AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Texas primary system is complicated. Unlike the national election, where your vote goes towards a candidate, the primary is all about winning delegates. These are the people who will go to the party convention and decide the presidential nominee.
The Democratic Primary
Texas will send 262 voting delegates to the Democratic convention this July. Thirty-three of them are what the party calls “automatic delegates.” These are members of Congress and members of the national party. You don’t actually vote on these delegates.
The remaining 228 delegates are the ones voters will choose on March 3rd. The system for dividing up those delegates is where things get especially complicated. Forty-nine of those are “at large” delegates, while thirty are pledged delegates. These seventy-nine delegates will be awarded based on statewide vote totals.
The final 149 delegates are chosen differently. They’re awarded based on how well candidate do in each of the thirty-one state Senate districts. Each Senate district has a different number of delegates, based on the Democratic turnout in that district in previous elections.
For example: Senate District 14 in the Austin area has the most, ten delegates. Meanwhile, Republican-dominated District 28 has just two Democratic delegates.
Delegates are chosen proportionally. However, not every candidate who gets votes will earn delegates. A candidate has to win at least 15% of the vote statewide or in a district to earn delegates.
The Republican Primary
The Republican party allocates delegates based on the statewide vote and some by the vote in each Congressional district. If a candidate wins more than 50% of the vote statewide or in a district, that candidate gets all the delegates.
Donald Trump should easily meet that threshold, meaning he’ll get all 155 Republican delegates from Texas.