PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

February 20, 2008

Delegate Counts

OK… counts are in, so people are connecting the dots and speculating as to what the official delegate counts may be. We know that Hawai‘i awards delegates proportionally rather than winner take all… should be simple to figure out, right?

Statewide tallies were roughly 75% Obama to 25% Clinton. We have 20 delegates that are allocated proportionally… split that 3/4 to 1/4 and you get 15 Obama delegates and 5 Clinton delegates… right? Wrong. As you may have seen in the media accounts (Hon Adv, Star Bull), based on the preliminary vote counts that have yet to be verified, the projected delegate count sits at 14 Obama and 6 Clinton.

It is a tad more complicated to figure out than one may think on the surface of things. Read more if you want to know more about the geeky aspects of delegate allocation…

How do I know? As I have mentioned before, I was brought into the fold of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i through the 2004 Kucinich for President campaign. Four years ago, as the Kucinich campaign in Hawai‘i got ready for the presidential preference poll, we were talking in terms of total votes, but also in terms of the delegates that we could gain from those votes. I was completely new to the process, as were most of the people in our campaign, and I tried to understand as much as I could. We had one leader among us that had been through this process a few times… he referred me to TheGreenPapers.com as a resource for understanding how the delegates were allocated in Hawai‘i. Their explanation was excellent. It helped me understand what the votes would really mean. Click on this link to see their analysis of our recent caucus.

I think the confusion people may have arises primarily because they don’t realize that some delegates are awarded based on congressional district (CD) counts and others are awarded based on the state-wide totals. There are 4 categories of pledged delegates: CD 1 (6 total), CD2 (7 total), pledged PLEOs (3 total) & at-large (4 total). CD 1 & 2 delegates are allocated proportionally based on the vote totals in the respective congressional districts, rounded to the nearest whole number. Pledged PLEOs and at-large delegates are allocated proportionally based on the state-wide vote totals, again rounded to the nearest whole number. In case you are wondering, PLEO stands for “party leader or elected official.” These are NOT super-delegates; they are pledged to a candidate. They are party leaders or elected officials that the campaign for the pledged candidate chooses to represent them. At-large delegates are just like CD level delegates, but simply represent the whole state rather than their specific congressional district.

Make sense? I thought not. 😉 Let me know if you have questions… I will be happy to try to answer them.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi,
    Hawai`i Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser asked me to let everyone know there will be more and different postings on the Majority Caucus Web site (www.hawaiisenatemajority.com) since he added me to this staff a few weeks ago.

    Comment by Jeannie — February 22, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

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