Presidential Race Question

I have a question about the presidential race and all the primaries and caucuses. From what I understand, each state has a certain number of delegates. When we have a primary/caucus, we decide on who those delegates are to vote for when the D/R convention comes up. Am I correct so far?

Say your state voted for a candidate and they drop out. What do those delegates do? Do they vote for #2 or are they just out of luck and don’t vote or do they vote for the candidate even though they aren’t running anymore? Are they really people that are “delegates” and do they HAVE to vote for who the state told them? (Okay, I’m going back to the 2002 presidential vote again.)

I’m just curious. It’s really the first time that the primaries have mattered much in a long time so it’s interesting to finally learn what they are all about.


depending on your states caucus/ primary rules, the delegate that dropped out may or may not be able to “do” any thing with those delegates, most of the times, the candidATE that drops out throws his delegates at, essentially the highest “bidder” in other words either the candidate he feels has the best chance of winning, or whome he feels most closely mirrors his own opinions on certain issues… but politics is a nasty business, and sometimes a candidate will throw his delegates to whomever has promised him the new hummer or vacation home or cushy “consultant” job, of course we the general public dont know this…
HTH Beth

OOo Ooo! I got a question too. So do these delegates make up the electoral college or is that something completely different?

not always, some of them may be the same, but no the primary system is separate from the electoral college system ,
the primary system is ruled and controlled , delegate apportionment wise, solely by the parties ,and distributed based on the results of previoust elections , population, states wealth , and other factors
the electoral college is part of the gov. and based solely on poulation, in theory…

I just want to say that I’m anxious to read your answers! I read about this system to try to understand it better, but it’s so confusing! :passedout: :??

Read “Electoral College” on Wikipedia - it goes into more detail than I ever could, and presents the interesting twists that go into the whole Electoral College scenario.
In IL, when we voted we voted for the Presidential candidate, 3 delegates, and 3 alternate delegates. I think if “your” candidate drops out, the delegates basically become “wild cards” - they can follow the directions of who they were originally stumping for, or they can follow their own mind and go for who they think is the “next best thing”…I could be wrong, though, but that’s the way it was presented to me.

The delegates are the people who go to the National Convention. They do have to vote for the person they pledged to, unless their pledged candidate is no longer in the running. In that case it does depend on the state party rules, but I think in most cases the candidate can decide to either release them to go where they want or can bargain with them. They don’t usually bargain for “stuff” though, most bargain for jobs.

The Super Delegates are a whole different beast though. Super Delegates are party leaders and are not actually supposed to pledge to a candidate before the convention but often do. They CAN, however, change their pledge. It is very likely that even though they pledge to a candidate they may move their pledge to another if it is clear that their constituents want a different candidate. They, too, can bargain with their vote, though it isn’t QUITE as valuable since it is only one vote. If the delegate count from the primaries and caucuses is close then the super delegates will be important. Right now the super delegates are looking HUGE for 2008 but it will depend on how the next few primaries go really. Super Delegates are also called PLEOs sometimes. It is the same thing. And they are primarily attached to the Democratic Party and not so much to the Republicans.

btw… if you get at all into watching this stuff, this is a fun little site to watch.

I found I was checking it every day during the last election (umm… because I am ridiculous! :angelgrin: ) to see which way the latest polls were running. He is following delegate counts right now and will switch over to electoral votes after the races are decided I am sure.

It IS very confusing isn’t it? I’ve been watching this page and it also has information about how elections work. Brendajos page might be more detailed though.

[B]I would also like to caution everyone. Don’t turn this into a who wants which candidate to win thread. Let’s keep it informational about how the election process works. Thanks! [/B]:hug:

not a problem , that was how i was looking at it anyhow…
information not elect a particular candidate

Yeah, I specifically left out any names so it doesn’t turn into a debate. I guess I don’t remember much from high school government class and you don’t know if you don’t ask! I get overwhelmed when I read some of those sites.

Thanks for all the help! You guys are fabulous!


I’d like to commend everyone who has posted in this Thread!

Thanks for keeping it nice! We appreciate you!

Yes, I appreciate it too! Educational and not editorialized…wow! What a concept!!