Last week I wrote about how Idaho’s Republican party picks delegates to its national convention.  This week I want to explore the Idaho Democratic Party’s process to select national delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

You can view the governing document here.

Idaho Democrats have been allocated 27 delegate slots, plus two alternates.

Idaho Democrats used as the first step of the selection process a presidential caucus which was held March 22 all over Idaho. 

Idaho Democrats, under national rules, are required to have an affirmative action plan to reach out to various populations.  Idaho Democrats used an educational process to reach out and educate various subgroups, including felons, the mentally-ill, and low-income individuals, to encourage participation in the process.  Delegate slots are allocated on the basis of gender, split equally. 

Idaho Democrats have also established goals for various subgroups, ideally filling delegate slots as follows:

            1 slot for an African American

            4 for Hispanics

            1 for a Native American

            1 for Asian American or Pacific Islander

            2 for LGBT individuals

            6 for those with disabilities

            9 for individuals that are 18-36 in age

On March 22, almost 24,000 Idahoans attended the Idaho Democratic caucuses. Democrats use a proportional system where any candidate who obtains more than 15% of the caucus vote is entitled to a proportional share of the delegates. 

Bernie Sanders won 78.0% of the vote.  That entitled him to 18 delegates.

Hillary Clinton took 21.2% of the vote. That entitled her to 5 delegates.

Such general delegates are chosen at that state convention in a two-step process.

First, 15 delegate slots are allocated at the level of congressional districts with Idaho’s First Congressional District obtaining 8 slots and the Second Congressional District receiving 7 slots.

Second, another 5 slots are chosen statewide.

Each of these delegates run as pledged or unpledged but each presidential candidate who took more than 15% of the vote (Sanders and Hillary) is entitled to pledged delegates proportionally.  Each presidential campaign has the chance to review and approve delegates on their behalf.

Idaho Democrats have 7 “super delegates” with 4 being unpledged and 3 being pledged.

State Democratic Party Chair Bert Marley has announced his support for Bernie Sanders.

Steve Taggart is an Idaho Falls attorney specializing in bankruptcy (www.MaynesTaggart.com).  He has an extensive background in politics and public policy.  He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..