How people elect parliaments
Iowa is over. You’ve seen the media: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tied for the Democrats, and Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump for the Republican race.
Many pundits, however, see Marco Rubio of the Republicans as the real winner, since he’s now positioned to consolidate the ‘establishment’ Republicans and move in front of both Cruz and Trump. They’re more right than they know.
Senator Marco Rubio (image: floridapolitics.com, via wikipedia)
In Iowa’s the Republican party awarded 27 of it’s national convention delegates. But at least 105 were already effectively confirmed – among the 509 unpledged delegates who get a vote when the national convention meets in July.
Of the 105 known endorsements, Rubio has 34. After months of expensive campaigning, he won 6 delegates in Iowa on the 1 February caucus night. He won 5 more for free in the three days that followed, as senators and congresspeople joined his cause.
Jeb Bush, the establishment’s original favourite, has 31 endorsements. Ted Cruz has 20 (notoriously, Cruz has not one endorsement among his dozens of Senate colleagues). Chris Christie has 9 votes, and John Kasich has 8 – both including their own votes as governors.
So overall, the endorsement delegates are far more important than Iowa so far. Rubio is indeed in the lead, with 40 votes. Jeb Bush, whose campaign looks shaky if you believe the media, is in second place with 32. Bush needs to greatly improve his performance with the voters, but he is well financed and can survive early slips.
Ted Cruz, the leader of the religious right and tea party group of candidates, is in third place with 27 delegates.
Maverick Donald Trump, despite all the drama, is in fact in 6th place, with just 7 votes; he has zero unelected endorsements to his name. He’ll need to go all the way on public support alone, as the party officials and politicians have little love for him.
On the Democratic side, an impressive 199 of the 713 total unelected delegates have already been confirmed for Hillary Clinton just among the congresspeople, senators and governors. Estimates that include her support among the less well-known party officials put her tally at around 311.
Her rival Bernie Sanders has just 3 known unpledged delegate votes – including his own as a sitting senator.
As the season progresses, the elected delegates will overtake the unpledged votes in number, but beware tallies given in the media which neglect them.