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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Delegate Assignments

By Alma Graham, CT State Grange Legislative Director

  June 5, 2016 --

The Connecticut presidential primary vote was held at the end of April. Both parties are in intense fights for their party nomination to determine who will be the Presidential candidate for that party.  This presidential primary season is historical. Usually by the time the primaries are held in Connecticut the field has been whittled down to one major candidate in each major party. Connecticut delegation votes usually have little impact by the time we assign our delegates.

Each state has its own set of rules as to how the delegates are assigned to the candidates. How does Connecticut determine how the delegates are assigned and how many do we assign?

In Connecticut the Democrats assign 71 delegates. Of these, 55 delegates are pledged delegates. Pledged delegates are allocated to a candidate in proportion to the votes he or she receives in a state’s primary vote. The candidate must receive at least 15 percent of the votes cast in the primary to be eligible to receive any pledged delegates. There are three types of pledged delegates, congressional districts, at-large delegates and party leader/elected official. Congressional district delegates are allocated proportionally based on primary results in their district. At-large and party leader/elected official delegates are allocated by the state wide primary ballot percentages that the candidate receives. Sixteen delegates are unpledged and will be determined by party leaders and elected officials regardless of the results of the primary results.

The Republicans have 28 delegates that they assign.  Fifteen are congressional district level delegates, three to each district. They are assigned by a winner take all by who wins in the district by district. Ten at-large delegates will be allocated by the percentage the candidates win statewide, but they must receive at least 20 percent of the votes to be eligible.  But, if a candidate wins by more than 50 percent of the statewide ballots then they will win all of the state district delegates and all of the states at-large delegates.  That means if a candidate wins the state wide elections by more than 50 percent then they will be assigned both the 15 district and 10 at-large delegates for a total of 25. The remaining three delegates are assigned by party leaders to the winner of the ballot results.


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