Don’t bother staying up late to see the results of the Arizona presidential primary


By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings

The Presidential Preference Election in Arizona (what we folks here call our presidential primary) is over.  At least it will be after some stragglers in Maricopa County vote.

(The consistent ineptitude/malice of Maricopa County’s chief elections officer, Helen Purcell, can and will be the subject of a separate post in the near future.)

The MSM pundits will soon declare one or the other candidate to be the “winner”, even though most of them know full well that pledged Democratic delegates in Arizona are awarded proportionally, with candidates needing to reach 15% of the vote to earn any delegates.

Given that there are two main candidates (Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton) running fairly evenly (with Clinton ahead) nationwide, both should attain that 15% threshold easily.

Based on that, the “winner” will be expected to earn more than half of Arizona’s pledged delegates, but nowhere near all of them.

Except that it’s not quite that simple.


The Arizona Democratic Party does, in fact, award its pledged delegates proportionally, and 15% is the minimum vote threshold needed by any candidate to receive some.

Where it gets complicated is in the fact that delegates are awarded based on *Congressional District* and the 15% threshold applies to each district’s votes.

From the Delegate Selection Plan crafted by the Arizona Democratic Party –





To sum up, mathematically, a candidate could “lose” statewide, but still end up with more pledged delegates than the “winner” if he or she wins in a couple of districts by a large enough margin to shut out the other candidate while finishing far behind the other candidate in the other districts, but still earning enough of the vote in those places to break the 15% threshold.

Or to sum up the “sum up”, don’t go to bed thinking you know how the Arizona primary turned out.

It won’t be “over” until all of the district level results are tallied.


  1. Year after year, election after election, Helen Purcell screws up elections in the state of Maricopa. How does she still have her job? I look forward to your follow-up post.

    • I suspect the problems at the polls yesterday were supposed to happen in the general, and they just got ahead of themselves.

      Now if it does happen in the general, Purcell’s got no alibi. She’s got months to fix the issues and any major issues next time are clearly voter suppression.

      We’re the USA, we’re supposed to lead the world in democracy.

  2. Helen Purcell needs to go, ASAP, and be shamed for every even thinking about running for office again.

    She’s clearly anti-American and hates democracy.

  3. I went up and down the line at 19th avenue and greenway telling voters in line that at 20817 n 19 the avenue line was less then an hour unlike here where it was over 3 hours. also told them they could thank helen purcell the county recorder who is up for election in november for the long lines. I then went down after 7pm to 7th ave and glendale to let them know what purcell was doing to them.

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