GOP primary calendar and voting rules for each state

Below is a chart showing the 2016 Republican presidential primary dates by state, along with the voting rules for each state.  Generally, states have a winner take all system, where the candidate with the greatest plurality gets all the delegates, or they have a combination of statewide winner take all with winner take all by congressional district, or they have proportional voting rules.

A few states like Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota choose unbound delegates, who are not obligated to support a particular candidate, so anything can happen there.

There are a total of 2,470 delegates to the convention, and 1,236 are needed to win.

I have simplified a few things in the chart below.  In each state, anywhere from zero to three of the total delegates are chosen but not bound to their candidate, but for simplicity's sake, I included them all in the state totals.  Different states have different thresholds for winning any delegates proportionally, usually 15% or 20%, and some states elect delegates who then declare for candidates.  I treat that last group as "proportional" for categorization purposes rather than "winner take all."

I also feel that states that decide candidates by "winner take all/congressional district" are more likely to be like "winner take all" states then they are to be similar to proportional voting states, since a candidate's supporters are less likely to be mostly aggregated in individual congressional districts of a state (though in some cases it will happen).

Proportional Date # of delegates Winner Take All Date # of delegates Winner take all by State/CD Date # of delegates
Iowa 1-Feb 30 Florida 15-Mar 99 South Carolina February 20th 50
New Hampshire 9-Feb 23 Marianas Islands 15-Mar 9 Illinois 15-Mar 69
Nevada 23-Feb 30 Ohio 15-Mar 66 Missouri 15-Mar 52
Alabama 1-Mar 50 US Virgins 19-Mar 9 Wisconsin 5-Apr 42
Alaska 1-Mar 28 Arizona 22-Mar 58 Connecticut 26-Apr 28
Arkansas 1-Mar 40 Delaware 26-Apr 16 Indiana 3-May 57
Georgia 1-Mar 76 Maryland 26-Apr 38 California 7-Jun 172
Massachusetts 1-Mar 42 Nebraska 10-May 36      
Minnesota 1-Mar 38 Montana 7-Jun 27      
Oklahoma 1-Mar 43 New Jersey 7-Jun 51      
Tennesse 1-Mar 58 South Dakota 7-Jun 29      
Texas 1-Mar 155            
Vermont 1-Mar 16            
Virginia 1-Mar 49            
Kansas 5-Mar 40            
Kentucky 5-Mar 45            
Louisiana 5-Mar 46            
Maine 5-Mar 23            
Puerto Rico 6-Mar 23            
Hawaii 8-Mar 19            
Idaho 8-Mar 32            
Michigan 8-Mar 59            
Mississippi 8-Mar 39            
DC 12-Mar 12            
Guam 12-Mar 9            
North Carolina 15-Mar 72            
American Samoa 22-Mar 9            
Utah 22-Mar 40            
Colorado 9-Apr 37            
New York 19-Apr 95            
Rhode Island April 26th 19            
West Virginia 10-May 34            
Oregon 17-May 28            
Washington State 27-May 44            
New Mexcio 7-Jun 24            
  Small % unbound              
Wyoming (29) ND Caucuses (28) unbound March 1"              
Most of Pennsylvania's 71 delegates are unbound

Looking at the chart, we can see that there are 1,427 delegates decided proportionally, 438 by winner take all, and 470 by state winner take all combined with congressional district winner take all, as well as 128 unbound delegates from Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and South Dakota.  (But remember that as part of the numbers above, many of the other states also have 0-3 unbound delegates.)

So where does that leave Donald Trump?  If the primaries were held today, and he got 25% of the vote, he'd take 356 of the 1,427 proportionally decided delegates.  With that 25%, which would be the largest plurality of any candidate, he'd take all 438 winner -take-all delegates (including all of Florida's, heh heh).  And he'd probably take most of the 470 "winner take all by CD" states  say, 400 of those.  That's a total of 356 + 438 + 400, which equals 1,194 delegates.  Figure he gets another 36 from the 128 delegates of the three uncommitted states.  That brings him up to about 1,230.

Twelve hundred thirty-six are needed to be nominated.  That means that by this very, very rough estimate, if the polls don't change, Donald Trump is just on the edge of getting what he needs to avoid a brokered convention and to be nominated.  He also needs to win a plurality in every state, even in some Southern states, where polls have shown Ben Carson ahead.

What conclusion can you draw from any of this?  If Trump goes up or down even 3% or 4% in national polling, that will pretty much decide whether there will be a brokered convention or not.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.