Albion College
Mathematics and Computer Science
Minimal Requirements for Representation in the Democratic Primary
Michael A. Jones

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

American Mathematical Society

In the Democratic Party Primary, presidential candidates are assigned delegates based on their share of the vote in each primary state using Hamilton's method of apportionment. However party rules state that candidates receiving less than 15% of the vote are not awarded any delegates. In this talk, we look at the consequences of such a cut-off for Hamilton's method and several other apportionment methods. For each method, we find the threshold of inclusion (the level of support necessary to possibly receive a delegate) and the threshold of exclusion (the level of support necessary to assuredly receive a delegate). We compare these values and determine the relationship between the thresholds and the Democratic Party cutoff of 15%. We also examine a new apportionment paradox that can arise when cut-offs are applied to Hamilton's method.
3:10 pm
All are welcome!
Palenske 227
November 19, 2009