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WI, WY, NY Delegate Preview

By TJHalva | 1 point | April 3, 2016 at 11:22:04 PM CT 0 Comments

The next three democratic contests will allocate a total of 340 pledged delegates:

StateDateTotalDistrictDistrictsAt-LargePleged PLEOUnpledged PLEO
Wisconsin [3]
April 589528171010
Wyoming [4]
April 91881424
New York [1]
April 192711632754 3044

Wisconsin votes in two days, and polling indicates Bernie should win narrowly 47.23-45.49%. We'll have a more detailed write-up about Wisconsin on Tuesday, but for now we'll say that the sub-samples reflected in polling do not suffer from the problems which have pledged previous states. The local educational polling from Marquette University is demographically consistent with current primary patterns and has a history of accurately predicting the margin of Wisconsin contests. If we presume polling is accurate, how does that correlate to delegates? Wisconsin has 8 congressional districts, half of which have even delegate allotments which generally ensures parity. There are then 24 delegates to be allocated in odd districts and 27 delegates allocated at the statewide level:

2016 Wisconsin Democratic Primary Delegates12345678ALPLBernie SandersHillary

If the polling holds, Bernie will win 5 more delegates than Hillary, 42-37. If Bernie does 5% better uniformly, the threshold where he begins winning more delegates, he'd take home 45 to Hillary's 34. In reality, each congressional district has demographic tendencies which are going to produce non-uniform results. As an example, the city of Madison is in the 2nd Congressional District, with 10 delegates, and is likely to strongly favor Sanders, and probably split 7-3.

Wyoming is the next election on Saturday; it's a caucus with 14 delegates to be allocated. There is no polling, but Sanders will win in similar fashion to Utah and Idaho with non-viability a very real possibility for Clinton. We'll compile the list of precincts, and get a caucus popular vote page setup similar to Iowa.

New York's primary is then 10 days after Wyoming. Polling is sparser with less congruent demographic patterns. Bernie is leading males in just one poll and whites in just one poll. Bernie has not lost males in a northern state, and he won't lose males in New York either so any polling that shows him down in that demographic should be viewed with skepticism.

New York has 27 congressional districts; eighteen of them will allocate 6 delegates, five districts will allocate 7 and the remaining four districts each have 5. In order to tip the apportionment to 4-2 in any of the eighteen 6 delegate districts, a 16.66% margin is required. If the primary is closer than 16.66%, roughly 108 delegates will end in parity. The other districts have similar margin thresholds of 14.28% and 20% for 5 and 7 delegate districts respectively. This greatly benefits Bernie. If Bernie loses uniformly by less than a 14.28% margin, he would lose just 9 delegates at the district level and 12 total at the state level. In other words, if the winner of New York doesn't win big, their delegate gains will be fewer than their statewide margin would otherwise imply.

The current polling in New York has Clinton leading 50.70-45.38%; the delegate allocations based upon this margin are projected below:

2016 New York Democratic Primary Delegates123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627ALPLBernie SandersHillary

In the above scenario, Clinton wins 130-117. If we compare this polling implied outcome to the 14.28% threshold scenario referenced above, the district allocations are the same but the at-large and the PLEO pledged swing by 6 delegates. So the difference between losing by 5% and losing by 14% is 6 delegates.

The Sanders campaign is devoting a lot of resources into New York, and they should easily be able to surpass the 14.28% threshold to avoid a fatal defeat. There however appear to be diminishing returns; their resources may be better spent in other states such as Pennsylvania which has 189 pledged delegates [2] and bigger, odder districts.

Updated on April 4, 2016 at 8:26:17 PM CT


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TAGS: nyprimary, wiprimary, dem2016, wisconsin, new, york

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