The world of politics in every country seems to be a culture of chaos. There’s lots of confusion on various topics. Topics like who’s really in charge, who actually makes and changes laws, and how does a given part of a certain system work?
For example, what happens to delegates when a candidate drops out?
What is a Delegate?
A delegate is a person who attends a meeting or conference on behalf of a group. Usually, organizations put together these meetings or conventions. These gatherings are where members from different parts of the organization can assemble together.
What is a Delegate Within the Political Sphere?
“Delegate” is the title of a person who is sent to represent a certain state in the presidential primaries. This is in reference to American political parties. In some way or other, delegates are people who involve themselves in their state’s politics. To this effect, they could be local party chairs, volunteers, or just citizens. They are interested in participating in the election process.
Depending on the state, there may be superdelegates who also represent the state. Usually, these are elected officials. Superdelegates can choose to vote regardless of primaries or caucuses. A superdelegate is someone who is free to vote for whoever he or she decides to.
What is a Primary?
The goal of a political party primary is to nominate the party’s candidate for the presidential office. There are two main methods in which a candidate can win delegates in a primary.
The Proportion Method
The proportion method is when a given state has fifty delegates and a candidate manages to win half of those delegates. This means the candidate has twenty-five delegates for the primary.
The Winner-Take-All Method
The winner-takes-all method is the method when a candidate manages to win the majority, even if it’s only 51 percent of the vote. When this happens, that candidate gets all the state’s delegates.
In order for a candidate to win their nomination in a presidential race, a candidate has to gather the majority of the delegates. As long as the candidate has at least one more delegate than the other candidates do, that candidate wins the primary.
However, in the case of a tie, this may result in several more rounds of voting and the numbers can change. There is a clause allowing a delegate to change their vote if the first round ends up in being a tie. This allows a delegate to realign his or her alliance with the candidate he or she deems most appropriate for the candidacy.
What Happens to Delegates When a Candidate Drops Out?
As a primary season begins there are typically numerous candidates.
As the season progresses, several candidates typically drop out of the race as they do poorly in the polls.
So, what happens to delegates when a candidate drops out of the race?
Depending on the state which they represent, they allow the delegates to attend the national convention without a commitment, similar to a superdelegate does. If the candidate they represented chooses to endorse another remaining candidate, the delegate may choose to endorse that candidate.
Delegates and Candidates: What Now?
Ultimately, a delegate in some states has the right to choose to align with another candidate if his original candidate drops out. In other states, however, they require delegates to stick with the original candidate, even after she drops out. To understand what’s happening with a specific delegate in a race, check in with your state’s websites regarding the primaries.