How the delegate math applies to Oregon

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Back in February, I wrote a post explaining "delegate math" - the rather arcane ways that delegates are assigned in a state to the presidential candidates.

I just got off the phone with Wayne Kinney, a superdelegate and DNC Committeeman for Oregon. He understands this stuff better than anyone in the state, and is responsible for most of the planning and execution of our state party conventions and whatnot.

First, some basics:

Please note that's just not as simple as taking the statewide percentages and multiplying by 52. The totals in the individual congressional districts matter much, much more.

Now comes the fun part - the math. To simply things for a moment, consider a three-delegate district. If one candidate gets 51% of the vote, that candidate would get two delegates. Simple, right? Consider a four-delegate district: If one candidate gets 51% of the vote, that candidate only gets two delegates. In fact, you'd need to get past halfway to 75% - or 62.5% - in order to "tip over" and "round up" to three delegates.

So, how does this apply to Oregon?

Once that's done, the same math will basically apply to the 18 statewide delegates - but the breaks come much more regularly; every 5-6% more vote earns another delegate.

One more very important thing. We're all going to want to know EXACTLY what these breakdowns are tonight. But here's the problem: In Oregon, the votes will be reported by the counties, aggregated into county-level totals.

But Multnomah, Clackamas, Benton, and Josephine Counties are split across congressional districts. The only way to get congressional-district vote totals is to get the precinct-level results and reassemble them into congressional-district totals.

And that won't be happening for a few days. Wayne Kinney tells me that the DPO is working closely with the Elections Division - and they're working closely with the county clerks. At the latest, we'll get the final numbers of delegates for Obama and Clinton sometime on Monday. Possibly sooner.

So, watch the totals, enjoy the night, but don't panic if you can't figure out exactly how many delegates your favorite candidate has won tonight.

  • trishka (unverified)

    thanks, kari. this was very helpful.

    i'm pulling for a 5/2 split in the 4th!

  • Alternate Universe (unverified)

    Thank you for that delegate math, but that information is only useful to those whom exist in the reality-based community.

    Regardless of the final numbers, the Clinton campaign will do one, or all of the follwing: 1) Claim that Oregon doesn't matter because Obama spent more time and money there. 2) Claim that Kentucky represents real Americans....the ones that will count in November. 3) Claim that the newspapers and media were sexist because they had a front-page photo of the Obama rally. 4) Claim that it's not necessarily who wins the most delegates, popular votes, superdelegates, or's the candidate that wins West Virginia that should get the nomination.

    Oh yes, if you found this funny you're sexist; you're under the illusion that Obama is a viable candidate; and you hate working people.

  • Joseph Santos-Lyons (unverified)

    Kari - thanks again for your research and information sharing. Very invaluable!

  • Bridget (unverified)

    Alternate Universe- Who are you helping with your snide tone?

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Bridget, your answer would be : Grampa McSame. Let's leave the vitriol behind with the rest of the useless baggage.

    I could definitely live with a 6-3 split favoring Obama in the Fightin' Third!

  • Alternate Universe (unverified)

    Excellent question Bridget.

    Perhaps the same person Hillary Clinton is helping with her "it's all about me" scorched-earth campaign?

    Nothing but satire can capture the folly of the Clinton campaign's equivocation about what constitutes victory.

    "Snide" is calling the Republican Candidate more prepared to assume the presidency than the leading Democratic Presidential Nominee.

    At some point, Senator Clinton needs to understand this isn't about her.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    It looks to me like the 3rd will go with the 6-3 delegate split for Obama. Woo Hoo!

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
    <h2>It looks to me like the 3rd will go with the 6-3 delegate split for Obama. Woo Hoo!</h2>

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