parties to select delegates in accordance with the statewide results in their states' contests.

FHQ will have more on this in a later post, but for now wanted to more closely examine the reallocation process that has occurred so far. Admittedly, it does not amount to much and the coronavirus has decreased the activity even further. Under the original state-level delegate selection plans, nine states would have selected statewide delegates by the end of April. Those nine states would have made up just under 13 percent of the total statewide delegates. But again, the coronavirus pandemic has intervened, disrupting the plans state parties laid out and had approved by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. Of those nine states, five state parties in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma and Tennessee shifted their statewide delegate selection to later dates in May and June.

That leaves just four states that have actually conducted delegate selection through the end of April.1 And those four states -- Colorado (April 18 virtual state convention), New Hampshire (April 25 virtual state convention), North Dakota (March 21 virtual state convention) and Utah (April 25 virtual state convention) -- comprise just more than 3 percent of the total number of statewide delegates allocated and selected.

That is not much of a sample and it certainly is not all that representative of how the overall reallocation process will work in other states. North Dakota, for example, held its party-run primary after the race had winnowed to just Biden and Sanders, and then selected statewide delegates before Sanders suspended his campaign on April 8. That meant that Sanders was allocated delegates and had those slots filled with Sanders-aligned supporters before the Vermont senator was out of the race. Those delegates cannot be reallocated.

Moreover, in New Hampshire where statewide delegates were selected this past weekend, there were no candidates still in the race who got more than 15 percent in the February 11 primary and thus no one to whom to reallocate any delegates. Those eight delegates were split among the candidates who originally cleared the 15 percent threshold but who are no longer in the race (Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Sanders). In other words, there was no explicit reallocation of delegates among Granite state Democrats either. It was impossible.

That leaves just Colorado and Utah where only 33 statewide delegates (roughly 2 percent of the total) were at stake. Both also saw multiple candidates clear 15 percent on Super Tuesday. Bloomberg and Warren joined Biden and Sanders over 15 percent in both contests. Colorado Democrats throughout the primary season winnowing process have provided a real-time reallocation tally of its statewide delegates. The party shows Biden as the sole qualifier for statewide delegates, but has yet to release a list of statewide delegates selected ("coming soon" according to this site).

Similarly, in Utah, Democrats there have yet to release a list of statewide delegates selected on April 25. Biden delegate candidates dominated the list of candidates, but it is unclear what the results were in the Beehive state and what the reallocation and selection there looks like.

The take home message here is that there has not been a lot of actual statewide delegate reallocation and/or selection yet. This deal between the Biden and Sanders campaigns, then, comes at a good time. Statewide delegate slots will be reallocated to Biden, but will be filled Sanders delegate candidates where the Vermont senator receives more than 15 percent statewide. And selection has yet to take place for nearly 97 percent of statewide delegates.

That process has yet to really get off the ground yet.

1 This excludes American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands which selected territory-wide delegates in March in conjunction with their caucuses. Between them, both territories account for just 12 total at-large delegates.