Election 2016: How Delegates Work

You've heard us talk a lot about delegates today -- and even over the past couple of weeks.

But how do they decide a party's nominee? And why are they so important over the next few weeks and months to come? Here's a quick study in U.S. presidential politics from Zain Asher.


  --REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
YOU'VE SEEN THEM WEARING FUNNY HATS AND WAVING SIGNS AT NATIONAL PARTY CONVENTIONS...
CANDIDATES COVET THEM BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS A "DELEGATE" AND WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT TO THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE?
THEY COME FROM ALL FIFTY STATES, WASHINGTON D.C., AND EVERY U.S. TERRITORY.
BIGGER, MORE POPULOUS STATES -- LIKE CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, FLORIDA AND NEW YORK HAVE MORE OF THEM.
FOR THE MOST PART, CANDIDATES "WIN" DELEGATES THOUGH PRIMARIES AND CAUCUSES...
WHILE THE RULES VARY FROM STATE TO STATE -- GENERALLY MORE VOTES MEANS MORE DELEGATES.
THIS SUMMER THOUSANDS OF DELEGATES WILL COME TOGETHER AT THEIR NATIONAL PARTY CONVENTIONS -- WHERE THEY DECLARE THEIR SUPPORT FOR A SPECIFIC CANDIDATE.

"Ohio madam secretary casts all 188 votes for the president and the next President Of The United States, Barack Obama."

IN ORDER TO BECOME THE PARTY'S NOMINEE FOR PRESIDENT -- A CANDIDATE MUST RECEIVE A MAJORITY OF THESE DELEGATES.
FOR REPUBLICANS 1,237 IS THE "MAGIC NUMBER."
FOR DEMOCRATS IT'S 2,383.
714 SUPER-DELEGATES
AND THERE'S AN ADDITIONAL WRINKLE FOR DEMOCRATS -- SUPER-DELEGATES.
THESE ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS, GOVERNORS, SENATORS AND PARTY MEMBERS.
FORMER PRESIDENT, BILL CLINTON IS A LIFETIME SUPERDELEGATE.
THERE ARE MORE THAN 700 OF THEM AND THEY CAN VOTE FOR WHOEVER THEY WANT.

AND WHILE THERE IS STILL MORE VOTING TO TAKE PLACE -- AT THE END OF THE DAY -- IT'S DELEGATES THAT WIN ELECTIONS.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN, ATLANTA.


As you heard in that story, national conventions are held every four years by the major political parties to choose their nominee for the presidency. The party also uses the opportunity to address their platform or goals for the election cycle.

The host city for this year's Republican National Convention just so happens to be right here -- Cleveland... both Cleveland and Columbus were in the running for the Democratic National Convention, but Philadelphia was the eventual choice.

Instructional Links

Website Article: Congress for Kids, National Conventions, An Inside View

http://www.congressforkids.net/Elections_nationalcon_in.htm

Website Article: Council on Human Relations, Backgrounder, The U. S. Presidential Nomination Process

http://www.cfr.org/elections/us-presidential-nominating-process/p37522

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