Election Math: How are Pennsylvania's delegates allocated?

By Avelino Maestas

With voters heading to the polls in Pennsylvania today, some people might be wondering how the delegates in Pennsylvania are alloted. Well, Congresspedia has you covered! Pennsylvania will send 187 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in August, including 29 superdelegates that will certainly help decide the nomination. Pennsylvania voters, on the other hand, will play a role in choosing the other 158 delegates today: 103 will be allocated by congressional district, while 55 are based on the statewide vote totals.

As this CQ Politics article points out, regions in Pennsylvania that leaned toward Democrats in the most recent presidential and gubernatorial elections received more delegates from the state party. In addition, the state's 19 congressional districts use a proportional system to determine how many delegates a candidate receives at the convention. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will easily clear the 15% threshold mandated by the DNC, but the number of delegates they receive will depend on how well they perform in the districts.

As this chart shows, candidates need a very high percentage of the vote to really "win" a district. For example, unless a candidate breaks the 58.3% mark in CD-6, Clinton and Obama will split the six delegates there. And while anything over 50% in CD-14 will give a candidate a 4-3 delegate advantage, they would need to reach 64.3% to net a 5-2 win. It's for that reason that CQ Politcs predicted a slim 53-50 delegate spread for Clinton, despite her relatively sizable and constant polling lead in the state.

As for the 55 at-large delegates, they'll be divvied up proportionally based on the statewide vote totals.

As a reminder, we'll also keep an eye on the Wiki the Vote portal:

There's a slew of Congressional primaries happening as well, including one for retiring Rep. John Peterson's seat. We'll update the Pennsylvania presidential primary and Wiki the Vote pages as the vote results are released, so you can see a district-by-district breakdown of the totals and find out how many delegates each presidential candidate picks up.

Of course, we're also keeping tracking of the state's superdelegates, which have broken for Clinton 15-5, with six supers undeclared and another three "add-on" delegates yet to be named.