Does it already seem like the nomination race for the Democrats has been going on forever?
While actual contests are finally underway, it may not be over anytime soon and it seems more likely we won’t know until the Democratic Convention in late July.

Typically the first two contests in the primary battle have a tendency to thin the herd as those that fail to meet expectations or place in the top three in either Iowa or New Hampshire are forced to drop out. While many could stick it out further as they’re already on most of the ballots, the money dries up quickly and it makes it impossible to run a ground game or ads in later contests. This is especially true for “Super Tuesday”, the March 3 contest when 14 states will be contested.

But in a race where any momentum from the Iowa caucuses were severely blunted by the total inability to announce a winner, and where only 65 of the 3,979 delegates have been awarded (1.6 percent of the total), this could take a while! A month from now only 40% of delegates would have been selected and it’s not until June 6 that all 100% will be pledged. The timeline is:

Selection of pledged delegates in primaries and caucuses
By February 29: 4% of all delegates will have been selected.
By March 3: 40% of all delegates will have been selected.
By March 17: 64% of all delegates will have been selected.
By April 28: 88% of all delegates will have been selected.
By June 6: 100% of all delegates will have been selected.

And even though all the delegates will be pledged by June, we still might not have a candidate with a majority who is able to claim the prize. Then, it’ll be a brokered convention in July that will determine the winner and after the first vote, pledged candidates are free to switch and Super Delegates – comprised of members of congress and party leaders – can also vote. Interestingly, ANYONE can emerge from a brokered convention if they can win the majority of votes even someone that hasn’t run in the primary.

For the Democratic Nomination, a candidate needs 1,990 pledged delegates in the first round. If a candidate fails to secure the nomination on the first round, then the nomination can be won on a subsequent ballot with 2,376 delegates including pledged delegates and unpledged (Super delegates) delegates. Here’s how the race stacks up so far.


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