Is The Arizona Primary Winner Take All? It All Comes Down To Your Party
Good news for all you politically-motivated residents of the great state of Arizona: Your chance to participate in the presidential primary process is nearly here, and there's still a lot of drama and uncertainty in play. Thanks to Republican candidate Donald Trump's perilous position as one of the weakest frontrunners in modern political memory, still in need of big delegate hauls to clamp down the nomination, and an ongoing horse race on the Democratic side, you'll have plenty to consider. What about the delegates, though? Is the Arizona primary winner-take-all?
Here's your simple answer: yes, and no. It is winner-take-all for the Republicans, but not for the Democrats. In fact, not a single state contest for the Democrats awards all its delegates to the winner. They stick entirely to proportional allocation, which is one big reason Bernie Sanders is in such hot water right now ― he doesn't just need to win states to catch up to Hillary Clinton, but he also needs to win by big enough margins to make up a deficit of more than 300 pledged delegates.
For the Republicans, however, Arizona will be the third of 13 winner-take-all states on their schedule, and you better believe it's a prize ― 58 of those precious, precious delegates will be up for grabs.
On the Democratic side, the total delegate count is larger by virtue of the fact that it takes more than 1,000 more delegates to secure the nomination (the Republicans require 1,237 for an outright majority, while the Democrats require 2,383). The winner of the Arizona Democratic primary, whether it's Clinton or Sanders, will be taking home the lion's share of the state's 85 delegates.
While a particularly disappointing finish for either candidate could possibly alter the narrative of the race, the proportional allocation means the Democratic contest won't have nearly as much impact as the Republican one. Also, the state of the GOP primary race is still far less certain than it is for the Democrats, with party officials openly discussing the possibility of a contested convention.
Basically, every delegate from here on out that Trump fails to claim brings us one step closer to seeing some honest-to-god political chaos in July. He's currently sitting on 673 delegates, more than half of the way to the finish line, and winning Arizona would put him 58 delegates closer. Fortunately, you won't have to wait much longer to find out what's going to happen, or indeed to participate, if you're an Arizona voter. The primaries are scheduled for Tuesday, March 22nd, and as as it stands now, the polls are predicting that the respective frontrunners will hold strong: Trump is leading the Republican field by about 12 points, while Clinton is beating Sanders by a cool 27.