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With Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropping out, what happens to their delegates?

Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg have both dropped out of the 2020 presidential primary race. Their delegates may ultimately back the candidates they endorse.

With Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropping out, what happens to their delegates?
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore (Klobuchar) (Warren) (Sanders) (Biden); Chuck Kennedy/Pete for America/Flickr ]

Now that Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg have left the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination, what happens to the delegates they’ve won?

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Buttigieg has already won 26 delegates, Klobuchar has pulled in 7, and it’s possible the two candidates could even pull in more in Super Tuesday primaries, especially when early voting is taken into account. What these delegates are allowed to do varies slightly based on state laws and state party rules, but they generally will report to the Democratic National Convention as “unpledged” delegates, meaning they’re free to vote as they wish, reports KCCI, a CBS affiliate in Des Moines.

A few states have more specific rules that can require delegates to still vote for the candidate in the first round. If it’s a contested convention where no candidate has a clear majority, delegates of candidates who have dropped out will usually be able to vote for other candidates as the party attempts to come to a consensus on its nominee.

Since delegates are usually handpicked supporters of the candidates they back, it’s quite likely that they’ll follow the endorsements of their original candidates as soon as they’re legally able to vote as they choose. Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar are expected to endorse former vice president Joe Biden.

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About the author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist living in New Orleans.

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