State Delegate Allocations: Why They Matter

You must have heard the word delegate, right? With all the elections going around in the past month, it is the only thing we listen to.

Well if you don’t have a clue then here we will brief you on it and why they matter.


Basically, a delegate is a person chosen to represent a particular group in the United States political assembly. At their annual state or county party meetings, they represent their voting precinct. Delegates are elected for two-year terms and have specific duties based on the class of delegate. Every year, delegates meet at their party’s convention. Delegates have equivalent rights as representatives, including the right to vote in committee, but they do not have the right to vote on the resolution on the house, where the entire house determines if it is carried.

There are various types of delegates: County delegates, state delegates, and national delegates or pledged or unpledged delegates.

Here we are going to put light on types of delegates.

A county delegate is nominated for primary and general elections are held for seats in the state senate and county offices.

As the name suggests the state delegate serves at a state level and it has the same capacity as county delegates. The delegates are required to attend the annual convention. They must also discuss any proposed changes to the state party’s constitution, state laws, framework, or convention rules.

A national delegate is a person selected at a national level and has the same duties as a county and state delegate.

Pledged delegates are a delegate assigned to a candidate depending on his or her caucus or primary results. These delegates can be vetted by the campaigns, and they can also send a list of names to represent them.

On the other hand, unpledged or superdelegates also known as “automatic” delegates, are representatives of Congress, governors, senators, and past presidents who are not tied to any single candidate because of the results of their state primaries.


Delegates’ primary role is to decide on a party’s primary and general election nominee. If a candidate wins a majority of delegate votes at a party convention (60 percent for Republicans, 2/3 for Democrats), they will skip the primary and go directly to the general election. If no one wins 60% of the vote, a primary election will be held between the top two candidates.

State delegates are the ones you see holding signs at national conventions. They’re sent off to the national convention to decide on the party’s candidate, basically functioning as proxies for electors back home.

On the first ballot, a candidate must gain a majority of pledged delegates to become the nominee. The conference becomes disputed or “negotiated” if no candidate achieves an absolute majority. Unpledged “superdelegates” have the ability to vote on future ballots and previously pledged delegates have the freedom to vote as they want when candidates are eliminated.


That’s all! This is all we have for state delegate allocation and why they matter. Know that delegates play an important role in elections. Delegates are selected based on election returns from hundreds of congressional districts around the country. Both of these district’s results are subject to the delegate distribution arithmetic, the 15% mark, and rounding.