How Many Delegates Does Ohio Have? All Eyes Are On The Buckeye State
The race for the Republican nomination has all but officially become Trump vs. everybody else, and Ohio could be the linchpin in the plan to keep Trump out of the White House. Ohio, along with Florida, is a winner-take-all state. Even with just a slight margin and less than 50 percent of the vote, Donald Trump or John Kasich will be taking home all the state's delegates. But the Buckeye State is the important to the Democrats too; Sanders and Clinton will be pushing to turn out voters. In both cases, it's all about the number of delegates Ohio has.
That is, of course, different for each of the parties. The Democrats have more delegates total, and the number allotted to Ohio is 160 — 143 of which are pledged delegates and whose votes will be decided based on the outcome of the primary. They'll all be assigned proportionally with most delegates being handed out based on how different congressional districts vote, as well as some based on the statewide race. Most of the 17 superdelegates are already supporting Clinton. The Republican Party has given 66 delegates to Ohio. All 66 will be bound to the winning candidate based on the statewide totals. In both parties, these are important delegates the winners are going after.
The Democratic race hinges less on one state than on the Republican side, given that all the delegates are awarded proportionally. FiveThirtyEight has given a target of 72 delegates for Sanders in Ohio. For that to happen, he would have to slightly beat Clinton, whose goal is 71. At the time of this writing, polls show Clinton leading by an average of nearly 18 percentage points. That may not have much sway in the end — Michigan ended up proving the polls completely wrong when Sanders came out ahead in what's been considered the biggest upset ever. Ohio will be a place to watch to see Sanders' staying power.
For the Republicans, there's no doubt that Ohio is extremely important — especially given that Rubio might lose Florida. That leaves just John Kasich in Trump's way in the winner-take-all states. Recent polls have Kasich and Trump in a tie. The average puts Kasich ahead by two points. It could all depend on turnout, and Kasich should be helped by establishment support in the state. Every single vote may matter.
What's particularly important about Ohio Republican delegates, especially given the chance of a brokered convention, is the way they're chosen. The candidates themselves get to pick the slate of delegates. That means once they're officially free to choose another candidate at the convention, they're more likely to stick with the candidate who brought them in the first place. Into the later rounds of voting, a candidate might find it quite beneficial to know there are 66 candidates he can count on.
In either party, but especially for the GOP race, Ohio's delegates are in demand.