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If Democrats Used GOP Rules, Clinton's Delegate Lead Would Triple

Hillary Clinton's delegate lead would be a lot bigger if the Democratic Party were using GOP rules, according to a report from FiveThirtyEight.
Posted at 10:14 AM, Apr 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary by about 300 delegates, and that's not including superdelegates.

But according to a new report, Clinton's lead would be a lot bigger — if the Democratic Party were using the GOP's delegate-allocation rules.

A writer for FiveThirtyEight calculated what the Democrats' pledged delegate count would look like if their primaries followed Republican delegate rules.

And he found, under those rules, Clinton would jump from a 289-delegate lead to a whopping 977 lead. So, how is this possible?

When it comes to assigning delegates to candidates, Democrats use a proportional system.

As an explainer from The Washington Post describes it, "Candidates get delegates in proportion to their vote share in a state's primary or caucus." Pretty cut and dry, right?

But on the GOP side, rules like viability thresholds, winner-take-most districts and statewide bonuses allow a Republican candidate to snag the majority of a state's delegates, even if that state has decided to use a more proportional allocation method.

The FiveThirtyEight report notes this was meant to help end the race faster: "This was, in part, designed to give a candidate who is doing well early on a boost in delegate momentum."

Ironically, the nationwide debate over whether the primary process on both sides is "rigged" has actually focused on disadvantages to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Namely, both candidates decry that delegates hold so much power and that it's not a popular vote that decides the nominee.

This video includes clips from Hillary for AmericaCNNABCBernie 2016 and Donald J. Trump for President Inc. and images from Getty Images.