Delegates are a crucial part of the presidential nomination process. While voters across the country will be casting ballots for their preferred candidates, nominees are selected by delegates at the national party conventions. Delegates are individuals who represent their states or districts at their party’s national convention. These individuals can be anyone affiliated with the Democratic or Republican political party, and often include party leaders, activists and volunteers. Members of Congress, governors, and former presidents also act as delegates.
Candidates are awarded delegates in most states based on the results of primaries and caucuses. The Democrats and Republicans use different approaches to allocating delegates.
The Republican Party uses three different systems: proportional, winner-take-all, and hybrid.
In states that allocate delegates proportionally, candidates receive a number of delegates based on the percentage of the vote they won. For example, a candidate who receives 40% of the vote would receive 40% of the total number of delegates at stake. In states that use a winner-take-all method, all delegates at stake are awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes. Hybrid methods are also used in some states, where delegates are allocated based on a combination of factors, including minimum thresholds or the ability to convert from proportional to winner-take-all when a candidate gets a majority.