Bonus Delegates

The Democratic Party's Delegate Selection Rules document (see Appendix B), published in December, 2018, allocated 3,768 pledged and 4,532 total delegates.  From this, we can calculate a majority of 1,885 pledged delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the 1st ballot or 2,267 total to win if additional ballots are required.  However, these numbers will change once bonus pledged delegates are allocated later in 2019.

Who gets bonus pledged delegates?   These additional delegates reward any location* that schedules its nominating contest later in the calendar.  A 10% bonus goes to states that will hold their contest in April, 2020, with 20% awarded to those that wait until May or June. Separately, states that hold their primary after March 24th can get a 15% bonus for participating in a 'regional cluster' - basically holding their event on the same day as at least two neighboring states (as defined by the party rules).

The bonuses are additive. For example, if a state holds its primary in April and participates in a regional cluster it would receive a 25% bonus (10% + 15%). The bonus percentage is then multiplied by the Total Base Delegates** that the state was originally allocated to get the bonus delegates.  

* There are 57 locations that hold nominating contests:  the 50 states, 5 territories, District of Columbia, and Democrats Abroad

** Total Base Delegates are approximately 85% of total pledged delegates. These are split, where applicable, with approximately 75% allocated to the state's congressional districts, 25% at-large (based on the statewide vote). Any bonus delegates are split proportionately this same way. (The other 15% of a location's pledged delegates are in a separate category for party leaders and elected officials (PLEO). These PLEO delegates are at-large).





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