De Civitate’s Delegate Loyalty Tracker

UPDATE 10 MAY 2016: In light of Trump’s presumptive nomination, Saturday’s delegate results (which were basically “Everything’s Coming Up Trump”), and the fact that it has become even harder to track delegate loyalties now that there’s only one candidate in the race, nobody’s asking the question, and once-loyal non-Trumps are now falling in line behind Trump… in light of all this, I have decided to stop updating this post, and this spreadsheet.  As far as I know, @TodayInTheZach is going to ride it out to the convention, but I was chiefly interested in second-ballot loyalties and rules-change support, and it is now clear that Trump will have what he needs on both fronts.  Thanks for reading!

Original post 14 April 2016 – Last updated 1 May 2016 – Spreadsheet here

You’ve seen in a lot of places, including De Civitate, that the Republican race right now looks something like this: Trump 761 delegates, Cruz 540 delegates, Kasich 144 delegates. Different sources have slightly different numbers, but the basic message is the same.

What if I told you that, as of today, Cruz actually has 276 delegates, Trump 181 delegates, and Kasich 105? (UPDATE: These figures are from April 14th; current figures below.)

Well, that’s exactly what I’m about to tell you.

We at De Civitate have argued recently that it is not delegate bindings, but delegate loyalties, which will decide the outcome of the GOP 2016 convention. Supporters-in-name-only (or “SINOs”), who are bound to vote for one candidate on the first ballot but hope to carry a different candidate to victory on a later ballot, could dramatically change the terrain of the convention.  For example, a bunch of delegates bound to Trump but loyal to Cruz could throw their support to Cruz on the second ballot, swinging the nomination to Cruz.  Or a bunch of delegates bound to Kasich but loyal to Trump could, with a clear conscience, cast their votes for Kasich but consistently vote to sustain existing convention rules (namely Rule #40(b)) which would prevent those votes from actually being counted for Kasich.

Our position seems to have been borne out by events. Since we started writing about this, we’ve seen story after story about the Cruz campaign out-organizing both campaigns (making much better deals, you might say) in the delegate-loyalty battle. Cruz is securing the loyalty of his own bound delegates while getting loyal Cruz supporters into bound delegate slots for Trump and Kasich… which places Trump in a very tough position on a second ballot and may well make a Kasich nomination totally impossible.

We have also argued that it is nearly impossible to track delegate loyalties, because delegates do not step up to a big ledger at the end of an election to mark down their loyalties.

That turned out to be true, too. Tracking down the loyalty of each individual delegate to Cleveland is really hard work. In the end, though, that didn’t stop us. Here are our results:

Original post 14 April 2016 – Last updated 1 May 2016 – Spreadsheet updated continuously

Candidate Loyal Delegates
Cruz 458
Trump 399
Kasich 141
Anti-Trump 143
Uncommitted 58
Unknown 196
Remaining 1077 (50%)

The state-by-state data, along with links to all the online sources used to put it together, are in this Google spreadsheet.  Most delegates are chosen in April and May, so we expect to see a lot of fresh developments in coming days. We welcome corrections, comments, arguments, and improvements; putting this together and double-checking it solo has not been easy!

As far as we know, De Civitate is the only place on the web tracking this information systematically. Judging by how this election season has gone so far, we expect FiveThirtyEight to have this idea independently and launch a much cleaner and more graphically attractive version of this tracker in about two weeks. Until then, though, you’re stuck with De Civ!

(UPDATE 4/21: Maybe you’re not quite stuck with us after all! We owe a very large debt of thanks to @TodayInTheZach, whose incredible spreadsheet, which we discovered this week, filled in a great many holes in ours, as well as showing us a much saner way of organizing the data.  We were also able to fill in a few gaps in his — with hopefully more to come!)

(UPDATE 4/30: I was out of town during the Tuesday Trump Romp, so wasn’t able to stay up-to-date. Another thanks to @TodayInTheZach, who did the legwork, which I promptly expropriated to my spreadsheet.)

This entry was posted in Analysis, Horse Race, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • James J Heaney

    Comments open.

  • Theda Catalano

    Pardon me, but I searched for your name after reading some rather poignant comments on Catholic forums, and I have to ask: are you married yourself? There’s an authority there that’s beguiling.

  • gerv

    Are you going to comment on the Kasich/Cruz pact? I have no idea what it means, and want someone to tell me :-)