The will of the people
All ballots are not cast equally

What if every elected delegate represented the same number of votes? What if every ballot cast had the same weight in the nomination process? Would it change the number of delegates allocated to each candidate?

The Supreme Court recently confirmed the "One person, one vote" principle. But it applies for elections, not primaries. Delegate allocation is managed at the State level and different procedures rule the allocation (caucus vs. primary, winner-takes-all vs. proportional, etc.). These mechanisms lead to different situations, and some votes matter more than others. Who gets overrepresented? A republican from Utah? A democrat from San Francisco? Which candidate is favored by the disparity of procedures?

These maps and charts compare two situations: 1) The ‘What if’ situation where the number of delegates allocated to each candidate reflects the actual number of votes it received. Opacity of counties accounts for population. 2) The actual situation where some citizens have more influence on the output of the nomination than others. Opacity accounts for the ratio delegates/votes for a given county.

The ratio delegates/votes is calculated for every county and both parties according to a score each State receives (the number of delegates it sends divided by the overall turnout in this State), multiplied by the number of votes in this particular county.

Caucuses typically lead to a low turnout (Utah’s republican caucus for instance) ushering in a high ratio. Some counties’ high ratio might also be due to a weak representation of one of the parties (District of Columbia’s republican convention for instance where 2,810 voters elected 19 delegates). This analysis omits the fact that early voting States have a higher impact on who gets to stay in the race (cf. the precocious dropout of Jeb Bush). This model assumes that delegates are allocated statewide and not per county or congressional district, which is actually not the case everywhere.

This is my submission to the Major league data challenge.

I built a model of the primary election comparing the actual election process to a situation where delegate assignation was proportional to popular vote.

I used R to build the model and D3.js for the visualizations.