In the race for the nomination, it’s about delegates more than votes

The race for the nomination is more about delegates than votes

It’s important to remember how today’s results from New Hampshire will shape the choice for the Democratic nominee to run against President Donald Trump. It’s not about the states you win, it’s the delegates you start piling up.

It could go really one of two ways for the democrats: a candidate just starts stacking those delegates and runs away with it, or there is a close and drawn-out race that is a battle to the end.

Here’s where we are now with the delegates from Iowa. Pete Buttigieg leads with 14 delegates while Senator Bernie Sanders walked away with 12 delegates. So for Democrats, candidates receive delegates based on the number of votes they get in each state.

Content Continues Below

In New Hampshire, there are 24 pledged delegates up for grabs.

On Super Tuesday in March, 14 states, including Massachusetts, will hold their elections with 1,344 total delegates up for grabs for Democrats. That’s roughly 33% of the delegates.

Delegates are divided up statewide and among congressional districts. At both levels there is a 15% voting threshold for candidates to receive delegates.

How important is this delegate math? Just ask Hillary Clinton.

“In 2008 Hillary Clinton won more actual cast votes than Barack Obama, but because Obama took a strategy that was really about collecting delegates to the convention […] he ended up as the nominee,” said John Cluverius, a political scientist at UMass Lowell.

Smart campaigns will be looking to where they should put time and resources into grabbing those delegates as the race changes over the next three weeks.