NYS Democratic Primary–Process and Politics

Second of two in a series about the NYS Federal Primaries for President, to be held on Tuesday, April 19 (Noon to 9 PM). The article about the Republican Primary was posted on March 28.

The Process:

New York Democrats will be able to cast their votes for either  Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton in Tuesday, April 19  Federal Primary.

There are 291 New York delegates to the Democratic National Convention up for grab. voting_handsThe votes that will be cast in the 27 congressional districts will determine how the 247 delegates will be distributed. Each Congressional District has been allotted either 5, 6, or 7 delegates who will represent them at the Convention.  The NY 23rd will have five delegates. (I have yet to find how those numbers were determined). To see how many delegates the other districts have follow this link.

The formula for determining how many delegates the candidate receives is basic. You multiply the percent of the votes a candidate receives by the number of delegates allotted to the particular district. You round the answer to the nearest whole delegate. For example, in the NY23rd, if the voting was 55.3% to 44.7%, the winner would receive 3 delegates (55.3% x 5= 2.765, which rounds to 3) and the loser would receive 2 delegates (44.7% x 5 2.235).

Also on the Democratic ballot is we will be asked to vote for the delegates themselves. In our district the presidential candidate has five delegates pledge to him or her. Their names will be listed on the ballot. You can vote for up to 5 delegates.

NY 23rd Delegates on the ballot that support Bernie Sanders are: Emily Adams, Mathew K. Ashford, Molly E. C. Grover, Donald M. Bazley, and Mary Thorpe.

NY 23rd Delegates on the ballot that support Hillary Clinton are: Barbara Lifton, Svante Myrick, Irene Stein, Shawn D. Hogan, and Bushra Sheikh

Follow this link to see the home addresses of the NY 23rd Delegate candidates.

Follow this link to see the delegate candidates for other NYS Congressional Districts.

You can vote for five delegates.

Eighty-four delegates will be pledged to the presidential contenders based on the primary vote statewide. If a candidate receives 60% of the votes, they will receive 60% of the “state wide” delegates. The remaining 44 Super-Delegates are:

  • 21 Democratic National Committee members
  • 20 Members of Congress (2 Senators and 18 Representatives)
  • 1 Governor
  • 2 Distinguished Party Leaders (former President Bill Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell

Follow this link to see who the Super-Delegates are, and who they are currently supporting.

 The Politics:

The New York State Presidential Primary is usually just a formality; the race is normally technically over by mid-April. Not this year.

As of the writing of this article (a week before the Wisconsin Primary), Hillary has more delegates than Bernie. According to the New York Times Hillary has 1,243 delegates, Bernie has 975. They have not added in the “Super Delegates” since they could change their minds, but they have noted that Hillary has 469, Bernie 29. The first candidate to 2,383 becomes the nominee.

  • Will Hillary increase her lead over Bernie?
  • Will the outcome bring Bernie’s total closer to Hillary’s?
  •  Will Hillary have a home state advantage?
  • Will Bernie, who was born in Brooklyn, have a home state advantage?
  • Will the under 30 crowd come out to support Bernie?
  • How large of a turnout will there be?

The way the delegates are allotted in our primary would make it improbable that either candidate will win a lot more delegates than the other. In the NY23rd a candidate would need to get 70% of the vote to win 4 of the 5 delegates. In a 6 delegate district, a candidate would need to receive 58.4% to win 4 delegates and 75% of the vote to win 5. In 7 delegate district, a candidate would need to get 64.3% to get 5 of the 7 votes.

We need to realize that our primary is the only one scheduled on April 19, and the first one after the April 5 Wisconsin Primary, meaning that the candidates will have almost two whole weeks campaigning here. Candidates of course will spend time in New York City, but they will have time to visit Upstate Congressional Districts.  The Buffalo for Bernie Facebook page has a petition to sign asking Bernie have a rally in  SUNY Buffalo. This political brouhaha should get a large voter turnout.

On Meet The Press last Sunday (3/27) Bernie Sanders said that he would like to have a debate in New York, either in New York City or Upstate—it didn’t matter to him. Having a Democratic Debate Upstate might increase interest in Upstate Congressional Democratic and State legislative races. A debate in Buffalo, Rochester or Syracuse would include upstate issues.

This political brouhaha should produce a large voter turnout. A large primary turnout in April should mean a large turnout in November, which would affect the down-ballot races. Pass the word.

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in 2016, Data, NYS Government and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to NYS Democratic Primary–Process and Politics

  1. whungerford says:

    I don’t get the question about HC’s home. Is there some doubt that her legal residence is in NY, or is the question whether or not she will have a home state advantage in NY?


  2. pystew says:

    Thanks for the question. I meant a home state advantage. I’ll try to clear that up.


  3. pystew says:

    I have not found how the congressional districts’ allotted delegate numbers were determined. I assumed it was based on the number of registered democrats, but the numbers don’t show that. The NY 3rd had 192,191 in 2015, and will have 7 delegates where the NY 4th has 206,000 and will have 6 delegates. There are other examples I could use that do not follow my theory.


  4. whungerford says:


  5. pystew says:

    Thanks. The process includes data from multiple years.


  6. Hi. A friend of mine made up the following graphic that seems to indicate mass confusion of primary day. Do you think his worries are justified? https://scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtl1/t31.0-8/12970811_10209501794802084_159951324648812441_o.jpg


  7. pystew says:

    Thanks Randy, I wish that ballot could have been around 3 or 4 weeks ago. Having that information would make the voting process clear to all Democrats who vote.


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