Are There Any Delegates Left After June 7? It Ain't Over Just Yet
With all the hubbub surrounding the massively important June 7 primary, most people probably feel the 2016 primaries are over now that the big day is under our belts. We have a pretty solid idea of the race's outcome after Tuesday's results, but are there any delegates left to be won? It turns out we're not officially done yet.
June 7 was the last day of voting for the Republican Party, and the five states that held Republican primaries gave Donald Trump enough pledged delegates to clinch the nomination. But there's one more Democratic primary to be held, and that will take place in Washington, D.C. on June 14. The District of Columbia will wrap up the primary season with its 20 delegates.
But delegates from the final primary aren't the only ones left. The Democratic superdelegates, who are not bound by the results of the primaries, aren't officially committed to either Sec. Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders until they cast their votes at the Democratic National Convention in July. These 714 free agents matter in 2016, since, despite her consistent delegate lead over Sanders throughout the primaries, Clinton has not reached the coveted number of 2,383 needed to secure the nomination. She'll need the supers to get her over that threshold.
And they almost certainly will. Though Sanders has repeatedly expressed his intent to earn the backing of enough superdelegates to overtake Clinton at the convention, there are two things to keep in mind. First, Clinton has been far more popular among supers than Sanders since the very beginning of the race. Second, voting in direct defiance of the primary results would be unprecedented. The superdelegates are still officially uncommitted, but we have good reason to believe they'll back Clinton in July.
On the Republican side, there are a smattering of unbound delegates from states with wonky rules and from candidates who have suspended their campaigns. Since Trump reached the 1,237 delegates required for the nomination in the primaries (thanks, winner-take-all allocation rules!), they won't make any different. But it might be interesting to see how many, if any, unbound Republican delegates place protest votes against Trump at the convention.
Technically, the primaries are not over yet. There are still delegates to be won on the Democratic side in D.C. along with unbound delegates who will make their official commitments at each party's convention. Their votes won't change the outcome for Trump, but Clinton will need the supers' ballots to make her nomination official.