We hear a lot of accusations from some of our current presidential candidates and others about our “rigged” political party presidential nominating system. Are the systems rigged?
Those of you in other states might want to examine how effectively your state political party nominating system works.
Here’s a look at how California’s system works with links to sources:
(Note: forms and most time deadline information that must be submitted I have omitted in this abbreviated recap. Only the two major political party systems are shown here in alphabetical listing.)
In order to be a California delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention you must be a registered Democrat and be selected as one of three types of delegates:
District-Level, At-Large or PLEO.
July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania California’s Delegation to the 2016 Democratic National Convention
Delegates: 317 Alternates: 30
At-Large Delegates: 105 Alternates 10
PLEO Delegates: 53 Unpledged Delegates: 71
Total Number of Delegates: 546 Alternates: 40
District-Level: Each of California’s 53 congressional districts (CDs) are allocated a number of district level delegates and alternates, based upon population and presidential voting from the 2008 & 2012 elections. Potential candidates for district level delegates must pledge their support during the filing period to a presidential candidate, Caucuses will be held in each CD where Democrats registered in the CD will be able to vote to slate delegates. Presidential vote levels per CD in the primary will determine which district level delegates are selected, based on the caucus rankings.
At-Large: At-large delegates are selected from a statewide pool and offer another way for Democrats to participate in the national convention. Potential candidates for at-large delegate must pledge their support to a presidential candidate, within the filing period. Selection of at-large delegates will be confirmed at the Statewide Delegation Meeting.
PLEO: Party Leaders and Elected Official (PLEO) are Democrats from one of the following categories: big-city mayors and statewide elected officials; state legislative leaders and state legislators; other state county and local elected officials; California Democratic Party leaders. PLEO candidates must pledge their support to a presidential candidate, during the filing period. Selection of PLEO delegates will be confirmed at the Statewide Delegation Meeting.
Here’s a link to the Democratic delegate selection plan for more detail.
The Democratic presidential candidate must win a majority of votes from the estimated 4765 delegates which would be one more than half -- 2383.
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July 18-21, 2016 Republican Party Delegates to 2016 Presidential Convention
National California Delegation Total: 341
-- 159 (3 delegates per Congressional District)
-- 10 delegates at large
-- 3 pre-determined (State Chair, National Committeewoman, National Committeeman)
--159 (3 delegates per Congressional District)
-- 10 delegates at large
Who chooses the delegates? Delegates are chosen by the Presidential candidates, NOT by the CRP or the RNC.
Do I need to select a candidate to support when I apply? Yes. By selecting the candidate you support we are able to provide those same candidates with a comprehensive list of delegate candidates
How does the winner-take-all primary work? California’s primary is a winner-take-all system by Congressional District. The Presidential candidate who wins any given Congressional District will receive all 3 delegate appointments for that district. In addition, 10 at large delegates are awarded to the presidential candidate receiving the largest number of votes statewide.
I’m a delegate to the California Republican Party does that mean I’m part of the California Delegation? No. The delegates to the Republican National Convention are chosen by the Presidential candidates and are not in any way related to your status as a member or delegate to the California Republican Party.
What are the requirements for being a delegate? You must be a registered Republican and a resident of the Congressional District you are representing. You must attend the Delegation Meeting. You must commit to vote for the presidential candidate by whom you are selected.
If I am a delegate to the California Republican Party can I be a delegate to the Republican National Convention? No. The delegates to the Republican National Convention are chosen by the Presidential candidates and are not in any way related to your status as a member or delegate to the California Republican Party.
Essentially, to win the Republican nomination, a candidate must secure the support of 1,237 (half plus one) of the 2,472 expected delegates that will be present at the Republican National Convention (RNC).
The allocation of delegates for each state and territory has been determined in advance according to Rule 14 of the rules for the election and government of the Republican National Committee. The major points of the rules are as follows:
(i)Each state is allocated ten delegates at large
(ii) The chairman, national committeeman and national committeewoman of every state and territory’s Republican Party is a delegate at large
(iii) The total number of U.S. House of Representatives seat in each state x 3 district delegates
(iv) States that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 are awarded 4.5 delegates at large plus additional delegates amounting to 60% of the number of electoral votes of each respective state. For D.C., an additional 30% instead of 60%, if qualified (all rounded up higher)
(v) Fixed number of additional delegates at large for each territory and D.C. (6 x American Samoa, 16 x District of Columbia, 6 x Guam, 6 x Northern Mariana Islands,20 x Puerto Rico, and 6 x Virgin Islands)
(vi) One delegate at large each for states with a Republican governor and for states which has a majority in its respective state legislature and Senate.
(vii) One delegate at large for states with an elected Senator for the U.S. Senate state within six years prior to January 1, 2016
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Here's a link at This Nation.com to a site providing their summary of the processes described above.
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Should your state political party consider a change in this presidential primary voting process for future elections? If you think so, I suggest you start working now beginning at your local level to make any changes for future elections as it's too late for this 2016 presidential primary election.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2016 -- California Presidential Primary Election
Currently the top two Democratic party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are reported to be tied in the latest primary polls.
Donald Trump is reported to be the presumptive Republican party nominee.