Estimating the Vote and Delegate Count
The vote totals appearing on this website are determined in several ways. Following a primary or caucus, we post an estimated vote total and number of delegates.
The simplest estimate delegates is made by dividing the statewide popular vote by the number of congressional districts. For a state with 5 districts, assign 1/5 of the vote to each district and compute the delegates. This produces a very rough estimate.
A refinement is to take the county popular vote and apportion it accordingly to the districts. If a county is 70% in district 1 and 30% in district 2, apportion the popular vote accordingly and compute the delegates. This produces a rough estimate.
As time permits, we gather the actual vote and district breakdown from election officials and use that vote to compute the delegates. This produces a good estimate but takes a while.
The goal is to use the certified vote and district breakdown from the state party or election officials. It usually takes a month or 2 for vote totals to be certified. Certified totals may be amended which effectively restarts the calculations.
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