Updated Democratic Primary Schedule

Yesterday examined the Republican Primary Schedule, and today I’ll repeat the same with the Democrats. I last looked at Democratic Primary calendar two months ago, but not every state and territory had yet chosen their primary date. Since then, all have done so except for the Northern Mariana Islands, which might have to be reminded they’re a part of the United States. For those who want a far-too-detailed breakdown of how states’ and territories’ delegation sizes for the 2016 Democratic National Convention were determined, that old post is for you.

Just like yesterday’s Republican Primary calendar, I’ll split the Democratic one into chunks. I’ll also only list pledged delegates. Of the 4,763 delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, only 4,051, or about 85 percent, are “pledged,” or beholden to the voters. The other 713 are powerful Democrats, better known as the infamous, unpledged “superdelegates,” and they might as well have “Vote for Hillary” stamps on their foreheads. (The GOP also has unpledged delegates, but there aren’t nearly as many.)

Anyway, off we go. First, the February states:

February 1, 2016 Iowa 44 pledged delegates
February 9, 2016 New Hampshire 24
February 20, 2016 Nevada 35
February 27, 2016 South Carolina 53

I dealt with these already. Nevada might turn out to be the surprising linchpin to the Sanders campaign. Winning Iowa and New Hampshire wouldn’t be enough if Clinton comes back with Nevada and all-but-locked up South Carolina, giving her momentum into…

Super Tuesday:

March 1, 2016 Alabama 53
March 1, 2016 American Samoa 6
March 1, 2016 Arkansas 32
March 1, 2016 Colorado 66
March 1–8, 2016 Democrats abroad 13
March 1, 2016 Georgia 102
March 1, 2016 Massachusetts 91
March 1, 2016 Minnesota 77
March 1, 2016 Oklahoma 38
March 1, 2016 Tennessee 67
March 1, 2016 Texas 222
March 1, 2016 Vermont 16
March 1, 2016 Virginia 95

Super Tuesday has 12 contests (13, if you count the beginning of the window for “Democrats abroad,” who better not have a baby while over there for fear of Donald Trump trying to block their offspring from the presidency) and 878 pledged delegates up for grabs. When this day is over, we’re probably locked into one of three scenarios:

  • A) Clinton has a firm lead and Sanders will either concede or quietly fade until she clinches a majority of delegates in April. It would resemble the Democratic primaries of 2004 and 2000.
  • B) Clinton has a small but clear lead and will be seen as inevitable again, but Sanders will still campaign hard and draw this thing out. Clinton would be playing the role of Senator Obama in 2008, holding a lead that appears vulnerable, but the delegate math and inertia make it an almost irreversibly slow bleed for the trailing candidate.
  • C) They’re neck and neck or Sanders has a lead, at which point chaos ensues and Joe Biden eventually becomes the Democratic nominee, likely with Elizabeth Warren to consolidate the Sanders crowd.

Back to the calendar. Super Tuesday is followed by The Week After:

March 5, 2016 Louisiana 51
March 5, 2016 Nebraska 25
March 5, 2016 Kansas 33
March 6, 2016 Maine 25
March 8, 2016 Mississippi 36
March 8, 2016 Michigan 130

Which is really just an interim until…

The Second Super Tuesday:

March 15, 2016 Florida 214
March 15, 2016 Illinois 156
March 15, 2016 Missouri 71
March 15, 2016 North Carolina 107
March 15, 2016 Ohio 143

Just five states, but lots of delegates (691). If Sanders was holding on for dear life, these states might put him away.

Next comes The Mushy Middle:

March 22, 2016 Arizona 75
March 22, 2016 Idaho 23
March 22, 2016 Utah 33
March 26, 2016 Alaska 16
March 26, 2016 Hawaii 25
March 26, 2016 Washington 101
April 5, 2016 Wisconsin 86
April 9, 2016 Wyoming 14

That’s a 20-day stretch with no big prize. If Sanders can survive it, though — if we’re been somewhere between Scenarios B and C — he’s about to get a life line. That’s because starting on April 19, we arrive at:

The Northeast Liberal Late April States That Need A Catchier Label:

April 19, 2016 New York 247
April 26, 2016 Maryland 95
April 26, 2016 Connecticut 55
April 26, 2016 Delaware 21
April 26, 2016 Pennsylvania 189
April 26, 2016 Rhode Island 24

Wow! Those are some blue states.  If Sanders is competitive, you’d have to think he wins that group and wrests some momentum for the final push.

That final push begins with the underwhelming May contests:

May 3, 2016 Indiana 83
May 7, 2016 Guam 7
May 10, 2016 West Virginia 29
May 17, 2016 Kentucky 55
May 17, 2016 Oregon 61


After we wake up from that boring month, we arrive at:

The June states (and territories) (and district):

June 4, 2016 Virgin Islands 7
June 5, 2016 Puerto Rico 60
June 7, 2016 California 475
June 7, 2016 Montana 21
June 7, 2016 New Jersey 126
June 7, 2016 New Mexico 34
June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016

North Dakota

South Dakota



June 14, 2016 DC 20

Hello, California! Can Sanders survive until the mother lode of liberal states? I strongly doubt it. We’d be firmly in Scenario C at that point. Still, if you’re a Sanders supporter, you can dream.

There you have it, all the contests of the Democratic Primary. Well, all except for one that is. Don’t forget: The Northern Mariana Islands:

TBA Marianas 6



11 thoughts on “Updated Democratic Primary Schedule”

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