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The Official Guide to the 2016 Republican Nominating Process

Team GOP - October 8, 2015

A Note from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus: 

Following the 2012 presidential election, we recognized the need to avoid a drawn out primary process and together have worked to change our primary calendar to shorten the process and accommodate an earlier convention.

I’m incredibly pleased with the progress we’ve made to improve our Republican primary process. Our party is headed into the presidential election cycle stronger than ever, and we look forward to supporting our future Republican nominee as we work to take back the White House in 2016.

The nominee will be chosen by primary voters and delegates, as allotted by state parties and RNC rules. Recently, state parties submitted their delegate selection and allocation plans for the 2016 Republican presidential nominating process.

Here's what you need to know: 

How Many Delegates Does Each State Get?

Each state’s delegate allotment is set by national party rules and includes at-large delegates, congressional district delegates, and national party representatives. Apart from the states, the District of Columbia and the five territories are awarded a specified number of at-large delegates.

What Are the Different Kinds of Delegates?

There are three types of delegates: At-Large Delegates (AL), Congressional District Delegates (CD), and Republican National Committee Members.

  • At-Large Delegates (AL) are statewide delegates who are residents of that state and are selected at large. Each state receives 10 AL delegates plus additional AL delegates based on the state’s past Republican electoral successes.
    (10 delegates + bonus)
  •  Congressional District (CD) Delegates must be residents of and selected by the congressional district they represent. Each state gets three CD delegates per district.
    (3 delegates per district)
  • RNC Members are automatically national convention delegates and include the state’s national committeeman, national committeewoman, and state chair.
    (3 delegates)

How Are Delegates Allocated Among Candidates?

Each state assigns its delegates according to its own rules in consultation with the RNC and according to its location in the primary calendar. There are three main allocation methods:

  • Proportional methods divide the state’s delegates based on results of their primary vote. Most proportional states have a threshold percentage that a candidate must reach to be eligible for delegates.

    Proportional states may also award their delegates on a winner-take-all basis for candidates who receive more than 50% of the vote. 

    *All States with votes between March 1 and March 14 must have proportional allocation.
  • Winner-Take-All method awards all of the state’s delegates to the candidate that wins the highest percentage of the state’s votes.

    *States are permitted to award their delegates based on winner-take-all after March 14.
  • Hybrid states award delegates based on a combination of methods.
     
    *States are permitted to award their delegates based on winner-take-all after March 14.

(Hover Over States and Territories for Delegate Allocation) 

For a full primary schedule and delegate breakdown, click here. 


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