2020 Presidential Primaries, Caucuses, and Conventions

Estimating the Vote and Delegate Count

Our motto is "Run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes and, if no one does, who cares?"


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. We may not post the results for uncontested contests.

One technique for estimating delegates is to divide 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 district vote from election officials and use that to compute the delegates. This produces a good estimate but often takes days to a month depending on the effort and backlog.

The goal is to use the certified vote and district breakdown from the state party or election officials however, it may take 1 to 2 months for vote totals to be certified. Certified totals may be amended which effectively restarts the calculations.


A comparison using the results of the 22 February 2020 Nevada Caucuses.

The very rough first approximation is to divide the statewide total vote by the number of districts. It is quick and fast and provides an idea of the delegate count. In this case, Sanders 24, Biden 12. The error is Sanders 0, Biden 3, Buttigieg 1 -- 4 out of 36: 11%.

ContestSandersBiden
 County
Delegates
Qualified
County
Delegates
DelCounty
Delegates
AllocDelCounty
Delegates
AllocDel
CD13,6252,43151,6973.49037341.5102
CD23,6252,43161,6974.18847341.8122
CD33,6252,43161,6974.18847341.8122
CD43,6252,43161,6974.18847341.8122
PLEO14,5009,72456,7883.49032,9361.5102
At-Large14,5009,72486,7885.58562,9362.4152
Total
Delegates
  36  24  12

The rough or second approximation is to apportion the county vote to districts. It is an improvement on the very rough estimate. Here we get Sanders 24, Biden 10, Buttigieg 2. The error is Sanders 0, Biden 1, Buttigieg 1 -- 2 out of 36: 6%.

ContestSandersBidenButtigieg
 County
Delegates
Qualified
County
Delegates
DelCounty
Delegates
AllocDelCounty
Delegates
AllocDelCounty
Delegates
AllocDel
CD13,7412,74051,8333.34539071.6552448  
CD23,2812,01561,3684.0734260  6471.9272
CD33,7412,74061,8334.01449071.9862448  
CD43,7322,61161,7624.04948491.9512526  
PLEO14,4959,71956,7963.49632,9231.50422,069  
At-Large14,4959,71986,7965.59462,9232.40622,069  
Total
Delegates
  36  24  10  2

And finally, the actual vote. Certification and post-certification challenges may result in further changes.

ContestSandersBidenButtigieg
 County
Delegates
Qualified
County
Delegates
DelCounty
Delegates
AllocDelCounty
Delegates
AllocDelCounty
Delegates
AllocDel
CD13,6452,98152,1663.63348151.3671264  
CD23,2882,02061,3714.0724260  6491.9282
CD33,7273,03261,5973.16037261.43727091.4031
CD43,8312,78061,6543.57041,1262.4302451  
PLEO14,4919,71556,7883.49432,9271.50622,073  
At-Large14,4919,71586,7885.59062,9272.41022,073  
Total
Delegates
  36  24  9  3
 


  Election 2020 - Presidential Primary, Caucus, and Convention Home  
 
  Presidential Candidates  
 
  States Alphabetically  
  Events Chronologically  
  Major Events Chronologically  
  Poll Closing Times Chronologically   --   Poll Closing Times Alphabetically  
  Democratic "First Determining Step" Chronologically  
 
  Chronological Cumulative Allocation of Delegates  
  Weekly Delegate Distribution and Availability  
 
Delegate Counts
  Democratic Pledged and Unpledged Summary   --   Republican Pledged and Unpledged Summary  
  Democratic Hard and Soft Summary   --   Republican Hard and Soft Summary  
  Democratic Hard and Floor Summary   --   Republican Hard and Floor Summary  
 
Delegate Allocation
  Democratic Quick Reference   --   Republican Quick Reference  
  The Math Behind the Democratic Delegate Allocation   --   The Math Behind the Republican Delegate Allocation  
  Democratic Timing Penalties and Bonuses  
 
  Democratic Delegate Pledging and Voter Eligibility   --   Republican Delegate Binding and Voter Eligibility  
 
  Primaries at a Glance  
 
  Results Status and Date Retreived  
....
  Estimating the Delegate Count  
....

 
Documentation
  Historical Analysis of the Presidential Nominating Process  
  Historical Analysis of the apportionment of delegate votes at the National Conventions of the two major parties  
  Primary/Caucus/Convention Glossary  
  Statutory Election Information of the Several states / Presidential Primary  
  Dates of PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES re: selection and/or allocation/distribution of Delegates to Major Party National Conventions  
 
  Major Third Party Presidential Nomination Process  
 
  Straw Polls  
 
  (download)