What does the political talk really mean?

Bryant Rodriguez, Staff Writer

As the race for the White House continues, it can be difficult to keep track of all the candidates and their positions in the primary election delegate counts.

The election process for president is somewhat complicated. Before the general election on Nov. 8, there must be a set of primary elections. Candidates for each party must participate in the various primaries and caucuses held across the country. These elections are held in order to distribute delegates that will determine the preferred candidate for each party. The difference between a caucus and primary is ingrained in the way citizens vote. In simple terms, a caucus is a raise of hands of voters present at a caucus event. The candidate with the majority of public votes wins the caucus in a district or precinct. A primary is a secret ballot, similar in method to most elections.  In order to clinch a nomination, a candidate must win a majority of total delegates available.

Adding to the confusion, the two major parties have separate procedures in their nomination process. The main difference is the number of delegates a candidate must win in order to become their respective party’s nominee. Democrats require a majority of 4,765 delegates or at least 2,383 delegates. Republicans require a majority of 2,472 delegates or at least 1,237 delegates. Furthermore, when citizens take to the primaries, they are essentially voting for delegates. These are called pledged delegates, who promise to vote in line with the voters’ preference. Democrats have another form of delegate, called superdelegates. These delegates are free to vote for whomever they choose. Republicans do not have superdelegates.

On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump has garnered the most delegates. After winning a majority of states in recent contests, his total count is 655. His nearest competitor, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has gathered a total of 407 delegates. After winning Ohio, Governor John Kasich now has 137 delegates. Trump is now more than halfway to the delegates needed to secure the nomination. With 171 delegates, Florida Senator Marco Rubio dropped out Tuesday night after losing his home state of Florida.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary elections are a little more intricate.

Secretary of State Clinton currently has more than double the number of delegates as Vermont Senator Sanders. Her total is 1,561 compared with Sanders’ 800. However, these totals include superdelegates. If counting only the pledged delegates, Clinton’s lead diminishes drastically. Her pledged delegate totals are 1,094 to Sanders’ 774.

Until the National Conventions in July, there will be several more rounds of voting to determine the Republican and Democratic candidates.