GOP Delegate System Favors Trump

Andrew McGill, writing in The Atlantic, comments on how the GOP’s new delegate-allocation system for the primaries has actually helped Trump.

“But another well-intentioned tenet of the GOP’s reform—a strong preference for proportional delegate selection—has also come into question. Through a series of baffling rules that defy flowcharting, states like Texas and Alabama have effectively unhooked a candidate’s popular vote from the number of convention delegates they receive, the real currency of the election. Because of these rules, a candidate could get 30 percent of the vote in several Super Tuesday states and walk away with only a quarter of its delegates—or, conversely, more than half.”

“This system could seriously skew results. The congressional-district delegates would seem to introduce geographic variability, punishing candidates who don’t enjoy widespread support.  And cutoffs—especially ones that consider how the surrounding field performs—could lock contenders out of a supposedly ‘proportional’ race.”

“To test this, I built a quick computer simulation focusing on Texas.”

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“I was surprised by the sheer spread of possibilities. If Texas was truly a proportional state, a candidate with 33 percent of the vote could expect 51 delegates. According to the simulation, the probabilities actually stretch from the low 50s to above 100.”

“Texas is not alone in this; Alabama has virtually identical rules, and states like Georgia have clauses that switch the election into a winner-take-all contest if one candidate reaches a certain percentage.”

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