How Texas awards its delegates

A total of 126 pledged delegates are awarded proportionately based on primary voting in 31 state senatorial districts. Each senate district's delegate count is based on Democratic turnout there in the 2004 and 2006 general elections, so not every district has an equal number. The number of district delegates ranges from two to eight; about half have four.

Forty-two at-large pledged delegates are awarded based on caucuses beginning with precinct conventions on election night.

Using a math formula, delegates are awarded at the caucus according to a candidate's share of supporters present. Those supporters may be selected to later attend county or senatorial district conventions and possibly the state convention in June.

At each level, the candidate with more supporters in attendance benefits most.

Twenty-five pledged party and elected official delegates are named at the state convention, based on the percentage of presidential candidate support indicated when convention-goers sign in at the start of the meeting.

There are 35 unpledged delegates: 32 so-called superdelegates, including members of Congress and leading party officials, and three others the state chairman appoints.

Texas Republicans will send 140 delegates to the national convention. Almost all are awarded based on primary voting. Each of the 32 congressional districts has three pledged delegates, for a total of 96.

Texas is sometimes called a "winner-take-all" state, but there are some qualifiers.

A Republican candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote in a congressional district will receive all three delegates. But a first-place candidate receiving less than a majority but more than 20 percent will receive two delegates, with the second-place finisher getting one, provided he receives at least 20 percent of the vote. If he doesn't, the first-place candidate receives all three delegates.

Forty-one pledged delegates are chosen at large based on the statewide primary vote. A candidate winning more than 50 percent receives all 41 at-large delegates. If no one wins more than 50 percent, the delegates are apportioned among all candidates getting at least 20 percent of the primary vote.

Three delegates in high-ranking party positions are unpledged. These are the state party chairman and two Texas members of the Republican National Committee.

The Republican Party holds precinct conventions election night to select who attends high-level conventions, but not to divide the number of delegates.

Sources: Texas Democratic Party; Texas Republican Party; Texas House Research Organization.

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