On Elections

How people elect parliaments

Update: US Presidential Primaries

Saturday 8 March

Hillary Clinton has slightly strengthened her substantial lead over Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nomination race with a large win in Louisiana and a narrow loss in Michigan – yielding a net gain of 20 party convention delegates.

The Republican race is settling into a situation where Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the clear leaders.

On 8 March Trump won the plurality of the vote in three states – Michigan, Mississippi and Hawaii. Senator Ted Cruz won in the state of Idaho. Cruz was second in all three states which Trump won, although Governor John Kasich almost matched Cruz’ vote in Michigan. Senator Marco Rubio placed 4th in the larger states of Idaho and Mississippi, and 3rd in the other two.

So far 12.3 million voters have participated in the Republican primary elections, a significantly greater turnout than the 8.3 millions so far voting in the Democratic contests.

In recent weeks endorsements by unelected convention delegates have continued to appear, largely for Hilary Clinton and for Marco Rubio. However some endorsements have begun to appear for Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and a few for John Kasich.

Latest vote totals and delegate counts (including proportions of the total party convention delegates) are set out below.

REPUBLICAN Party nominee:

Donald Trump



convention delegates 

state delegate majorities

Donald Trump


460  (18.6%)


Senator Ted Cruz


358  (14.5%)


Senator Marco Rubio


158  (6.4%)


Governor John Kasich


54  (2.2%)

withdrawn candidates  ~ 936,000

17  (o.7%)

yet to be selected

1,425 (57.8%)

Total delegates



The initial Republican precinct caucuses in Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota were held on 1 March. These events do not directly determine convention delegates, but set in train the series of district and state party meetings which eventually do so.

A Republican candidate needs to accumulate 8 state delegation majorities (more than merely plurality wins) to be eligible to put their name forward at the party Convention.

Vote plurality winners by state are:

US primaries - winners - Republican

Trump – red; Cruz – fawn; Rubio – purple; wins closer than 10% in lighter shades

Withdrawals since the beginning of February: Mike Huckabee (1 February), Rand Paul (3 February), Rick Santorum (4 February), Carly Fiorina (10 February), Chris Christie (10 February), Jim Gilmour (12 February), Jeb Bush (20 February) and Ben Carson (2 March).

DEMOCRATIC Party nominee:

Hillary Clinton




Hillary Clinton


963  (20.2%)

Senator Bernie Sanders


546  (11.5%)

yet to be selected

2,756  (57.9%)

uncommitted official delegates

496  (10.4%)

Total delegates


(* Totals include caucus state figures which are estimates, and which also undervalue the caucus states’ contributions to total votes in comparison to results from primary election states.)

Vote plurality winners by state are:

US primaries - winners - Democratic

Clinton – blue; Sanders – teal; wins closer than 10% in lighter shades

Withdrawals since the beginning of February: Martin O’Malley (1 February)

Delegate tallies  for both parties include the support of elected delegates that have been confirmed by public endorsements. Such delegates are unbound and their vote can change at the convention (and see observations by Nate Silver at 538.com.)

The next primary events are the five key primaries on Tuesday 15 March, on which date both parties will hold primaries in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, as well as the Democratic primary in the Northern Mariana Islands territory.

2 comments on “Update: US Presidential Primaries

  1. Reg Jones
    March 10, 2016

    Doesn’t Trump have 6 qualifying states:


  2. Malcolm Baalman
    March 10, 2016

    Good question, and in fact both your comments are correct. I have just checked in and the delegate count for Massachusetts has been updated from 21/42 to 22/42, so yes another majority for Trump. Hawaii’s caucus results were not available 36 hours ago but have just gone up and indeed, Trump gets 11 of 19. So I can confirm your six state majorities.
    But wait – you missed South Carolina, where Trump was the winner-take-all winner. So he has in fact won 7 majorities. He’s just one win away from being the first qualifier. It’s almost certain he will win at least one of the 5 states voting on extra-super-Tuesday on March 15.

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This entry was posted on March 9, 2016 by in Election results, United States, US presidential primaries.
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