As I understand it, most state primaries have a viability threshold of a certain percentage of the popular vote - 15% in most states - below which the candidate receives no delegates. This would seem to imply that it is theoretically possible for no candidate to meet the threshold if there are 7 or more candidates; as is currently the case for the Democrats.

Is my understanding correct, and is there any contingency clause in place for the unlikely event that this occurs? Would the state just not be represented by any delegates in the national convention?

  • NB: The 15% threshold mostly applies to Democratic primaries. Republican ones tend to be winner-takes-all.
    – Bobson
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


As I understand it, it is conceivable (but unlikely) that a state could be totally represented by uncommitted delegates.

Also, keep in mind that between the primary and the national convention there may also be a state convention.

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