If Democrats used GOP rules, Clinton's delegate lead would triple

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

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.

SEE ALSO: Poll suggests millions will refuse to vote for Trump or Clinton

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

He found, under those rules, Clinton would jump from a 289-delegate lead to a whopping 977 lead.

PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton's potential running mates

Hillary Clinton potential running mates, VPs
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If Democrats used GOP rules, Clinton's delegate lead would triple

Tim Kaine

The junior Democratic Senator from the swing state of Virginia could be a strategic selection for Hillary. Kaine also served as the governor of Virginia from 2006- 2010.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Elizabeth Warren

The current U.S. Senator from Massachusetts is popular among progressive Democrats, and some even tried to draft her to run for president herself in 2016. 

(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sherrod Brown

Insiders believe that the senior U.S. Senator from Ohio could help Clinton increase her popularity with working-class voters, a group she has yet to win in a big way so far in primary contests.  

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Cory Booker

The U.S. Senator from New Jersey is both youthful and charismatic and would add racial diversity to a Clinton ticket. 

(Photo by KK Ottesen for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tom Perez

The current U.S. Secretary of Labor is considered a sleeper pick by many Democrats because he is not well known outside of D.C., but some believe his strength and popularity among union workers and other progressive groups could be an asset to Clinton's ticket. 

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Bernie Sanders

The Independent from Vermont has become Hillary Clinton's primary rival for the Democratic nomination, garnering a surprising amount of support. Bringing Sanders onto the ticket could help to unite both sets of supporters who have been split in Democratic primaries.

(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Martin O'Malley

A former 2016 rival of Hillary Clinton, and former Maryland governor, Martin O’Malley could help bring some executive experience, along with a slight youthful boost to the ticket.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tom Vilsack

The Secretary of Agriculture since 2009, Tom Vilsack also served as the governor of Iowa from 1999 to 2007. Vilsack could bring some governing experience along with swing state influence.  


Evan Bayh 

Evan Bayh could bring a more right leaning brand of politics to the ticket. Bayh previously served as the junior U.S. Senator from Indiana from 1999 to 2011, and also as the 46th Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997.  

Joe Biden

While the likelihood of him agreeing to take on the veep job again might be low, Biden's popularity among Democrats would likely boost Clinton's chances. 

(Photo credit MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bill Clinton

Hillary's husband is technically allowed to serve in the job, and some legal experts even think he'd be able to take office if necessary. Unfortunately for the diehard Clinton supporters, a Clinton-Clinton ticket will probably be a dream that never comes true. 

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


How is that possible? Well, 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?

Here is how Hillary Clinton spends her money:

However, 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.

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